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From Andrew Ho <>
Subject Re: [OT] RE: modperl growth
Date Tue, 05 Feb 2002 00:39:05 GMT

JH>I've found it possible to dispense with a separate configuration file
JH>for almost any application, even those with an RDBMS back-end. Under
JH>*nix it's really easy to automate things, under Win32 it's a little more
JH>difficult (file permissions are a bastard to manipulate). Perl can
JH>analyse its own environment very accurately, and once it has this
JH>"awareness" it's really easy to achieve automation.

So you are right about this, but let me add a caveat. Many times you need
to cooperate with a third-party package management system. For example, an
RPM database, or a stow or encap repository. In the latter case especially
the paths that files are referenced at (typically /usr/local) differ from
the places they actually live (typically a mounted repository). (I believe
the Andrew File System has a similar problem, too.)

Stuff using GNU autoconf is pretty easy to work into this by specifying a
PREFIX at configure time. As of Perl 5.6.0 the Perl base install system
accomodates for this as well, allowing you to specify different stuff to
go into @INC versus where "make install" puts the package.

Perl modules aren't as nice to fix. They automatically want to go where
Perl is installed. If you want to rev packages separately, regular "make
install" doesn't do the right thing.

One last thing that is hard is where is your DocumentRoot? This is a huge
problem for web applications being installable "out of the box." Perl
can't necessarily figure that out by itself, either.

I guess my point is that installation is hard. Rather than trying to make
it work for everybody out of the box, you should make it work for the
typical case out of the box, and then provide hooks for installing it in
custom places.



Andrew Ho     
Engineer                   Voice 650-930-9062
Tellme Networks, Inc.       1-800-555-TELL            Fax 650-930-9101

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