[Perldl] PDL3 Summer release plans status and update

Chris Marshall devel.chm.01 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 12 04:09:42 HST 2013

Short Version:

PDL3 off the table for this summer and the August release will be
another PDL-2.x release probably in September primarily featuring
64bit index support.

Long Version:

It was overly optimistic to assume that even a start at changing
the PDL types system could be done in a few months.  There
is a lot of interlocking configuration and build code together with
poorly documented assumptions that need to be sorted out to
add modern type support to PDL.

To that end, it makes sense to have another PDL-2.x release
which adds some capability (64bit index support) but also
includes more code clean-up, documentation, and bug fixes
which will make a better platform for the PDL3 work.

Another goal for PDL development going forward is to move
to a less monolithic approach.  Work on the main PDL
distribution is handicapped by the large number of components,
many external dependencies, and tricky configuration.

With the work in the PDL-2.4.x sequence of releases we've
largely gotten PDL to build on all the standard perl platforms but
it is still far from 1-click everywhere.  Work is underway to
update the Alien module manifesto to better support the
"difficult" platforms and it is hoped that we can replace the
many lines of Makefile.PL code devoted to detection an
configuration of external programs and libraries by the simpler
"use Alien::XXX" where XXX is one of the many external libraries
that PDL uses.  See the DEPENDENCIES file for the list.

A possible outcome of the use of Alien modules rather than
our own hand-rolled code is that splitting out parts of the
PDL main distribution into stand-alone CPAN modules
should be simplified since the configuration and detection
code (the hard part) wouldn't change and the rest of the
code would be more modular and robust.

Take a look at the current list of PDL bugs and feature requests
at our sf.net trackers to see things that are of interest for a
coming release (if any strike your fancy, please offer to help!)

Thanks much,

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