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Re: where is perl 5.6?

> Date:    Sat, 30 Sep 2000 01:37:15 PDT
> To:      debian-perl@lists.debian.org, Darren Stalder <torin@daft.com>
> From:    Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>
> Subject: where is perl 5.6?
> Perl 5.6 was released on March 23rd. That's a full 7 months ago.

Build yourself one in a non-PATHable place... I put mine in 
/usr/local/perl-5.6.0 so no standard paths would go there...

But mine is built with multiple interpreter support and interpreter
threads support, the latter of which breaks binary compatibility and
the former of which does that plus is considered unstable, partly due
to the perl folks' not having decided what kind of threads to support.

I am doing a perl interpreter for aolserver, and decided early on to
use perl-5.6. Brendan O'Dea has or will have perl-5.6 pkgs available
which have been built to be binary-compatible with old 5.005.03 modules.

Unfortunately, these packages will not work for my project, so I will
be staying on my own with it. Very unfortunate... Branden is very
knowledgable about perl, and I would have preferred he would maintain
pkgs that would work for me. I appreciate that he occasionally gives me
a quick hand with questions I have concerning perl internals. It
turns out he is quite an expert.

> In the meantime, I as a perl programmer, who is also a Debian developer,
> and who prefers to use what is in Debian,

I understand your sentiment... but that can't stop you from doing what you
want^W^W^Wnecessary research.

> found myself falling behind. 
> I wasn't able to investigate the cool new stuff in perl 5.6.

With respect, yes you were :) With your experience, building is easy
with eyes closed :) Debian has a finely tuned set of dev tools.  The C
compiler always works due to carefully-authored dependency relations
to libs and binutils that work with it. You can't say this about all
dists for the simple reason some are not careful about libs.

Perl builds without incident on debian. The perl that comes with debian
is used by maintainer scripts, so it's not so easy to just replace with-
out totally breaking the dist for (my guess) no shorter than two weeks.

Rather than tie yourself to that process, free yourself and build one ;)

> Some of it
> is clearly stuff I can use in my programs to significantly improve them,
> but if I do, I will not be able to put those improvements into my Debian
> packages, since Debian still doesn't support perl 5.6.
> There was plenty of excuse for nothing being done about packaging perl 5.6
> for Debian while potato was in the freeze, but that has been no excuse for
> 1 and a half months now, and in that time I've not seen perl's maintainer
> doing anything to get perl 5.6 into Debian.

Is he MIA? I think I heard something about him not answering his emails; 
this note is addressed to him, so maybe with this note, we will see.

> But just 2 days after
> Debian's release, Brendan O'Dea stunned me by producing perl 5.6 debs that
> dropped into a Debian system, and acted as the default perl without
> breaking anything. Even better, they reverted the package name back to
> "perl" (no more perl-5.005 unsightliness), and they have a very
> intelligent way of using dependancies to deal with future changes in the
> perl XS module API without requiring such ugly package names in the
> future.

Like I say in this note, Brendan is quite an expert :)

> There's just one problem: They're still not in Debian, and I still
> cannot make my packages use all the nifty new features of perl 5.6.
> And I really don't understand why. I've seen almost no discussion of
> them on this list, and I've seen no reaction from the perl maintainer at
> all. Darren, are you still there? Doesn't anyone care about getting perl
> 5.6 into Debian?

Definitely... but because I know in advance that this perl-5.6 will not
be built with multiple interpreter support (at least), the interest on
my part is less than complete. I -have- to build my own, so I will do so.

Not a big deal, except I'd have to show people how to do it...


Jim Lynch       Finger for pgp key
as Laney College CIS admin:  jim@laney.edu   http://www.laney.edu/~jim/
as Debian developer:         jwl@debian.org  http://www.debian.org/~jwl/

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