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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I've been using Debian for quite a few years now and I've reached the position where I really don't like to install anything onto a machine that's not Debian packaged - if nothing else, it makes it easy to remove stuff :-)

    To build a Debian package from a CPAN distribution, just do something like this:

    dh-make-perl --build --cpan JSON::XS

    This will download the latest tarball from CPAN, unpack it, throw together a skeleton 'debian' directory, and then build the .deb package using the normal CPAN make; make test; make install. You can then install the .deb with 'dpkg -i'.

    It won't work for every CPAN distribution, but often you can 'cd' into the unpacked directory, resolve the obvious problem and then run:

    dh-make-perl --build .

    The major advantage of all this is that if you build the package on your development environment then you know that deployments to staging and production enviornments will use the exact same version you devloped against.

    • I've done that a little, but I think part of keeping them separate is that then the versions Debian expects are there for Debian-related stuff. But I dunno, exactly. That part's not my bailiwick.
      • In which case, if you are serious about that, you should compile your own Perl from source for use in your code; which would would also mean you wouldn’t have to configure any paths.

        • I have debian (Linux zoe 2.6.24-1-686 #1 SMP Sat Apr 19 00:37:55 UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux) and I don't have that problem with cpan, so I've never needed those other manoeuvres either.
        • We've considered that, at least on the dev box.

          I've also considered pretending it's a Windows box: chmod 0777 everything, run as root, and reinstall from scratch every couple of weeks... just so I could ignore OS details until the Perl is finished. And also (okay, mostly) because it's fun to suggest that to a security-conscious sysadmin.