The Perl April Fools' Gag That Could Have Been
On my last entry, I told you that I have had an idea for a Perl-related April Fools' day gag, and that I would possibly reveal it on 2-April with a big disclaimer on top, just for kicks. Well, it's already 9-April, but I guess it is better late than never, right?
OK, here is the big disclaimer: THIS IS A JOKE. IT'S NOT SERIOUS. SO RELAX - IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN SOON (AND HOPEFULLY WILL NOT EVER HAPPEN)..
OK, now let's move on to the gag itself:
1 April 2012, Tel Aviv, Israel: the Perl foundation has announced today that by inspiration from Mozilla Firefox, the perl-porters (formerly known as perl5-porters) will adopt a schedule of a quarterly major release.
"Since version 6 of Perl has been claimed by a malevolent project that amounted to very little, we will release Perl version 7 next Summer, followed by Perl 8 in next Fall, and Perl 9 next Winter." said the designated Perl pumpking.The Perl foundation commented that it is sure that users will appreciate the accelerated release schedule, despite the fact that a lot of backwards' compatibility will be broken in each release to further the language's improvement.
Some prominent Perl porters have added that they are looking into ways to automatically upgrade the Perl version automatically upon new releases, similar to the approach followed by the Google Chrome browser. "We are tired of people using outdated versions of Perl, which results in a maintenance burden for us, to say nothing of the security risk by bugs in old Perl versions. So we think the best way to mitigate that would be to simply force people to upgrade."
The Perl porters are hard at work on perl-7.0.0, which will implement the upcoming Perl 7 specification with many new and exciting features and incompatibilities.
Well, like I said, after discussing this idea with RJBS (the current Perl 5 Pumpking), he and I agreed that it would be too cruel, given that many people are sensitive about upgrading their versions of Perl 5. Comparisons of how old the perl that your workplace/client/etc. has deployed on their systems is a common source of discussion among perl mongers (and someone told me one of his clients still used perl 4), and many people would have found such an announcement alarming instead of funny. But I hope you enjoyed reading it, and hope you're also looking forward to perl-5.16.0, which should be out soon.