FAQ

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:06 AM, Peter Rabbitson wrote:

Copying a rhetorical question from #distzilla here, as it warrants a wider
audience. The background is yet another discussion of a kludgy workaround
where an installation with an older JSON parser is tripped by unicode in
META.json. Unicode that doesn't really serve any purpose for an installing
client.
The point of META is to describe distributions. The original META spec
includes author name information. Names require international character
sets. Other textual information (such as abstracts) could also contain
international characters. The META 2 spec was specific about this in a way
that the Meta 1.x specs were not. Because the primary purpose of META is
to provide metadata, Unicode is essential to do that job correctly in a way
that doesn't discriminate against non-English cultures.

The more interesting question is "why are we using META for installation"
-- and that we should split in two:

(1) Why are we using META.* for installation?
(2) Why are we using MYMETA.* for installation?

We're using (1) because it was already there and was (theoretically)
statically parsable to determine configure_requires. We're using (2)
because it was convenient to follow an already known format from (1) rather
than build yet another standard.

If the problem with Unicode on certain Perls is with META, there's not much
to be done at this point. Remember the days when users were constantly
told "upgrade your M::B" or "upgrade your EU::MM" to fix various
installation problems? It was a regular thing (and one of the things
people hated about MB). Now, in relatively rare circumstances (and I think
only on older Perls), someone has to upgrade their JSON parser. I can live
with that.

If the problem is with MYMETA, I have no problem having MYMETA strip out
everything but absolutely essential fields – but then affected users have
to upgrade their EU::MM/M::B, which is no better than having them upgrade
their JSON parser, so I don't think it's worth the effort to do so.

David


--
David Golden <xdg@xdg.me> Twitter/IRC/Github: @xdg

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