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Building real CPAN dists in core perl

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Paul "LeoNerd" Evans
June 24, 2013 19:53
Building real CPAN dists in core perl
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My experiences maintaining lead me to believe that any CPAN
dist that gets shipped with core perl has an odd hybrid of a build
system attached to it, that is quite unlike what process it would go
through were the CPAN client(s) to install it instead. Specifically,
things like ExtUtils::CBuilder can't be used, which defeats all of the
"configure"-like testing in Socket's Makefile.PL.

To help this I would like to propose a new way to bundle CPAN modules
that come as part of the core perl distribution, but which core perl
itself doesn't depend on (i.e. the ones, such as Socket, that are only
shipped to provide a useful end-user utility).

The way this would work is that some new directory (lets for now call
it morelibs/) would be created at toplevel, containing either plain
CPAN tarballs or unpacked sources (I haven't quite decided yet). These
sources would all be built, tested and installed -after- core perl
itself, using the newly-built real cpan client, thus ensuring the
process "feels" exactly the same to the installed distributions.

This should make it much easier for distributions like Socket to be
maintained, as I'd no longer have to be afraid every time I want to add
a new configure-time test. It may also lead the way to being able to
make simpler core distributions, or custom distributions of core perl
(e.g. Linux distributors wanting to drop more in there before building).

Any thoughts?

Paul "LeoNerd" Evans
ICQ# 4135350       |  Registered Linux# 179460

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