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Re: review of perlexperiment, 2021-10: install.html target

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From:
James E Keenan
Date:
October 4, 2021 20:18
Subject:
Re: review of perlexperiment, 2021-10: install.html target
Message ID:
959f7d88-e1a7-0750-4be5-61cfed628b4a@pobox.com
On 10/4/21 3:08 PM, Andy Dougherty wrote:
 > On Mon, Oct 04, 2021 at 05:53:45PM +0900, Yuki Kimoto wrote:
 >> 2021-10-4 5:42 Ricardo Signes <perl.p5p@rjbs.manxome.org> wrote:
 >>
 >>>
 >>> *installhtml* — I don't think this makes sense as an experiment.  We
 >>> should drop the experimental classification. #12726
 >>> <https://github.com/Perl/perl5/issues/12726>
 >>>
 >>>
 >>   One by one, starting with the ones that seem to have little impact.
 >>
 >> Is there anyone who opposes this?
 >
 > I would oppose it, in its current state.  The intended usage pattern 
and documentation
 > should be sorted out first.  Specifically, the current Makefile.SH 
says this
 >
 >      # XXX Experimental. Hardwired values, but useful for testing.
 >      # Eventually Configure could ask for some of these values.
 >

[snip]

 >
 > Configure actually does ask for some html installation variables, but 
nothing uses
 > them.  Presumably, there was a mismatch between what Configure asks 
for and what
 > installhtml actually needed, but that mismatch was never resolved. 
Recording the correct
 > installation location in Config.pm is useful because that would allow 
CPAN modules to
 > reliably look up where to install HTML files.
 >
 > I think this all should be sorted out before declaring it 
non-experimental.
 >

I agree with Andy Dougherty, except that I would go further and drop 
this make target entirely.

Earlier this year I worked on a refactoring of 'ext/Pod-Html', in the 
course of which I had occasion to peer into 'installhtml'.  I don't 
claim to be an expert on that program since, among other things, I have 
never actually had to use it in 21 years.  But I did have occasion to 
make one change in it ("set default podpath to './lib'"; 
f5e0f10e7065bfa21679406e5c9a604536f75585) in order to resolve an old bug 
ticket, https://github.com/Perl/perl5/issues/11859.

Looking at the code for the 'install.html' target in 'Makefile.SH', I 
now see that that code retains "-podpath=." -- which means it probably 
does the wrong thing.  At the very least, it's now out of synch with the 
default values for the 'installhtml' program itself.

Given this problem with the target, and given that we have next to no 
data from end-users as to how either the target or the program is 
actually used, I believe that not only should we *not* 
de-experimentalize the 'install.html' target, we should deprecate it and 
then drop it altogether.

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan

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