Updated: Visualizing Perl 5 release history

Today marks the release of Perl 5.16.2.

I've updated my Perl 5 release history chart to reflect this and other recent releases, as well as the forthcoming 5.12.5 security release (expected in November) and next year's 5.18.0. The 5.12.5 release will be notable for falling outside the regular support window, but within the security support window -- for the first time since the new annual release cycle was announced.

Perl Release History

In a previous post, "Visualizing the Perl 5 Support Policy", I said that the support policy sets clear expectations for support and that Perl 5 releases had not been so regular since the 5.8 series.

At the time, though, only Perl 5.12 had seen several releases, and 5.14 just a couple. Now, we can see three Perls under the new policy, 5.12, 5.14, and 5.16. Never before in Perl's history have we seen such consistency in the development and release of new versions.

Under the new policy, bug fixes are available faster and fewer changes between releases means there is lower migration risk. This is excellent news for the future of Perl.

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  1. Peter Rabbitson
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Just a thing to consider: if you add just 2 more years on the left, you can plot the entire history of perl5, from its beginnign in Oct 1994.

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I looked at that, but perlhist is pretty confusing as to what would be comparable to show. Perl 5.4 is the place where the idea of a "maintenance track" appears. Adding everything prior doesn't add a lot of useful data. FWIW, it would look like this (with less attention to formatting): Full Perl 5 Release History (rough draft).

  2. Peter Rabbitson
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    You are right, that doesn't look that good. However there seems to be more data in the actual git repo: http://perl5.git.perl.org/perl.git/tags


    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      perlhist has the "versions" and dates -- but what do they mean? 5.003 was a "security release". But were 5.003_XX stable? Or dev towards 5.004? I don't care enough about that ancient history to do the research. If someone does and can send me the stable release dates prior to 5.004, I'd be happy to include it.

  3. Andrew
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    There's 5.005_04, right in the middle of the 5.8 series. And it seems like some people were even talking about 5.005_05, to be released around the same time as 5.8.9. 5.005 certainly was... I guess "venerable" is the word.