The Problems of Perl: The Future of Bugzilla

Aaron Trevena aaron.trevena at
Sun May 13 03:09:20 UTC 2007

On 12/05/07, Max Kanat-Alexander <mkanat at> wrote:
> On Sat, 12 May 2007 11:08:02 +0100 "Aaron Trevena"
> <aaron.trevena at> wrote:
> > looking at the pros and cons wiki page, it is pretty clear
> > that switching to Python or Ruby would bring very real technical
> > problems to the project, not to mention the social problems involved
> > in forking and alienating both users and developers.
>         Hi Aaron. I believe we've talked and you've never written
> extensively in Python or Ruby, correct?

True. But that doesn't mean I haven't experienced technical issues
with it - in the last couple of months I've tried to install several
python applications - the error reporting was surprisingly poor
"Syntax error at line XXX",

> > IME that isn't true. Mitigating for Python's poor error reporting,
> > Ruby's poor performance and or reinventing wheels in Ruby are costly.
>         Which you have no extensive personal experience with, right?

See above.

> > The next version of Perl is 5.10. It's a couple of weeks away.
>         Perl 5.8 was released in July 2002.
>         Perl 5.10 will be released by about June 2007, according to
> this. I understand that the language internals are old, and that's one
> reason that Perl 6 is being written. (Instead of refactoring Perl 5.)
>         In 2002, Python was at 2.1. In 2007 it's at 2.5. (That's four
> major releases.)

That's a double edged sword - having to upgrade python because you
need a newer version of a library sucks. I've never yet had to upgrade
Perl because a library depends on a newer version, but I've been
unable to install several python applications for this reason. I don't
see any real benefit to lots of releases of a compiler unless there
are lots of bugs to fix, or it's immature and needs new features, etc.

>         I think even Java has had several major releases since 2002.

Yes and they aren't all 100% compatible. Moving goalposts with
changing API's, nice.

> > Call me crazy, but how about focusing on using contempory Perl and
> > looking at genuine technical problems instead subjective 'grass is
> > greener' whining.
>         That's also under consideration, if you read the Wiki page.

Not really - Catalyst is mentioned, but that's about it.

> > the combination of the
> > Mozilla Foundation/Corporation leaving the project to rot with no
> > funding or support,
>         What? The Foundation has never sponsored the development of
> Bugzilla.

Which is sucky. Mozilla Corp makes 10s of millions of dollars.
Bugzilla is a Mozilla project, used heavily by other mozilla projects.

> > and a couple of vocal people clamouring to stop useful development
>         Nobody said anything about stopping development. In fact, I
> even pointed out that that shouldn't happen.

I take that back then :)

> > wasting there's rewriting it poorly in a language that makes them
> > feel warm and fuzzy.
>         Nobody's re-writing it yet. It's just research into whether or
> not there would be advantages. I'm glad to have your opinions on the
> subject.

I think that's looking at the wrong problem, IMHO.


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