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[perl #120808] perlsource.pod: Misleading discussion of what should go into ext/

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James E Keenan
December 17, 2013 03:24
[perl #120808] perlsource.pod: Misleading discussion of what should go into ext/
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# New Ticket Created by  James E Keenan 
# Please include the string:  [perl #120808]
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I posed this question on perl.perl5porters earlier this year and got no 
responses -- except one from rjbs asking me if I had received any 
responses and suggesting an RT if I had not.  Hence, ...

pod/perlsource.pod describes the 'ext/' directory in the Perl 5 
distribution thus:

=item * F<ext/>

This directory contains XS-using modules which are only released as
part of the core. These modules generally have their F<Makefile.PL> and
are laid out more like a typical CPAN module.

This is misleading because (as of my last count in May 2013), there are 
35 subdirectories underneath ext/ of which only 28 have XS.  The 7 
subdirs which do *not* have XS are:


My sense is that, until relatively recent times, 'ext/' always held 
modules with XS.  That's certainly the simplest interpretation of the 
first sentence in the paragraph from perlsource.pod quoted above.

Note that in the following paragraph in perlsource.pod, we have this:

=item * F<dist/>

This directory is for dual-life modules where the blead source is
canonical. Note that some modules in this directory may not yet have
been released separately on CPAN.

It seems to me that the 7 non-XS using libraries under ext/ could just 
as easily be described as "not yet [having] been released separately on 
CPAN" -- which would mean that they would fit better under dist/ than ext/.

If we can get a decision on what the layout should be, I will either: 
(a) revise the description of 'ext/' to de-emphasize the XS-using part 
of it; or (b) set about moving the 7 non-XS using modules to 'dist/'.


Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan

Now, I could certainly live with a description of 'ext/' as holding 
libraries with a CPAN-style directory and file layout not maintained or 
distributed on CPAN.  That wouldn't be a very elegant description, and 
it would sever the tie between 'ext' and 'eXternal Subroutine'.  But it 
would be more accurate than what we have now.  And this wouldn't require 
us to move any libraries from one of the subdirs to another.

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