In direct answer to a couple of your question that haven't yet been answered:
- How prevalent is mod_perl?
- Is mod_perl outdated, replaced by something newer??
- No. It is the state-of-the-art when it comes to writing the most scalable web sites backed by Perl.
- But all those (other Perl modules) and why not mod_perl? WHY?, WHY?
- As opposed to other modules, mod_perl must be compiled into Apache. That is, when you compile Apache, you point the compiler at both the Apache source and mod_perl source, and it builds the Apache executable with mod_perl together. If Apache has been built without mod_perl, you can't simply type perl -MCPAN -e 'install mod_perl'; rather, you have to recompile Apache.
- In that sense, it's installed and used in a completely different way than other Perl modules.
- Is it that not many programs use it and it is a hassle to admin on their Apache servers? Or does it create conflicts, Or?, Or?
- No. There are lots of products that use mod_perl. I can even think of some widely used ones that aren't on the list ... I believe TWiki is mod_perl-compatible.
- However, the generic hosting companies are marketing to the lowest common denominator. That is, they limit themselves to the most widely used products and/or less sophisticated users.
- mod_perl is widely used, but is not as widely used as PHP, which is run on about 10 times as many IPs.
- mod_perl requires a bit more sophistication than CGI. It's not a big leap, but you have to be aware of such things as how global variables can be shared across processes and use strict religiously.
- So my recommendation would be not to go with a hosting company that is the biggest game in town, as they are marketing to the lowest common denominator, but to look for hosting that is more closely tailored to your needs. As a side benefit, you might also find the smaller shops to actually be more responsive to your needs; e.g., they might give you more than the generic one-line brush-off.
- In own experience, I use a small shop in Denver called E Street, and I would unreservedly recommend them in a heartbeat. They are so much more responsive than the Rackspace-types in a way that lets me know they read my e-mail and gave it some thought before replying. I've seldom been as happy with a vendor, any vendor, as I have with these guys.
Hope this helps!