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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Let us not shun the Win32 programmer ...

    I'd disagree that the installation is poor with ActivePerl, as you can run 'ppm' and 'cpan' pretty much from the off. Admittedly you are relying on a largely non-current repository away from CPAN, but it is a start. Having a reliable codebase from which you can install from is the key part. There are several of us who program on Windows and have to either patch CPAN modules ourselves, try alternatives or rewrite the code. I'd rather see more effort being put into portable code than worrying about whether ActiveState's repository is out of date.

    Once upon a time Perl could claim to be one of the most portable languages. These days it seems some CPAN distributions come with a huge caveat; works on Unix like OSs, and might possibly work on others (if you're lucky). To a degree I wonder if there is a bit of elitism going on. When I get the chance, I do try and write bug reports (with patches) in RT for various distributions. The ones I'm concentrating at the moment are those that are dependencies of others. There is one author that has an outstanding fix (not by me) on RT, that means I can't test (never mind install) nearly 100 modules from CPAN. Is it any wonder why ActiveState's repository is so far behind? There about 20 distributions that are holding up a good portion of my testing on Perl 5.6.1 on Windows.

    My talk, 'Preparing For CPAN', was actually written because of the number of portability issues I found during CPAN testing. Richard Clamp thinks I should name and shame some of the authors, but I'd rather that everyone just thinks a little more carefully before uploading to CPAN. And yes I know it's all volunteer based, but when people are even supplying patches, they are trying to help.

    • Is it any wonder why ActiveState's repository is so far behind?

      Considering the number of bug reports they've sent for my modules... no. I'd love to have more feedback.

      • That's a fair point. I wish they did send their reports. Although at least they are available online, just about.

        In several cases there are CPAN Testers reports that match the test problems ActiveState have. However, looking at the reports generated for your modules I noticed many of the problems are missing because of the way Module::Build tests are not currently passed back to CPANPLUS. This is someting that is being looked at.

    • It's the centrally run largely outdated non-CPAN repository that causes much of the problem. Instead of working out how to get a proper compiler working inside a default install of a Windows version of Perl, we have what is an enourmous workaround.

      Is PXPerl does nothing else but solve the nmake/compiler problem on Win32, it will be a huge success, and we can look at dealing with module-problems from there (and be able to actually test things outself).