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Lack of advice on pollution

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M.J.T. Guy
March 19, 2000 08:42
Lack of advice on pollution
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The Perl documentation is somewhat thin on advice to module installers
and module authors wrt (non-)pollution and what to do about it.

INSTALL warns about the issue and tells about the POLLUTE flag.    But
this file typically won't be around when modules are being installed.
And in any case it's hardly an obvious place to look.

The same information is in the documentation of MakeMaker, but only
if you know where to look.     (This is part of a more general problem
-   lots of information relevant to module installers is only to be
found in the MakeMaker pod.    "perllocal.pod" has recently been

There's also an entry in perldelta, but again, why would a module
installer look there?

Presumably there needs to be a paragraph in perlmodinstall.

And for module authors, there's no advice at all.  What is the
recommended way that authors should upgrade their modules, so that they
are installable with current Perls and also with older ones?   Is
the best approach to

a)    change all relevant symbols from xxxx to PL_xxxx

b)    for each symbol used, insert

      #ifndef PL_xxxx
      #  define PL_xxxx xxxx

Assuming that is the appropriate advice, where should it be put?

Mike Guy

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