back to article Perl's Community Affairs Team chair quits as org put on ice by code language's foundation

The Perl Foundation has put its Community Affairs Team (CAT) on hiatus, and the team's chair has resigned. Samantha McVey's departure came in the wake of the decision by The Perl Foundation (TPF) board to retract the CAT statements of April 19, and May 2, and put the CAT on ice "while its charter is formalized." The Register …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS

    They really need to decide whether they are they to try and drag the decrepit old language in to the 21st century, or just play a great big game of woke-wank.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FFS

      If by dragging into the 21st century you mean breaking backwards compatibility like a bunch of amateur kids then no thanks. They should almost certainly keep playing the politics game.

      If you want to be a modern cool kid then Perl probably isn't for you haha.

      1. s2bu

        Re: FFS

        Indeed. The Python 2 -> 3 fiasco should be used as a prime example of how NOT to handle something.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: FFS

          Anyone remember Perl 6. That was even worse than Python 3 in that department.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: FFS

            What used to be called "perl6" is now called Raku ... Pretty much everybody involved knew that perl would continue as perl after "perl6" was ready to go ... most surmised "perl6" would gain a new name, and most of them knew it would probably be Raku some dozenish years before Larry made it official.

            Why the python people didn't go a similar route is beyond me. Probably control issues.

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: FFS

              Is anyone using Raku? It was dropped from the FreeBSD ports collection in 2014.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: FFS

                "Is anyone using Raku?"

                Yes. Not me, though. No need (yet). Interesting evolutionary step, worth eyeballing.

                "It was dropped from the FreeBSD ports collection in 2014."

                That's interesting. The spec for Raku wasn't released until 2015, and wasn't officially named until late in 2019. To the best of my knowledge, there is no Slack package for it, either.

                But whatever ... Who needs binary installation files? Out of curiosity, I just installed the Rokudo Star Bundle (from rakudo.org) on FreeBSD and Slackware with no problems. I used the the source tarball to build it from scratch ... all in all, installation was painless on both, and the test package ran fine on both.

                If anybody cares, there is an official Docker image of Rokudo Star.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FFS

          But in the end the Python 3 got over the bump, and it has, overall, replaced Python 2.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: FFS

        If you want to be a modern cool kid, try Raku.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: FFS

      It's not decrepit, it still does exactly what it is designed to do with no loss of ability whatsoever.

      However, if you don't know how to admin a network without a mouse, perhaps you should find a language more suited to your abilities and/or temperament.

      1. Pseudononymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: FFS

        Python has taken over from Perl, and then some.

        Perl is a modern incarnation of Ozymandias.

        I did plenty of work in Perl many years ago, but I don't use it now any more than I use Fortran. If I did use it, I probably ought to comment the code in Latin.

        1. boblongii

          Re: FFS

          Problem is that Python is utterly terrible.

          1. Pseudononymous Coward
            Trollface

            Re: FFS

            They are functionally equivalent, and it doesn't take much longer to do a job in one or the other.

            But Python has masses of modern open-source libraries that Perl doesn't. Where are the supported Perl equivalents of TensorFlow, Pandas, Numpy, PyTorch, Keras and Matplotlib?

            And Python code is maintainable because you can find someone to maintain it - college and university computer science departments teach it, so loads of people are experienced in it. On the other hand, most Perl programmers are retired.

            1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

              Re: FFS

              How often do you need TensorFlow when doing sysadmin????!! If the answer is greater than zero then I suspect you may be doing sysadmin wrong.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: FFS

                I suspect the word "suspect" can be substituted with "know", and the phrase "may be" with "are" without getting you into too much trouble.

              2. Aids
                Trollface

                Re: Is it only government bodies

                I used TensorFlow to build an AI model of all candidates being interviewed at any one time, and create AD accounts based on the most likely candidate to be hired.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Is it only government bodies

                  I use a pad of paper on a clipboard and a pencil.

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: FFS

              "They are functionally equivalent"

              You clearly don't know either language very well. Get back to me on the subject after you learn otherwise.

              1. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

                Re: FFS

                Let's have a Turing Machine race to decide.

            3. jake Silver badge

              Re: FFS

              "college and university computer science departments teach it"

              They taught the OSI model well into the 2000s ... even though it had been essentially obsolete for well over 20 years prior. Your point?

              "On the other hand, most Perl programmers are retired."

              My Granddaughter isn't even in high school yet. She codes in perl (among other languages). Same for a couple of my younger nieces and nephews. They have all also learned Python, but rarely use it ... there is always a better language to code whatever project they are working on in.

