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From Eric Berg <eb...@bergbrains.com>
Subject Re: mod_perl presence at OSCON (and other CONs) is at danger
Date Mon, 14 Jun 2004 01:18:41 GMT
I just read through this entire thread and picked an entry point for my 
response kind of randomly, but I do want to address this issue, because 
I also feel that it's very important.

I've been coding Perl since '95...blah, blah..blah.  MP and other 
Perl-related server-resident technologies have always been somewhat of a 
mystery.  Never got the airplay that PHP et al has received.  Always 
appeared to be 1) very low-level, 2) difficult to configure, and 3) 
prohibitively arcane, even to those of us who have been writing CGI's in 
Perl for years.

I've now been emersed in MP/Mason now for the past several months.  It 
hardly hurt at all.


Basics Tenets of MP PR
======================
1) You know Perl and you can leverage that with MP/Embeded Perl/etc, and 
tap into the vast Perl technical and human resources that are already 
out there.

2) You're already using Perl, and can reuse what you've already got with MP.

3) MP is real, and getting value out of it is closer than you think. 
Issues of installation, configuration, and development are 
well-documented and easy to find.

4) As facile, powerful, and extensible as is Perl, so is MP.  It's 
everything great about Perl plus everything great about Apache.


Promoting MP & Promoting Perl -- two different things.
======================================================
 >>On Tue, 2004-06-08 at 10:55, Frank Wiles wrote:
 >>In particular, I would say it's a mistake to think that mod_perl
 >>specifically needs PR.  There is no important difference between
 >>promoting mod_perl and promoting Perl in general.

Perl is mainstream.  Perl is used by every SA, many users, and quite a 
few CGI hackers.  It's installed, yea required for installation on every 
Linux distro (I didn't check, but...) MP is not, but it could be.

Perl and MP address different domains of problems, really.  Perl does 
everything...MP puts Perl on the web in a robust, professional-grade 
way.  MP is the one that is the poor stepsister in the Perl and Apache 
equations.  MP needs to be a focus of this awareness raising.

MP Community Contribution
=========================
I agree that there is a need for more involvement from the MP community 
in getting the word out and there have been many good suggestions, 
including more articles in all of the major info outlets (the *nix, web 
server, and Perl sites and pubs).

But the Greatest Gift of All: An MP Solutions Map
==================================================
I think that perhaps the single resource with the greatest impact that 
we can provide to new users is a map of the available 
technologies/approaches to providing solutions using MP.  There are many 
issues that we deal with in writing web applications, including 
sessions, persistence, logging, general how-to-think-in-MP, and 
installation and setup among others that could be layed out in such a 
way as to make these options and their implementations clearer.

I would have loved to come across the document/site that provides a map 
of that stuff.  I dreamed a dream of it and it said to me, "So, you want 
sessions?  Here are 3 modules that you can use to accomplish that.  Here 
are the examples and links to each of those modules' docs.  You need to 
understand caching.  No problem.  Here are 2 of the main approaches, 
including some gotcha's.  Now, I see that you have a need for logging, 
so the most widely used approaches can be implemented with these 
modules, and of course, here's how it would look in your config and 
here's how you'd use it."

Most of that stuff is out there, but it takes time to get to it.  I 
think we need a MP Solutions Map.  You know how it is:  you recognize 
that you have a need, and either put it on your list to do when you get 
a chance to go find it, then try it, then implement it, or you recognize 
that you're going to f(#*$ yourself for the next 6 months by hacking a 
solution, so you do the homework to figure out how to do it right.

The docs page on the MP home page seems like the right place for this to me.

I have to do some of this anyway, so I can contribute.  Count me in.

My $.05US.

-Eric.


-- 
Eric Berg <eberg@bergbrains.com>
http://www.bergbrains.com

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