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Journal of rafael (2125)

Tuesday September 28, 2004
04:08 AM

Ovid

[ #21089 ]
(No, this isn't a post about Curtis.)

I just noticed the existence of Ovid, a collection of scripts for recursively converting perl CPAN modules into RPM files, at it advertises itself. This is of interest for people who, like me, maintain a large number of RPMs of Perl modules for a Linux distribution. Has anyone looked at it ? I browsed through the code quite fast, but I've at least two concerns: autocomputation of dependencies (rpmbuild already knows how to find perl dependencies of perl modules, altough not in the most perfect way, but Ovid reimplements this), and customization of the specfile template (need to make it a bit more customizable.)

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  • Looks interesting. Recently bubbling around the lower ends of my "things that would be pretty interesting to look at if only I had some spare time" list has been the idea of building rpm versions of CPAN modules. Perhaps even building rpm.cpan.org. Maybe even automating the building of rpms from new CPAN uploads.

    As a user of an rpm-based distribution, it's annoying when there are a relatively small number of CPAN rpms available (and they are generally of older versions of modules).

    Do you have any feeling
    • From what I know, cpan2rpm is not "good enough" as-is for Mandrakelinux.

      I looked at creating a module CPANPLUS::Dest::MDK to generate MDK-compliant RPMs while installing. I hadn't much time, but the first problems I've found while coding this were the limitations of rpmbuild itself. But CPANPLUS already solves the problem of fetching all dependencies from the CPAN.

      From the OS packager point of view, the problems are to generate RPMs compliant with the distribution guidelines (e.g. they go in vendor_perl),

      • How many CPAN modules are there in Fedora ? MDK 10.1 provides about 500 of them

        It depends which repositories you point yum at. I have just over 100 rpms installed with names including the string 'perl'. And there only seem to be about half a dozen more at the repositories that I use.

  • That was a bit weird. It's relatively new, too. I wonder if I'll start getting email asking for help with this the way I did with POE [cpan.org]. (One time Tim Bunce stopped me at a conference to tell me how much he enjoyed using my modules. I was mometarily flattered until I realized he was talking about POE.)

    Still, it looks cool. I wonder how well it works?

  • If you're packaging for debian instead, dh-make-perl is a good package to install. Don't look at the source though, or you'll go blind.

    Oh, and make sure that you install and set up apt-file first, otherwise it misses the dependencies.

    -Dom