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ziggy (25)

ziggy
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Journal of ziggy (25)

Sunday June 02, 2002
10:39 PM

Less joy, more pain

[ #5378 ]
I'm in the midst of making some slides for YAPC and some other upcoming presentations. I chose AxPoint this time, and everything is working reasonably well. (I'd prefer more styling options, but I'm not going to code them at this point; perhaps after a few more deadlines whoosh by and free up some time...)

I installed AxPoint and all of the pre-requisites (XML::Handler::AxPoint requires PDFlib.pm, which requires pdflib to be installed on the system), and there were no hitches on FreeBSD. All of the software is reasonably cross-platform, and I tried to get it up and running on Windows this afternoon.

Emphasis on tried.

All of Matt's perly bits install easily enough, once pdflib is installed on the system. Assuming pdflib can install. Starting with the source tarball, I did the standard ./configure && make && make test && make install dance, and pdflib did install under cygwin. Except the perlybits didn't install quite properly.

After a little bit of poking around, I saw that pdflib_pl.pm did install, but that it pdflib's install didn't build or install DLLs. So dynaloader won't find the bits to bootstrap. Poking around google didn't find anything particularly relevant (or decipherable).

Playing around with the Makefile, dlltool and libtool, I was able to prove one thing: I haven't read enough of the relevant Windows/GNU/cygwin docs about linking on Windows (er, cygwin) to build DLLs[1]. Bummer. And I was able to prove something else, too: whenever Windows enters the equation, the probability that something will break, won't work or otherwise waste my time jumps by an order of magnitude.

[1] All of a sudden, I'm reminded of a multi-day project at a former job to "get a new linker to work with our program". There were some issues to resolve: getting all of the libraries to load in under 640K, getting the system configured to use the linker within the development environment, and figuring out what order to link the files in order to get the most reasonable performance out of the resulting .EXE file. It's been so long since I had to deal with linking under a Microsoft operating system that I had forgotten that the simple task of linking can require significant amounts skill and "engineering time".

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