Perl and IPv6. It's alright now.

Duncan Garland duncan.garland at
Sun Apr 17 14:02:59 BST 2011



I was half-involved in a discussion about IPv6 on Friday. One of my
colleagues had come across something that suggested that IPv6 may become
critical sooner than we thought. As a result our development manager emailed
him a strategy document he had written. It didn't concern me directly so I
didn't ask for a copy.


The next thing I knew was that they were discussing porting some of our code
from Perl to Python in order to get better IPv6 support. I chipped in that I
couldn't believe that Perl had poor IPv6 support and that I thought any
areas of weakness would be fixed in a jiffy. This provoked some good-natured
banter about me being an old man championing a ***** language. I let the
matter drop.


However, the conversation bothered me. A ***** language? God, these ideas
are hard to shift once they get hold! We don't want the idea that Perl's
networking is flawed to get a grip.


I spent an hour googling perl and IPv6.


It's clear that there was a problem two or three years ago and that the
community's response was apathetic. As a result the language of those trying
to highlight the issue became more emotive and now phrases such as "Perl is
harmful" and "The bad state of IPv6 in Perl" leap out at you when you google
the subject.


I think some wheels were turning in the background. In the middle of last
year one of the people who had been highlighting the problems, Steffan,
filed it as a bug with p5p. He lists a number of tasks as completed (several
by him) and a number more as outstanding. There are half a dozen
constructive replies and then it goes quiet.


That was nine months ago.


What's the situation now? Anybody doing a high-level search on the subject
is going to get the impression that Perl is "harmful". It's clear that this
is an exaggeration, but it's not clear whether or not the problem has been


Does anybody have a high-level summary of the current situation? Would
anybody like to write one? I don't think I'm the right person. I don't know
if it's alright now or not.


All the best.







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