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Re: RFC: Bump minimum Perl to 5.18.0 for next major release of both Auto

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: RFC: Bump minimum Perl to 5.18.0 for next major release of both Autoconf and Automake
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2021 13:08:11 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.6.1

On 1/29/21 12:03 PM, Zack Weinberg wrote:

Perl 5.18.0 was released in May 2013.  (Perl 5.6.0 was released in
March 2000.)  I selected it as the minimum because the Perl
maintainers recommend all users of older interpreters upgrade to at
least this version, due to security fixes (see --
inputs to Autoconf and Automake are trusted, but this rationale means
it's hard to find a CI platform that offers anything older than 5.18,

This seems pretty conclusive.

The laggards in this area are the old, stable software distros like Red Hat. For example, although RHEL 7.7 (supported through August) still ships with Perl 5.16.3 (with patches), Red Hat ships and supports Perl 5.30.1 for this platform as part of the Red Hat Software Collections. I would hope for something similar among the other distros.

An extreme case of this would be Solaris 10, still shipping perl 5.8.4 (2004) with patches, and still supported by Oracle until January 2024. But anyone who wants to build on this old platform already needs to bring in recent-enough GNU m4, so adding Perl to the list shouldn't faze them much.

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