Perl on Rails – Why the BBC Fails at the Internet

Almost unbelievable story about the BBC’s backwater web infrastructure, which they outsourced to Siemens:

The BBC’s infrastructure is shockingly outdated, having changed only by fractions over the past decade. […] The front-end servers proxy to the application layer, which is a handful of Solaris machines running Perl 5.6 — a language that was superseded with the release of Perl 5.8 over five and a half years ago. Part of the reason for this is the bizarre insistence that any native modules or anything that can call code of any kind must be removed from the standard libraries and replaced with a neutered version of that library by a Siemens engineer.

Yes, that’s right, Siemens forks Perl to remove features that their engineers don’t like.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007