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Monday October 07, 2002
03:13 PM

Apache::Pod

[ #8226 ]

Andy Lester has been working on a lot of POD stuff lately. Sean Burke has been writing most of the POD thingys and has cleaned up the POD specifications. Andy's working on the L<> stuff.

Along the way Andy came up with Apache::Pod. He also has Apache::HTML::Lint, and he has been moving his team away from PHP and towards mod_perl for the past year or so. As he makes cool things at work, cool things show up on CPAN.

Although I do not get as annoyed with the man command as Tom Christiansen does---he wrote perlman to fix that---I do tend to look at documentation on search.cpan.org. My web browser is much more pleasing than a terminal and has better searching capabilities. Many people have tried to convince me that various pagers can do better than more, but I do not have those, and I use a web browser anyway. Mozilla's Tab feature makes "window" management simple, so I can easily switch between Google and search.cpan.org without wondering which window went where.

Apache::Pod builds on habits I already have. Since I use Mac OS X, I already have apache compiled with mod_perl. I am already most of the way to reading local documentation in my web browser. Once I install Apache::Pod and add a simple configuration section to apache's configuration file, things just work. Since everything is on my local machine, the documentation appears right away.

Not only that, but I recently figured out, which probably brings me into the middle 1990s for browser technology, that I can easily reload module documentation from the browser's history. If I just looked at the documentation I probably need to look at it again when I completely mess up what I thought I was supposed to do.

Apache::Pod does not depend on pod2html, a horribly inflexible program that did what it did and nothing more without some serious parser hacking. If I decide to tweak Apache::Pod, I should not have a huge headache. :)