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Is there an easier way to find and install modules on Linux?

by ted.byers (Scribe)
on Dec 14, 2013 at 01:55 UTC ( #1067095=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
ted.byers has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I am familiar with CPAN. I am also used to using Activestate's PPM to install packages, resorting to CPAN ONLY when PPM does not list a package that is of interest.

Understand, I do not have a problem using CPAN. Rather, it is an issue such that it is a bit of a nuisance to use. You see, I have a neuropathy that affects my hands and feet (adversely affecting the speed and precision with which I can type) and anything , such as Activestate's PPM, which reduces the amount of typing I have to do, is greatly appreciated. With PPM, I am presented with a list of packages, and I can select each package of interest and mark it as a package that I want to install. I can then use the menu to tell it to go ahead and install (or upgrade) all of the packages I selected. This is much easier that having to manually type out in full the package names I want in CPAN.

Hence my question. Is there something equivalent to PPM available for Linux (I have both OpenSuse and Ubuntu machines - and need to ensure they both have the same packages installed as are installed on the Windows boxes I must work on)?

I have recently encountered cpanm and cpanp. Do either of them significantly ease installing packages? If not, what advantage do they provide over cpan? Are they worth the extra time I would need to put in to take full advantage of them (whatever those advantages may be)?

I am facing installing several dozens of packages on these Linux boxes, and am not looking forward to having to type their full names to do so.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Ted

Comment on Is there an easier way to find and install modules on Linux?
Re: Is there an easier way to find and install modules on Linux?
by LanX (Canon) on Dec 14, 2013 at 02:41 UTC
    Many (not all) modules are reflected as packages on linux, and there are many GUIs like synaptic available.

    Though they might not include the newest versions.

    cpanm is awesomely easy, it's my favorite tool.

    Since you have problems typing I wish you luck programming Perl just with speech recognition. ;-)

    Cheers Rolf

    ( addicted to the Perl Programming Language)

      Be nice, Rolf. Maybe he'll write a new app for Dragon Speech Recognition that will allow it to recognize Perl syntax. :)

      It helps to remember that the primary goal is to drain the swamp even when you are hip-deep in alligators.
        I'm nice AND funny! (and ironic)

        Actually recognizing source code from speech should be much easier, since running syntax checks on plain talk is not as trivial.

        But this sytem should include eye-tracking, most hackers wouldn't want to place the cursor by speech only ...

        Cheers Rolf

        ( addicted to the Perl Programming Language)

        Maybe he'll write a new app for Dragon Speech Recognition that will allow it to recognize Perl syntax. :)
        If so, he should really use the comic profanity convention. Programming in Perl would be like a George Carlin routine.

      Thanks for this.

      I have taken a look at Synaptic, and while it is easy to use, it has the drawback that the names for the packages do not easily map to the specific perl modules from cpan. At that, it seems to be available only for Ubuntu; not for Suse. What would be better is a GUI for cpan itself.

      I have commonly seen assertions about how easy cpanm is, but not once have I seen an explanation of why. Would you be so kind as to list a few features of it that make it so easy, relative to cpan?

      I have no intention to waste time on speech recognition. There are much more useful things for me to do. I didn't say I couldn't type; only that it is painful and slow.

      Thanks

      Ted

        cpanm is generally less chatty than the default cpan client. It doesn't ask you silly questions like "do you want to install these dependencies?".

        use Moops; class Cow :rw { has name => (default => 'Ermintrude') }; say Cow->new->name
        In openSuse, you can use
        yast --qt sw_single
        to run the software management tool. There are many Perl RPM's in the default repositories.
        لսႽ ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ
Re: Is there an easier way to find and install modules on Linux? (metacpan autocompletion)
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 14, 2013 at 13:18 UTC
    I have recently encountered cpanm and cpanp. Do either of them significantly ease installing packages? If not, what advantage do they provide over cpan?
    When cpan is broken through misconfiguration or bum update or some such, cpanp or cpanm usually work.
    cpanp is more flexible and easier to extend and resulted in about a 100 new modules :)
    cpanm is most minimalist in requirements (both memory and modules and index files -- http://cpanmetadb.plackperl.org/ ) and interactivity ...
    all three just install modules in pretty much the same way ... all have some bugs somewhere ... all have few features the other doesn't ... these days I mostly use cpanm cause I hate waiting 5min while my slow disk loads the latest index for cpan/cpanp
    cpanp has tk frontend (/CPANPLUS::Shell::Tk), there might be a cpan one (vague idea, can't find it), cpanm doesn't :_
    cpanm speedup is significant to me
    cpanp extensibility is significant to me
    cpan is core and this is significant (and why it has been improving even after cpanp/cpanm)
    none of cpan/cpanp/cpanm help you install Alien dependencies ... apt-get blah blah blah so all three are on-par with the CPAN drawbacks :)

    Now, https://metacpan.org/ provides autocompletion (via jscript) , you start typing, it provides a dropdown list appears ... a Tk frontend could be thrown together pretty quickly for this (https://metacpan.org/about/faq) ... then you check boxes of stuff you'd like to install like you're used to ... then spawn cpanm or apt-get or whatever ...

    Also, http://downloads.activestate.com/ActivePerl/releases/ has linux releases .. and there is a ppms for linux too ... never tried it :)

    I am facing installing several dozens of packages on these Linux boxes, and am not looking forward to having to type their full names to do so.

    Have you heard of bundles or Tasks? You only type-out the modules you want to install once, and then tell cpan/cpanp/cpanm to install MyBundle.pm and it installs all these modules ... :)

      Thanks

      I appreciate this. I will take a closer look at cpanp and cpanm, and see if they can make what I need to do easier.

      I have seen bundles, but not 'Tasks'; but never investigated how they're made. Could you enlighten me as to how I can group the modules I routinely use into a bundle? Is there a web page that provides documentation for how to do this?

      Thanks.

      Ted

        I just found a reference to "The CPAN autobundle". Alas, the page doesn't give a clue as to when it was written. Is autobundle still current; and a viable option? And is what it produces portable across platforms (my mix is Windows 7 w/Activestate perl 5.16.2, OpenSuse12.3 w/ perl 5.16.2, and Ubuntu 12.04 w/ perl 5.14.?)?

        Thanks

        Ted

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