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Re: Save a few hunderd kilobytes or a few hundred perl users?

Michael G Schwern
April 30, 2002 09:00
Re: Save a few hunderd kilobytes or a few hundred perl users?
Message ID:
On Wed, May 01, 2002 at 12:34:44AM +0900, Dan Kogai wrote:
>   I am deeply disappointed by the recent move to drop some of the files 
> (, et al.) in perl distribution /usr/src/contrib/perl5.  By saving 
> a few hundred kilobytes, you are risking losing a few hundred perl 
> hackers that run FreeBSD thereon.

Just as a point of order, here's how Debian handles the problem.

From a single source dpkg, conveniently named 'perl', Debian splits the
binary distrubtion into several packages.

perl-base	   	stripped down version with only essential libraries
perl-doc		man pages and POD
perl-modules		architecture independent core modules
perl-suid		a setuid perl binary
perl-debug		a debug enabled perl
libperl5.6	   	perl shared library
libperl-dev		perl header files

and then they have 

libcgi-pm-perl module
libstorable-perl	Storable

Debian needs a stripped down perl-base because it uses it to install Debian.
You don't want to try and wedge 40 megs of Perl onto an install disk.

perl-doc is nice for systems where 7 megs of storage space can mean a lot.
In fact, Debian policy splits nearly all documentation into packages
seperate from their binaries.

and so on.

There is also a perl pseudo-binary-package which simply depends on
perl-base & perl-modules, to pull together the complete perl build.
perl-doc, libterm-readline-perl-perl, etc... are all suggested [1].

In this way perl can be distributed in chunks without the source being
broken up.  There is still a single perl dpkg.  FreeBSD may wish to follow
this model.  They may already be and we're just panicking.  Dunno.  That's
why I didn't forward this onto the FreeBSD lists.

[1] "Suggested" is a real attribute of a dpkg.  For example, apache suggests
apache-doc, but depends on apache-common.  You must install apache-common
for apache to work, but you don't need apache-doc.  It's just nice.


Michael G. Schwern   <>
Perl Quality Assurance	    <>	       Kwalitee Is Job One
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