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From Dan Brian <>
Subject Re: mod_perl marketing
Date Tue, 30 Nov 2004 16:10:32 GMT
The lack of awareness extends to Apache generally, and not just 
mod_perl. Saying that "mod_perl isn't just CGI; it allows Perl coding 
to the Apache API" is not really informative, because people don't know 
what the Apache API is. (The author that initiated this thread replied 
to me privately that his mod_ "doesn't embed the Apache API, is that 
possible?", so it appears to be possible to write a mod_ without even 
knowing ... ?)

Only 2 years ago I was pitching a "Perl application development" title 
to an O'Reilly editor (who shall remain nameless) who asked me why I 
thought mod_perl was a "big deal" (since my outline had a heavy 
emphasis on it). After explaining what I thought about it, I got a 
curious look, followed by the comment, "yeah, we don't think that is 
really going places." And to this day, many Perl people still don't 
understand how you could build large applications using mod_perl, as 
opposed to CGI + templates and PHP (or other HTML markups). Threads 
like ( still make the mistake 
of comparing mod_perl to PHP. mod_perl invites developers to invent new 
CMSs, new ways to authenticate, to manage sites, to log data, new ways 
to handle content. PHP is for writing web sites. I personally didn't 
know whether mod_perl's audience is that much larger than its current 
user base; this thread proves it is.

I have used mod_perl 1 since soon after it became available, building 
several CMSs, custom markup languages (as have we all), and so on. 
Verio's entire line (almost) of web hosting customer interfaces is 
built on mod_perl and XSLT. This isn't emerging technology anymore! I 
took the dive to mp2 a few months ago, and am astounded by both the 
Apache 2 API and its Perl translation. You have all completely outdone 
yourselves, and mp is a bigger deal than ever.

I would suggest that future mp2 articles (on and elsewhere) 
take some time to explain the Apache API and why it is by far the best 
choice for Perl server development, before diving into the particulars 
of accomplishing something with it. Perhaps a "mod_perl for Beginners: 
All Your Servers ..." article could be useful, or adapting Randal's 
intro talk, or something like that.

In the end though, there's a lot of documentation. The eagle book is 
great, and the cookbook was mentioned too. Until people read, there's 
not much we can do about it.

- Dan

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