Still using perl 5.6.x?

For the upcoming release of Apache SpamAssassin, we’re considering dropping support for perl 5.6.x interpreters. Perl 5.6.0 is 9 years old, and the most recent maintainance release, 5.6.2, dates back to November 2003. The current 5.x release branch is 5.10, so we’re still sticking with a “support the release branch before the current one” policy this way.

If you’re still using one of the 5.6.x versions, or know of a (relatively recent) distro that does, please reply to highlight this….

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5 Comments

  1. ben
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 12:10 | Permalink

    I’m waiting for Perl 6. (starts holding breath ….)

  2. Posted June 25, 2009 at 15:14 | Permalink

    Perl 5.8 has been in RH since RH9/RHEL3 and Debian since sarge (or before). CPAN Testers shows only a handful of 5.6 installs, mostly from 2008 or a single s390 system.

    People installing Mail::SpamAssassin on a distro released in the last 5 or so years shouldn’t be on 5.8, based on that data.

  3. Posted June 28, 2009 at 09:12 | Permalink

    As for cpantesters, AFAIK results on 5.6.2 are only from automatic testing, not installation.

  4. Posted June 29, 2009 at 16:04 | Permalink

    The things that CPAN Testers reports will underreport 5.6 anyway, since people with such machines won’t be bothered installing CPAN::Reporter.

    The typical profile I’ve seen in the past for 5.5/5.6 machines are big, old, things at the core of companies that simply never get major upgrades, because they are too important to turn off.

    The few I’ve seen were old IRIX machines.

    I think it’s reasonably likely to hold true generally. VMS, S390, IRIX, HPUX, all of these big expensive boxes are where 5.6 is likely to be hiding (maybe some old Win32 ActivePerl stuff).

    It’s not unreasonable that some of these might run SpamAssasin, but since spam fighting is a fast-moving area, I think it’s fairly reasonable to make the change to 5.8.

    There’s probably going to be some pain for some people, but if in exchange they get some New Shiny toys, I would guess it might be ok.

  5. Posted June 29, 2009 at 16:22 | Permalink

    ‘The things that CPAN Testers reports will underreport 5.6 anyway, since people with such machines won’t be bothered installing CPAN::Reporter.’

    yep, true.

    there were a few BSD distros that still had 5.6 at least a year or so ago, and I was hoping to flush those guys out. from the resounding silence, though, I think they may have moved to 5.8.x by now.

    thanks for the feedback guys!