The Problems of Perl: The Future of Bugzilla

Aaron Trevena aaron.trevena at
Mon May 14 10:35:56 UTC 2007

On 13/05/07, Benton, Kevin <kevin.benton at> wrote:
> Aaron, go away.  We don't need your kind of eff'ing rudeness.  This is a
> very kind group and I have never seen anyone in the past 2.5 years treat
> the group as badly as I have seen you treat us in this thread.  It's not
> called for and it certainly is not appreciated.  I think you owe
> everyone in this group an apology but at this point, I'd rather you just
> go bother someone else.

Mea Culpa. Sorry.

I think I've been too harsh on the developers, partly because the
trolling on the wiki, max's blog, and even the list got on my nerves,
and partly because I thought a well placed 'kick on the arse' would do
some good.

I noticed that the release manager and lead reviewer claimed on his
blog that Bugzilla was doomed if they stuck with Perl, and containing
a very subjective (and ill-informed) list of grievances.

Then another bugzilla developer created a wiki with which to push the
agenda, which quickly filled with trolls and flamebait, then more
bugzilla developers claimed on the list that Perl was the problem and
how life would be so much more wonderful using the vastly superior
Ruby or Python.

I've just tried to point out (sometimes in an ill-tempered or harsh
manner, I'm afraid), that the problem is social rather than technical
in nature, and the solution is to learn to write code better, rather
than write the same bad code in a new language.

I've also tried to say that the review process doesn't seem to have
improved the quality of the code base very much. Using Template
Toolkit was a great move, but there don't seem to have been any other
big steps forward in the years since I last used and hacked bugzilla.

I think the fact that so many developers and reviewers are sysadmins
first and developers second, or don't use Perl as their primary
language could be one of the reasons that the code quality has taken
so long to improve, and am surprised that so many sysadmins haven't
found a way to bundle or package CPAN modules in a way that works for
bugzilla users.

Anyway I'll STFU now and stick to posting patches from here on.


LAMP System Integration, Development and Hosting

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