OK, I have finally managed to install Catalyst.
It's been kind of nightmarish, and I will recall in this post the whole process, so we have enough background to back up our musings and conclusions.
First, as I have commented before on this journal, CPAN and Ubuntu packaging (apt) don't like each other very much. I guess it would take some tinckering of perl packages so the post-scripts update the perllocal.pod file or something like that, at least for every package installed. Using `dh-make-perl' won't do unless someone finds a way to debianizing all the accompanying dependencies found by CPAN-pm in the process; otherwise it becomes too cumbersome.
Following advice, I've made a parallel Perl installation, version 5.8.8 from scratch. Compiling and installing was easy, then came the surprise: LWP was not installed, and CPAN.pm wouldn't deal with my authenticating proxy (!!!). It kept dropping my proxy_user and proxy_pass variables, and not doing what I supposed it had to do. As we have to put our realm when authenticating against the proxy (username@realm) if furthers confuses some tools parsers when dealing with the http://username@realm:password@server:port/; which is frustrating.
Finally, using privoxy on my local machine so it would provide user and password to the real proxy, I managed to confugure curl to move through the whole process, and then some waiting until CPAN managed to get the files, etc.
Using the cat-install script was certainly painless, I simply had to install by hand a couple of modules I wasn't able to automatically download because they were blocked by my local proxy (argh!), and then installing Catalyst::Devel was simple enough as well.
In the end I only had to install some 234 CPAN packages, and it was working. As an aside I think it's a big bunch of packages, really. I still think a batteries-included Catalyst distribution with all those packages nicely tarballed so you only install those still missing on the system would be a nice idea.
Now I have a Test application available in my local port 3000, and I'll be toying around for a while until I get the gist of it. I'll probably rant about it on this blog, anyway...
In the meantime, the Revision 6 (almost!) of the Scheme Report (R6RS, at http://www.r6rs.org) has hit the stores, with lots of nice things to ponder about and to drool a bit... Go and check it by yourself!