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Experience installing on Alpha VMS 8.3

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"Miller, Edward S." via vmsperl
February 15, 2021 23:13
Experience installing on Alpha VMS 8.3
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We have recently installed PERL v5.32.1 on our Alpha VMS 8.3 system using the distribution from PERL.ORG.
The README.VMS suggests that:
   "Regardless of how confident you are, make a bug report to the VMSPerl mailing list."

This is not really a complete bug report, but more a summary of my experience doing the install
and an attempt to find out whether anyone is really interested in a more specific 'bug report'.

As far as we can tell, the install for us was successful.  Our user who reported that his code would not
work with our old perl version (5.004_04) reports that it now works with the newly installed v5.32.1.

I have one change to the readme.vms I would strongly suggest:  state unequivocally that the install procedures should
be done using an ODS-5 disk, and that you are (very likely?) wasting your time attempting it on an ODS-2 disk.
(In our case the first MMK operation failed eventually--in two different ways, with two different MMK versions--
using an ODS-2 disk.)

The step   @configure "-des" was apparently successful (assuming the many "NOT found" messages are benign).

The first "MMK" step had several "%CC-I" compiler messages, the most suspicious of which was

                neg = PL_statcache.st_ino < 0;
    %CC-I-QUESTCOMPARE, In this statement, the unsigned expression "PL_statcache.st_ino" is being compared with a relational
    operator to a constant whose value is not greater than zero.  This might not be what you intended.
    at line number 2949 in file DISK$ORACLE5:[PERL.perl-5^.32^.1]pp_sys.c;1

The step "MMK test" completed and summarized its results with
   "Failed 58 tests out of 2350, 97.53% okay."

   I ran the procedure to get details of some of these failures using
       $ @[.vms]test .EXE "" -"v"  (filespec)
   However I was successful in getting the proper syntax for (filespec) only for those that were originally
   reported as FAILED with a file specification that started with "t/", not the others.

The step "MMK install" was apparently successful (assuming the many "Can't cd to (cpan/IO-Compress/)  xxx.tmp:  no such file or directory"
messages are benign).

A thanks to all of those who contributed to making PERL functional on VMS systems.

  -- Ed Miller  SLAC NAL.

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