[Israel.pm] Perl Graphics - GD.pm

Offer Kaye oferk at oren.co.il
Thu Apr 8 04:52:15 PDT 2004

> >2. Upgrade your Perl
> I would love to get the Sys Admin. guys to do this. The first
> question that
> my manager will ask me is:
> "Are you really sure that our legacy Perl code will continue to run
> correctly on this new version of Perl?"
> I think that there must be backward compatibility - at least
> within Perl 5,
> right?

No, there isn't any such compatibility. Your code may break if you upgrade
your version of perl, and you'll get to keep all the pieces :)
Check the various "perldelta" POD pages in the perldoc.com site for the
changes between Perl versions.

Having said that, it is almost certain that _most_ of your code will run
without change. Only XS based modules are sure to break (you'll have to
update/recompile them), as will code based on buggy/non-supported behaviour
(for example if you expect "keys %hash" to return the keys in a certain
Finally, don't forget that you can always try out a newer perl version while
still keeping the old one, just make sure you don't install the newer perl
over the existing perl. That way you can always go back if the newer version
doesn't work out for you.

> Also - which version of Perl do you recommend we should upgrade to?


> Thirdly, I need to give some sound reasons - is there a Perl
> advocacy page
> somewhere which has the advantages of upgrading within Perl 5?
> Thanks,
> Srikanth Madani

Not that I know of, but you can read this guy's account of why/how he
If I had to answer such a question ("why upgrade?"), I would concentrate on
three areas:
1. Bugs fixed -
upgrading means getting rid of bugs which were fixed in the newer version,
which means developers will spend less time debugging the tool and more time
being productive. This is usually more of an issue in modules rather than in
the core Perl, but even there some bugs have been fixed.

2. Enhanced features -
Faster functions/modules, some with a very different/improved implementation
(e.g. sort) - need I say more?

3. New features -
This is, to me, the best reason to upgrade- there are *loads* more modules
in the core 5.8.0 perl compared to the 5.005 perl, so you can get *much*
more done without having to install a new module. Of course existing modules
as well as perl itself have new features, so for example if you want good
thread or Unicode support you really have every reason in the world to
upgrade. Additional language features such as being able to write:
	print for @array;
are also a big plus in my mind.

Offer Kaye

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