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Microsoft partners with Strawberry Perl to improve the CPAN

by davidrw (Prior)
on Dec 07, 2008 at 06:54 UTC ( #728667=perlnews: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Just came across this:
Commencing this month, Microsoft will be providing every CPAN author with free access to a centrally-hosted virtual machine environment containing every major version of Windows.

The result is now practically the entire Perl community has a zero-cost and zero-setup way to doing light development, problem replication, debugging, and ad-hoc hesting on every version of Windows.

This arrangement is particularly amazing because it is, to my knowledge, several orders of magnitude larger than anything of this nature ever attempted before with the Open Source community.
(Also posted @ /.)
  • Comment on Microsoft partners with Strawberry Perl to improve the CPAN

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Re: Microsoft partners with Strawberry Perl to improve the CPAN
by creamygoodness (Curate) on Dec 07, 2008 at 16:38 UTC

    This is pretty nice. I'll be using this service, though I'm not sure how heavily.

    I run Vista using VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro for the express purpose of testing my CPAN distros, 3 out of 4 of which are XS. This testing rig was instrumental in garnering so-far perfect CPAN Testers records for the latest releases of Lingua::Stem::Snowball and Sort::External.

    One thing left out of this initiative is MSVC. Installing and setting up the free version of MSVC is still a pain. And if you want to guarantee that your code is compatible with MSVCRT.dll, you need MSVC 6, and that means doing something "very expensive or very illegal".

    Seems like the "very illegal" option isn't going to fly on MS-provided virtual boxen. MS could fix the problem at the source and disentangle the crazy manifesting dll hell of recent MSVC releases, but in the meantime it's still going to be much much too complicated to fully support Microsoft as an open source author.

    Marvin Humphrey
      One problem at a time please...
        Well I think its a very good first step. Congratulations.
        Heatseeker Cannibal
Re: Microsoft partners with Strawberry Perl to improve the CPAN
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 08, 2011 at 04:43 UTC
Re: Microsoft partners with Strawberry Perl to improve the CPAN
by vkon (Curate) on Dec 08, 2008 at 12:08 UTC
    IMO this initiative is good as a first step, this single step is too small to count or even notice.
    I very much doubt that remote access to some windows PC solve *any* problem...
      Remote access to 64-bit Window will probably result in a 64-bit Win32::API, as the author does not have access to a 64-bit Windows install.
Re: Microsoft partners with Strawberry Perl to improve the CPAN
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 07, 2008 at 07:32 UTC
    Doesn't seem useful because coding for portability doesn't require a windows machine, and most CPAN authors aren't interested.
      So you think that coding an XS module that links to external libraries can be done 100% portable, without any need for testing on different systems?

      Either you are very na´ve or a troll.

        They said they provide accounts to all CPAN authors, and most do not code XS modules.

      Even if you do your best to follow the rules and code portably, you still need to *test* your code on any weird platforms you care to support - such as Windows - just to make sure that you *did* follow all the portability rules and not miss anything. And there are plenty of cases where, to make your code portable, you need to write just a few lines of OS-specific code. There's at least two of my modules - neither of which uses XS, by the way - for which I will find this very useful.

      Sure, I could just run Windows in a virtual machine, but that requires an expensive Windows licence, and that I know how to run Windows securely, which I don't.

      Bravo Microsoft! Bravo Adam Kennedy!

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