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Re: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on Apr 19, 2004 at 18:39 UTC ( #346396=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill

There was a meditation recently titled something like I never thought I'd have to do this on that OS. The more a PHB realizes how quickly solutions are created in Perl for OS foo, they automatically (and rightly!) think that it should be doable on OS bar. And, it is ... if you use the modules.

I think that addresses the portability issue.

... does not require our new-comer to jump right in and start installing modules - a known difficulty for many at first.

What difficulties? What issues? This is an assertion which flies in the face of accepted knowledge without any supporting statements. On every Unix-like system, the following works quite nicely:

foo% perl -MCPAN -e shell cpan> install X cpan> exit

With ActivePerl, you have the following:

C:\Perl\bin> ppm ppm> install X ppm> exit
Very rarely do modules fail to install. When they do, you email the module's author and they fix it. Or, you post here and we not only fix it, but provide a work-around, and explain why it failed. All of which is a good education for our newbie.

You are correct in one respect - there are often a multitude of solutions on CPAN for a given problem. Many are incomplete or tailored to a specific need. Many are buggy and/or no longer supported. Navigating that successfully is only done with experience - the experience that is found at the Monastery, among other places.

Remember - the goal of asking a question is not to get the answer. It's to learn how to get the answer. Sometimes, it's even to learn what question to ask. Focusing on the task at hand is a good way to never achieve independence. It can be dizzingly confusing at times, but it is the only way to true enlightenment.

We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill
by tye (Sage) on Apr 19, 2004 at 19:25 UTC
    Very rarely do modules fail to install.

    Not true on my planet. I'm astonished at how often even simple modules fail to install (for me and for others). I'm staggered at how much effort and code has gone into addressing the installation of modules -- and yet most resulting systems that I've tried fail about as often as they succeed and even the most reliable (perl Makefile.PL + make) fails all too often. And I'm astounded at how quite a few complex modules can be nearly impossible to install.

    Maybe your view on this is because you've been blessed with exceptionally "vanilla" systems (just a wild guess).

    I avoid non-standard Perl modules much of the time, in part because even when I can get a module to install, I very often find that it is unsuitable. There's lots of great stuff on CPAN and even more good, useful stuff on CPAN, and tons more stuff further down that end of the quality scale.

    A total refusal to use modules is an all-too-common situation and I find it unacceptable. But I often avoid non-standard modules and I appreciate it when others realize there is a price for using a non-standard module and that sometimes the benefit doesn't out-weight that price. Perhaps you've already downloaded and installed the module (and maybe didn't have any problems doing that) and have read the documentation and figured out its quirks and found that it works well the way you use it and remember enough, but for a non-standard module, most people will still have all of those hoops to jump through.

    My initial reaction to the root node was about the same as mirod's. And it still is.

    But I also now realize that I wish more people would pay attention to the 'cost' of using a module (especially a non-standard module or a module that won't work on slightly-old Perl versions). There are still plenty of cases where the cost/benefit is a no-brainer in favor of using the module (for me, sending e-mail from Perl would be such a case). And I consider "no modules" to be an unreasonable stance.

    But, "just do use Date::Module; ConvertRoutine(...)" sure looks easy, and probably is really easy for the person who writes it. But I usually find that it isn't very easy. Perhaps because I must be convinced that it really does solve my problem before I'll use it, and one test doesn't convince me.

    So let's have some balance on the scale of "use modules".

    *shrug* All I really wanted to say was the first sentence. (:

    - tye        

Re: Re: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill
by pbeckingham (Parson) on Apr 19, 2004 at 19:17 UTC

    Very rarely do modules fail to install.

    I see module installation issues occur as questions on this site, almost every day.

    The authors do need to be notified, and the problem, if any, does need to be resolved. I'm not arguing that.

    What I am arguing, is that sometimes a module is unnecessary, and a solution that is just as valid can be provided using core modules.

Re: Re: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill
by eric256 (Parson) on Apr 20, 2004 at 17:11 UTC

    I would just like to point out that installing modules with ppm is easy IF active state has that module. Recently I tried to install PDL and to my amazment it can't be installed by ppm unless you goto and download a binary to run. This is a common case with modules when trying to install on windows. A lot of modules do not install using ppm. It is sad but true. Perhaps there is some tutorial or something about expanding ppm but I haven't seen it yet.

    Eric Hodges

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