The other day, the fine folks at Hiveminder announced his new site, made with Perl, using Jifty (http://use.perl.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/08/0249201).
I thought, let's have a look, and went to go for Jifty. It looks really cool! Maybe even as cool as Catalyst looks, yeah.
Holy cow! After three days fighting with CPAN modules, dependencies, failed tests, etc, I have given up.
It probably has to do with the packaging system of my GNU/Linux box and CPAN, which don't go along very well (I mean, there's a difference between doing aptitude install libtest-pod-perl and perl -MCPAN -e 'install Test::Pod', for example). The difference is that in the first case, apt is dealing with dependencies, paths, etc; in the former, it's CPAN, and they don't think the same way.
This is, of course, very frustrating. I had the same experience with Catalyst, and I also gave up (that's why I said that Jifty looks as cool as Catalyst looks, because I haven't been able to try none of them!
My rant is that these framworks are cool, and use a host of standard modules (in the CPAN sense) but they should be available 'batteries included'. I mean: you should not be so fragile as to be useless without all CPAN at hand.
I work behind a firewall, and CPAN access is, let's say, unconvenient. This may be the best of both worlds way of doing this: you offer the option of downloading a tarball with everything that's needed to get the framework going on, and then Makefile.PL (or Makefile, or another program) checks which of the CPAN packages it has downloaded within the tarball it really needs to install on the system.
This is the best of both worlds: I can make a Debian package from the tarball (carefully defining dependencies and so) and use apt to install the packages I am missing (so my system has track of paths, versions, and dependencies) or use CPAN from the local repository.
But I was not offer such a thing. Either it's available on debian packages or in CPAN tarballs, but I have to go fetching dependencies, and some fail (because I have something the way that package doesn't like) and I'm screwed.
So, what possibilities are there to simplify all these complexity so huge frameworks don't need a fresh system (maybe even compiled from the sources) to live happily in production boxes?
Will CPANPLUS solve this? Because if Perl 6 won't be able to benefit from CPAN easily (and I cannot, always, benefit from it by using Perl 5!) then neither Perl 6 nor these frameworks will have an easy path to success in the real world. Specially the web frameworks, with Ruby on Rails, Django, webpy, and all the Java frameworks out there...
(enough ranting, back to work)