            4. Flywheel Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: FFS

              On the other hand, most Perl programmers are retired

              Heh, we're the new Cobol generation :) Just getting my post-retirement consultancy stuff together now.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: FFS

              Neither Python and Perl are integrated with a concurrent engine like V8. Go, Javascript/Typescript are. It allows multiple IO ops (disk, network) to run in pseudo parallel. When you don't actually need a another thread, but you do want to run to run the I/O in parallel, it a great solution.

          2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

            Re: FFS

            Problem is that Python is utterly terrible.

            The un-problem is that Perl is not terrible.

            I have loads of scripts written in Perl that do exactly what I need them to do. I see no need to rework many, many hours of development time to port them to a different language like Python, when they're just fine as they are.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: FFS

              Exactly.

              I've tried to like Python, but for some reason there is always a better language to use for anything that it might be good at. To me (and my needs!), perl is a solution to many problems, whereas Python is a solution looking for a problem.

          3. Plest Bronze badge
            Facepalm

            Re: FFS

            "Problem is that Python is utterly terrible."

            Yeah but those biz/data bods love it to bits so we all have to have a passable understanding of it. Nothing like some data analyst complaing that their Python script was able to fire up 96 connections to their DEV DB just before it collapsed to its knees, but for some reason the prod system limits them to just 2 connections. Hmm now I why would we would limit connections on bog standard user accounts?!

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: FFS

              >Hmm now I why would we would limit connections on bog standard user accounts?!

              Putting arbitrary limits on usage to make up for the fact that their model is entirely broken - the motto of DBAs everywhere

              1. CRConrad

                Re: FFS

                Write better SQL and two connections leaves you with one to spare.

          4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

            Re: FFS

            It depends. Both do great things until you abuse them. For every idiot who has tried to write big apps in Perl shorthand 20 years ago, there's another idiot trying to do fork-joins in Python today.

        2. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: FFS

          Python and Perl have different goals and design philosophies.

          Perl as it is is more useful in many cases than Python: You don't wear down you fingers into stumps writing it, and you don't have to import lots of libraries to perform common tasks. It is the ideal language when your program massages text, files and processes, and is not too complicated to fit into one source file of reasonable size.

          Python is certainly better for larger applications.

          1. Pseudononymous Coward
            Happy

            Re: FFS

            >You don't wear down you fingers into stumps writing it, and you don't have to import lots of libraries to perform common tasks.

            I find this a perplexing argument. How long does it actually take to type ten lines of code into the computer. Or a hundred lines?

            I can type 100 lines of text in a few minutes, but it can take days to produce a 100 line program. I spend many times times longer staring at a typical program and trying to work out why it doesn't work than I do actually typing it into the computer in the first place.

            So whether it takes 10 lines or 20 to do the same job is usually immaterial in the grand scheme of things.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: FFS

              But the nice thing about PERL is that you can type one line of anything and it will do something

              the fun bit comes from working out what it will do

              1. David 132 Silver badge

                Re: FFS

                But the nice thing about PERL is that you can type one line of anything and it will do something

                Let's be honest - the nice thing about Perl is that you can capture a random burst of line noise into your editor, or have a cat walk over your keyboard, and the result will compile and do something.

                :)

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: FFS

            "Python is certainly better (than perl —ed.) for larger applications."

            True. But I'd rather rather code larger applications in C (or even C++ ::spit::).

        3. jake Silver badge

          Re: FFS

          Rumo(u)rs of perl's death have been greatly exagerated.

          Who doesn't comment code in Latin occasionally? Where's the fun in not?

  2. Social Ambulator

    What a Pearl!

    Only in America! Is it Tom Sawyer? Does anyone other than the author have any idea what this is all about? I suppose that’s what happens when a scripting language becomes a religion. I guess it has all been precipitated because many of the acolytes have converted to Python. Snakes alive!

  3. colinb
    Coat

    Perl's CoC caught in CAT flap

    Well someone had to...

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Perl's CoC caught in CAT flap

      L------------>

  4. Zarno Silver badge
    FAIL

    Lack of originality in curse words.

    Maybe I'm a bit old, but I saw the language and handle the one sanctioned person used in that tweet, and instantly thought "I wouldn't want to work with that one..."

    Why would you casually drop such overused swears online where anyone can see them?

    It's embarrassing.

    At least bring up some fun and imaginative stuff, like "I really wombatulated the koala when I upset...".

    There's also something supremely satisfying in telling someone to extract their dome from their cloaca, instead of using the tired old alternative.

    I'm already coding in a lawn chair out on the shop floor, now I just need a digital lawn to tell people to get off of.

    1. Zarno Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Lack of originality in curse words.

      Note to self, jokes about using creative language need the joke icon.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Lack of originality in curse words.

      >I'm already coding in a lawn chair

      Is that a euphemism for doing something inappropriate with a fried fish ?

      1. Zarno Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Lack of originality in curse words.

        Well, more like it's a folding canvas camping chair, not a lawn chair.

