The Perl Foundation is fragmenting over Code of Conduct enforcement

One of the Perl programming language's best-loved nicknames is "the Swiss Army chainsaw." The nickname also seems unfortunately applicable to Perl's recent community discourse.

Enlarge / One of the Perl programming language's best-loved nicknames is "the Swiss Army chainsaw." The nickname also seems unfortunately applicable to Perl's recent community discourse. (credit: Coffeatus via Getty Images)

The Perl community is in a shambles due to disputes concerning its (nonexistent) Code of Conduct, its (inconsistent) enforcement of community standards, and an inability to agree on what constitutes toxicity or a proper response to it.

At least five extremely senior Perl community members have resigned from their positions and/or withdrew from working on Perl itself so far in 2021:

  • Community Affairs Team (CAT) chair Samantha McVey
  • The Perl Foundation (TPF) Board of Directors member Curtis Poe (author of Beginning Perl and Perl Hacks)
  • TPF Grant Committee member Elizabeth Mattijsen
  • TPF Perl Steering Committee member, key Perl Core developer, and former pumpking Sawyer X
  • Perl developer and SUSE engineer Sebastian Riedel

It's difficult to impossible to pin down the current infighting to a single core incident. With that said, the rash of resignations revolves entirely around problems with unprofessional conduct—and in most cases, a focus on interminable yak-shaving that does little or nothing to address the actual problems at hand.

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