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.