[Israel.pm] Perl version migration

Offer Kaye oferk at oren.co.il
Sun May 2 11:03:38 PDT 2004

> No, not at all. Why should disaster occur if the environment hasn't
> changed since the scripts last ran? Deliberately changing the Perl
> version, on the other hand, is an invitation for disaster. Especially
> when certain scripts run only occasionally - if they fail, who's going
> to know if they fail due to the version of Perl or the phase of the moon?

To (perhaps) finish off this thread Jason, I think you are making a mountain
out of a mouse. Either Perl is a mainstream activity for some people in your
company, in which case they should easily handle a perl5.004 to perl5.8.0
transition, or it is only an occasional tool, in which case your perl usage
is probably simple and not likely to break. Either your scripts use XS based
modules, in which case they will break - and not silently either, believe me
:) or they will continue functioning as before (maybe a bit faster :)).
Features have been *added*, not removed. Using a more advanced Perl version
will simply make these features available for new scripts, not break
existing scripts.
I'm not saying that a particularly badly written script can't break if it
depended on some obscure/un-documented feature of the language, but by your
own admission, the people who write the scripts in your company are
engineers, not full-time Perl programmers. How complex can these scripts be?

Keeping the older Perl version available will keep you out of hot water. If
the first time a script is run the engineer sees it breaks, doesn't compile
or reports the wrong phase of the moon, he can always change the shebang
line back to the 5.004 binary and re-run.

Sooner or later you *will* change your OS and perl version, if only because
of a hardware upgrade, which will entail a change say from expensive *nix
HW+OS to cheap (but increadibly fast) x86+Linux based workstations. So you
might as well start transitioning your Perl scripts earlier, rather than

Finally, a word from personal experience- like you, I work for a
semiconductor company. We also needed/wanted to start using perl 5.6.1 and
later 5.8.0. We were also a little afraid. But since perl usage here is
quite simple (as I suspect it is at your company), guess what- not even a
single script broke. Surprise surprise... :-) We have a lot more problems
with Design Compiler upgrades, believe me... ;-)

Offer Kaye

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