        Comfier than the hard plastic one, and more ergonomic than a half-padded wheelie chair that puts me at the wrong height under the card table.

        1. CRConrad

          Re: Chairs

          I have an old armchair on the balcony, that I literally found outdoors Idunno, ten years ago or so. Monitor on one of those high kitchen "bar" stools in front of it, laptop leaning against the legs of the stool, mouse on another lower stool beside me, and wireless keyboard in my lap.

          Alas, come autumn I'll have to move my workplace in to the dinner table again.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Lack of originality in curse words.

      Yeah, I do wonder about people who use the f and c words habitually....what do they say when they're really annoyed? Because I don't think "double plus fuck" quite carries the gist of it.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Lack of originality in curse words.

        Yeah, I do wonder about people who use the f and c words habitually....what do they say when they're really annoyed?

        “Belgium”

        “Semprini”

        (That latter is definitely one for the Python community.)

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Lack of originality in curse words.

        "what do they say when they're really annoyed?"

        WeThey don't say anything. They just ... look ... at you.

  5. boblongii

    Who? What?

    I've used Perl nearly every day for 23 years and I've never heard of any of these people outside of this story and the previous items about this story.

    Does a progamming language need a Community Affairs Team? Who elected them? Each other?

    1. Steve Button

      Re: Who? What?

      I really have no clue what this story is about. Someone said some things, which upset some people? But it was on IRC ot Twitter, so outside of the jurisdiction of Community Affairs Team?

      But we can't say what it is they said, you'll have to do your own digging for that?

      Can someone summarise what this is REALLY about? It it Trump? Covid? Trans right? I can bet it's nothing to do with Perl.

      1. boblongii

        Re: Who? What?

        As far as I can make out someone told a joke at some convention about a clever Jew outsmarting a Gentile and a Jewish person took exception to this as a type of reverse racism. Then some harsh words were exchanged and it grew from there.

        And, no, Perl was not involved in any way.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Who? What?

          Can't the PERL community use the same mechanism as the C++ standards committee ?

          Thunder dome: 2 gendered pronouns enter one gendered pronoun leaves

          Or FORTRAN's we have nukes, we make the rules

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Who? What?

            To be fair, us Fortran and COBOL coders not only have the nukes, we also have the seniority, age and experience. Most of us helped write the language the rules were first written and implemented in.

    2. Flywheel Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Who? What?

      Came here to say this, and trying to follow the links leads me nowhere and gives me no clue. Hopefully this won't turn into a rerun of the Stallman Thing.

  6. jake Silver badge

    Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

    "Even if imperfect," McVey said, "it is important to have some kind of Charter to work with!"

    Paraphrasing: "Something needs to be done, and this is something! We must do it! If you refuse, I shall hold my breath until I turn blue, and then I shall make myself sick!"

    During the meanwhile, my Daughter and I have continued reporting the odd bug, and sometimes submitting patches, and generally helping to keep perl going without petty office politics and drama-queens getting under foot. Isn't that kind of the point?

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

      You obviously do not understand. The only code that apparently matters nowadays is that of conduct…

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

        Not to us actual developers. This is a meritocracy where literacy in perl should take precedence. Nobody gives a shit if you're male, female or GLB<+/-57>T, nor if you're a Yank, a Limey or other, or even if you're conservative, liberal, or normal. Or carnivore, omnivore or vegan. We don't even care if you listen to ABBA on purpose! None of that matters here, so keep it out of the conversation.

        What we are here for, and interested in, is perl. If you can code, great! If not, you can write documentation or proofread the work of others (there are other things that always need doing in any FOSS project ... ask). Ignore the personality conflicts (and those who invent them) and just get on with it. There is always something to do in the perl community. (Funny, I was saying the same thing about vi and EMACS 40-odd years ago. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ... ).

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

          As long as we can style persecute those who use tabs in Python

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

            Well, that goes without saying.

            As one of the GreatOnes once said: "NO FEEELTHY TABS!!!".

        2. keithpeter Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

          I get the impression that a lot of these incidents happen during international conferences. Mix a fairly large number of people from very different countries/social contexts &c together and add late nights and possibly alcohol.

          The obvious solution is just not to have as many international conferences. Saves money as well.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Dont go away mad, don't go away sad. just go away.

            "add late nights and possibly alcohol"

            And jet lag. Don't forget the jet lag.

            Better idea: Arrive a day early and don't forget the melatonin.

  7. ForthIsNotDead
    Flame

    Software Communism

    <rant>FFS. These ass-hats really piss me off.

    "...and is not prioritizing the safety of the community.". Safety of the community? From what? You are building a language interpreter, not a nuclear reactor.

    "...this was about multiple structural process and community outreach failures". Community outreach? Are they building shelters for the homeless, or building a fucking programming language?

