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Alias (5735)

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Journal of Alias (5735)

Monday July 28, 2008
06:48 PM

ActiveState finally starting to lift it's game

[ #37036 ]

It's reasonably to say that I expected my OSCON Strawberry Perl talk to be somewhat incendiary.

I also had hoped that (like last time with the PPI talk) a number of ActiveState people would be in the audience, so that we could talk about these issues directly.

But alas, other than one person I'm aware of working on the FOSSCoach booth, as far as I can tell ActiveState didn't show up at OSCON. (I could be wrong, but I would imagine if they were there, they'd be at my talk)

They have, at least, responded to some of the commentary generated by the talk atform-equality/

Although this could easily descend into a Chinese whispers argument here, it's worth pointing out a few clarifications.

For a talk, I think it's reasonable to sum up the status of modules as "they don't work". Yes, technically they DO "work" on ActivePerl, in the sense that you can install ActivePerl, then completely ignore the method they provide for installing modules, set up your own compiler and make, configure CPAN yourself, and then do the install directly, running the tests, and then once installed the code will "work".

Or you can ignore the server they provide for installing PPM packages, and use somebody elses. Or you can ignore repository clients and download the tarballs by hand and build them yourself. And so on, and so forth...

But it's my position that once you provide an installation channel as the default way to install packages, that you judge the distribution based on THAT channel, not on some workaround method.

Similarly the claim that CPAN works on ActivePerl "out the box".

As far as I'm concerned, "out the box" means you can just install the distribution, then start CPAN and type "install Module" and it Just Works.

I don't consider "out the box" to mean installing the distribution, then separately downloading and installing a compiler, configuring it yourself, and installing make, and then configuring CPAN, and THEN starting CPAN and typing "install Module".

All of this leads me to wonder if anyone at ActiveState actually dogfoods their own distribution in an "out of the box" configuration.

Fortunately, at least this situation looks like it may improve, now that they are throwing away the PPM respository and starting again. The Beta does indeed look much better.

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