25 Years of Perl

David H. Adler dha at panix.com
Tue Nov 20 01:12:46 GMT 2012

On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 05:29:29PM +0000, Dave Cross wrote:
> At the LPW on Saturday I'm giving a talk entitled "25 Years of Perl".
> I have the structure of the talk, and I have worked out most of the
> things that I want to cover. But I wanted to make sure that I didn't
> miss anything important.
> So I thought I'd turn to the london.pm hivemind. What parts of
> Perl's history do you think are important. I'm particularly
> interested in two areas.
> 1/ Technical
> What CPAN modules deserve to be mentioned as part of Perl's history?
> Which Perl infrastructure projects are (or were) important? Are
> there any other technical things that need to be covered?

You're going to cover the Acme:: namespace, of course? [insert evil grin

> 2/ Community
> What community initiatives should I cover? Can I mention TPI without
> giving some people nightmares? How much detail can I cover about
> Perl Mongers? Which conferences deserve a mention? Does anyone
> remember how and when YAS became TPF?

If memory serves, YAS didn't "become" TPF. They were separate entities,
as was Perl Mongers. At a certain point, Kevin decided he didn't want to
run YAS anymore and brian decided not to run Perl Mongers anymore (they
both had other stuff that was taking up their time). As a result, they
were both absorbed into TPF. Wikipedia says PM became part of TPF in
2000, but that feels too early to me. You should probably check further
for a real date. brian might know.

Although it only goes up to 2002, the Perl Timeline (Elaine's work, iirc) at
http://history.perl.org would probably be of some use to you. A lot of
links there, too, including Jon Orwant's interview with Perl.com about
the demise of TPI (sadly, not including his statement "He was from the
planet Blobnar"). In other news, the entire first page of google results
for "blobnar orwant" is the result of my sigfile.

More seriously, though, I think TPI is probably worth including, but I
wouldn't dwell on it.

As far as detail on PM, what are you thinking of including. Unless
you're referencing something from a non-public list, I can't imagine
there's much that would be a problem.

> It's slightly unfortunate that I've only been involved with Perl for
> about 60% of its lifetime. So anything you can share from the first
> ten years or so of Perl's existence would be *really* appreciated.

A glance at the timeline jogs my memory enough to indicate the people
who would know about this would be Larry, Tom, Randal, Jon Orwant,
Jarkko, Andreas. Unfortunately, I popped in right about at the 10 year
mark myself, so I don't think I have much to offer there.

If there's anything you think I might know that would be of help, feel
free to let me know. I certainly should be able to give you a good deal
of info on PM and the White Camels.


David H. Adler - <dha at panix.com> - http://www.panix.com/~dha/
"When the bug expands, I contract.  When it contracts, I expand.  And
when an opportunity appears, I do not fix the bug -- my keyboard does
it, on its own."	- Chip Salzenberg

More information about the london.pm mailing list