    I'm absolutely sick of this shit. It's 100% the reason why I refuse to get involved with any open source software. Not that I'd be welcome anyway, because I refuse to pander to this woke, communist duma-style 'committee led' wankery. Just write your fucking software. If someone behaves like a jerk, then the developers themselves can tell that person they are a fucking jerk and ostracise them if need be. What you *don't* need, is a self-appointed police committee, deciding what the 'law' should be (all in the interests of keeping everybody 'safe' of course), and then setting out to police that law no matter what, examining every communication on the group list, admonishing people for using improper pronouns and non-inclusive or inappropriate language, such as "master" and "slave", then getting together 'in-camera, in committee' to decide what the 'sentence' should be. It's communist-style politicisation of software development, and I refuse to have anything to do with it. I'd rather clean windows (glass windows) for a living.

    Here's a suggestion: Instead of forming code-of-conduct 'contracts' and assembling inquisition committees to denounce fellow developers that refuse to conform to your 'safe' community fantasy, WHY DON'T YOU TRY WRITING SOME FUCKING SOFTWARE?

    When are the developers going to grow some balls and tell these interfering communists to fuck off? Seriously.

    </rant>

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Software Communism

      Jake is that you?

      1. ForthIsNotDead
        Happy

        Re: Software Communism

        No I am not Jake, but have an upvote anyway for raising a smile and lowering my blood pressure a little!

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Software Communism

        Absolutely not.

        I always post as jake, except in a couple of cases where one of the cats seems to have managed to tick the "post anonymously" box for me. And even then, where it has mattered I have posted a follow-up laying claim to that post. (Note that "Jake" is one of several entities that have come and gone here on ElReg, I am none of them.)

        MeDearOldMum didn't raise no nameless, faceless blobs of grey goo.

    2. Steve Button

      Re: Software Communism

      Ahhh, that made me smile. Top rant. And kinda true really.

    3. Steve Button

      Re: Software Communism

      I vote we should bring back Flame Of The Week, and this should be the first entry.

    4. Richard Crossley

      Re: Software Communism

      Upd vote for rant tag.

      Thanks for making me smile after a hard day at the mill.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Software Communism

      Man alive you really don't like the left do you!

      Agree the general tone of the rant though, let developers get on with the business of writing software. If someone is rude or abusive to others, tell them to shut the hell up with their crap no one needs or wants to hear else they get out, that's all that's needed.

      1. Draco
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Software Communism

        It's not about the Left (or the Right), it's about "are you adding value to the product or service or are you rearranging the furniture?" Just because you're "doing something", doesn't mean it is useful, relevant, or, even, the right thing to be doing.

    6. jason_derp Silver badge

      Re: Software Communism

      "Not that I'd be welcome anyway, because I refuse to pander to this woke, communist duma-style 'committee led' wankery."

      Definitely the reason you wouldn't be welcome.

    7. jake Silver badge

      Re: Software Communism

      "WHY DON'T YOU TRY WRITING SOME FUCKING SOFTWARE?"

      Those who can, code (or write documentation, run an email list, etc.).

      Those who can't, try to administrate. Usually quite poorly.

      FOSS projects are by their very nature a meritocracy. Either contribute to the project in a useful mannor or get the fuck out of the way so the rest of us can. Quite honestly, we don't need your self-serving governance. Go away and stay away. Thank you.

      1. ForthIsNotDead
        Pint

        Re: Software Communism

        I wish I could up-vote you more than once - instead - have a beer!

  8. Paul Smith

    Is that still a thing?

    I remember Perl. I remember once patting myself on the back and thinking just how clever I was for coming up with a really cool solution to a nasty little problem. Unfortunately, when I went back to it about six months later it looked like a puppy had puked in my editor. I had no clue what it did or how so I had to start again from scratch. I don't think I have actively used Perl in the last decade or two. It had a good life, now it is time to let it die with dignity.

    1. Steve Button

      Re: Is that still a thing?

      Yes, Perl does make it easy to write ugly code... but you can do that in most languages, it just takes a little more effort. You can also write concise and readable code, if you so choose.

      I've also not used it in over 10 years, but would be happy to if a project came along. Although, I'd be happier with Python or Go because... well future prospects really.

    2. ForthIsNotDead

      Re: Is that still a thing?

      In the Forth world, we call it 'read only' code. It makes sense when you're in the moment, at the keyboard developing and tweaking the code, but even a week later it's impenetrable gobbledygook!

      It's normally a sign that the code needs to be re-factored. :-)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Is that still a thing?

        It's usually a sign that the coder needs to learn to comment.

        /* abundans cautela non nocet */

        1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
          Pint

          Re: Is that still a thing?

          Have TWO of these for that :-)

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