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Re^3: Keep "Free MSVC tools + Activestate to compile CPAN Modules" on front page!

by Chady (Priest)
on Sep 01, 2004 at 06:27 UTC ( #387409=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Keep "Free MSVC tools + Activestate to compile CPAN Modules" on front page!
in thread Keep "Free MSVC tools + Activestate to compile CPAN Modules" on front page!

I'm lately of the growing opinion that some people should not be allowed to compile anything.

If you want to compile, you should know what you're doing, because, assuming you messed up somewhere, it is going to be a big pain to get support.

You refer to "installing modules requiring C" when in fact you are not installing, you are compiling, and there's a big difference. So I usually advise people who want to compile things, to learn C and know what is really going on, otherwise, look for binaries. There are people who provide binaries (PodMaster for example) for ActiveState.


He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.
Chady | http://chady.net/
Are you a Linux user in Lebanon? join the Lebanese Linux User Group.


Comment on Re^3: Keep "Free MSVC tools + Activestate to compile CPAN Modules" on front page!
Re^4: Keep "Free MSVC tools + Activestate to compile CPAN Modules" on front page!
by Wassercrats on Sep 01, 2004 at 07:03 UTC
    I don't know what needs compiling or installation and what doesn't. I just wanted to use a module, and PPM didn't install it, compile it, or whatever, so I couldn't use it. Now I don't even know if jZed's solution would let me use modules with C files.

    The page tachyon linked to referred to the page about installation. It wasn't clear, but it seemed like I had to follow those instructions too.

    You said: "So I usually advise people who want to compile things, to learn C and know what is really going on, otherwise, look for binaries."

    And how do you learn C? With instructions. If someone sees what looks like instructions for doing something he wants to do, he should be able to follow them with success. Unfortunately, many of the "best" instructions I've seen for programming related stuff are awful, so I wouldn't be confident I could get a C based module to work even if I knew C.

      And how do you learn C?

      Get enrolled in a class, or get a good book on the subject.

      People giving instructions on compiling a perl module are doing just that; giving instructions on compiling a perl module, they're not givin a lesson on C. So the instructions you will find would be specific to that module, and will not usually help you compiling, for example, Mozilla.

      Unfortunately, many of the "best" instructions I've seen for programming related stuff are awful

      That's cause you're looking at the problem from the wrong direction. If I publish a module that has an XS extension that relies on the 'foobar' library, I'm not gonna explain in the documentation how the operating system loads libraries, and how the compiler links the code, etc... that would be a different type of problem. All that you're likely to get in the docs would be information about how the module works with 'foobar' and specific issues you need to note, and that's all.

      Again: want to compile effectivly? learn C. Otherwise, look for binaries, or get someone to compile them for you.


      He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.
      Chady | http://chady.net/
      Are you a Linux user in Lebanon? join the Lebanese Linux User Group.
        You said "...the instructions you will find would be specific to that module"

        I don't think these are meant to be specific to a particular module. And I answered the question about how to learn C. It was Rhetorical. You learn it with instructions. My problem with instructions isn't that they don't apply to things they aren't meant to apply to, unless they mislead you into thinking they do.

        I don't mind cross references, or "issues I need to note," but too often I don't even find that level of help from instructions.

        If it's really that difficult to use modules requiring C, then there should be a warning about that. I shouldn't even have to "browse" the files to see that there are C files. "Compiling" sounds simple, as though you just point a compiler at the script. It seems like it should require the most basic instructions to allow me to do it for my OS (XP) and version/build of Perl.

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