Google is making a major update to their Adwords API, which requires significant changes to any client language bindings. These are SOAP based bindings. Although there is a a client on CPAN, this module only supports API services up to version 13, which appears to be scheduled for decommissioning on April 22nd. There is a Google developed replacement, which is not on CPAN, but on Google Code. Unfortunately this module, besides being hard to install (doesn't use the standard CPAN toolchain), doesn't support the this new API. In other words, on April 22nd SIGNIFICANT FUNCTIONALITY WILL PERMANENTLY BREAK FOR EVERY PERL APPLICATION USING GOOGLE ADWORDS API.
In the past year I believe the Perl community has made good progress in addressing the gap between how valuable and widely used our language is and how it is perceived by people outside our community. Unfortunately there is clearly still work to be done, given Google's lack of commitment. It is really surprising to have someone at Google recommend migrating away from Perl as a solution to their API change. I guess it points out how much work still needs to be done, but I have to express disappointment that such a kick in the gut is coming from Google, which has in the past been very supportive.
I realize that Google is in business to make money, not contribute free code to CPAN. I should also acknowledge that we, the Perl community, bear some responsibility for the current state of affairs. However as a company that built itself on top of open source technologies and continues to promote itself as a more open alternative to its competitors I cannot see why it is so hard to build SOAP bindings for Perl. Additionally I don't understand why Google seems so adverse to working with the standard Perl toolchain for delivering open source components (ie using CPAN.)
So... Without screaming about how we should boycott Google, start using Bing and close all our gmail accounts, how can we as a community address this problem? What would Google like to see happen in the Perl community in order to address this gap? Who out there can help us communicate with Google and work together so that on 22 April 2010 those of us using a dynamic language with the happiest programmers, strong job demand and serious commitment to open source won't be left in the dark on 22 April 2010?
For me a reasonable solution would be a statement from Google expressing parity commitment to Perl equal to other widely used languages. Additionally I would like to see a retraction of the sentiment expressed in the linked message board. That would be a good start toward rebuilding this damaged relationship.