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From David Stewart <>
Subject Re: decline and fall of modperl?
Date Fri, 27 Mar 2009 22:39:08 GMT
On Mar 27, 2009, at 5:08 PM, Joe Schaefer wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: Octavian R√Ęsnita <>
>> To: modperl <>
>> Sent: Friday, March 27, 2009 5:26:43 PM
>> Subject: Re: decline and fall of modperl?
>> From: "Joe Schaefer"
>>> The original message that started this thread was:
>>> """
>>>> One of our customers is doing a detailed review of a mason/ 
>>>> modperl ERP > app
>>> we've built for them since 2001. Prodded by some
>>>> buzzword-compliant consultants they are expressing concerns that  
>>>> the > app's
>>> underlying technologies - perl, modperl and mason - are
>>>> becoming obsolete. They feel that a web application framework  
>>>> must have
>>> 'rails' or some other buzzword in its name.
>>> """
>>> "Consultants" who don't contribute anything to this community  
>>> aren't our
>>> concern- nor should they be.
>> If they are consultants, it means that they contribute. The  
>> contribution is not
>> only made of code and POD documentation or translations, but also  
>> of answers to
>> the questions put by others.
> You're not even in the ballpark.  Consultants are hired and fired  
> based
> on the quality and relevance of the information they provide.  They're
> supposed to make recommendations based on what is in their client's  
> best
> interests.  That's not a contribution to this community nor any other,
> it is a *paid for* service.
> A contribution to a *community* would be to offer gratis advice on a
> mailing list, ostensibly to help the community reach its objectives.
> Nothing I see in this thread looks like a contribution to the mod_perl
> community, sorry.

I'm not really sure why it wouldn't be a good idea to try and educate  
consultants about the value of Perl / mod_perl.  It seems to be  
consultants have a lot of influence over what tools get used for  
projects they work on.  The fact that many don't have much if any  
exposure/knowledge of Perl and mod_perl certainly hurts the Perl  
community.  Discussing the advantages / disadvantages of Perl and  
mod_perl so that we can all help educate the consultants and  
institutions we work with about how mod_perl can benefit certain  
projects seems like a rather important task.

>>> Of course this question should be answered with language  
>>> comparisons,
>>> Hardly.  What matters is the quality of the software and whether  
>>> or not
>>> it meets the customer's needs.  There's nothing wrong with  
>>> recommending
>>> the "right" tool for the job, even if the "right" tool isn't  
>>> implemented
>>> in perl.
>> The question wasn't about the quality of perl, but the poster  
>> wanted to know if
>> Perl/Mason/mod_perl are obsolete.
>> A language could be very good but obsolete because there are other  
>> better tools,
>> or because other tools are prefered even if they are not so good,  
>> and it could
>> be easier to find programmers that use those new tools.
>>> and of course that those answers should be based on our opinions and
>> experience,
>>> because if there would be very scientific studies that show which  
>>> of the
>>> languages are modern and which are obsolete, which are good and  
>>> which are bad,
>>> it could be very simple to find the sites with those scientific  
>>> studies using
>>> Google and it wouldn't need to be asked on a mailing list.
>>> Here is a good article written by Ovid - "Perl 5 is dying":
>>> We should also remember that somebody discovered that perl 5 is  
>>> dying 9 years
>>> ago, and this was the thing that created the idea of perl 6, that  
>>> should be
>>> totally different.
>>> Languages don't die, they aren't people.  People will continue to  
>>> use
>>> perl5 for the forseeable future, even after perl 6 is finally  
>>> released.
>> "Die" is just an expression that wants to tell that the language is  
>> not used by
>> more and more programmers, but by fewer.
> Usage statistics are irrelevent to the vitality of a language.   
> What's relevant
> to the perl community is something like how many module maintainers  
> have abandoned
> their codebases.  Do you have any information about how many modules  
> are on
> CPAN that are no longer supported?  And to bring it back to  
> mod_perl, how many
> of those are Apache modules?

It's hard to argue that Latin is on the same footing as English when  
Latin is only spoken by a tiny handful of people even though it has a  
lot of great history.  Technology, like language, generally lives and  
dies by its user-base.  Usage is also directly related to developer  
enthusiasm in most cases.  A developer isn't going to want to spend  
time maintaining a module if no one is using it.  It's a lot easier to  
justify spending weeks or months getting a module ready for CPAN if  
you have some reasonable expectation that a lot of people are going to  
benefit from it.

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