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Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL

by merlyn (Sage)
on Sep 17, 2003 at 16:32 UTC ( #292164=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

When I tried to install Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl recently, I discovered that it did not contain the traditional Makefile.PL needed by CPAN. After writing Earle Martin to request compliance with most of the Perl world, here's the response I got:
On Wed, Sep 17, 2003 at 08:38:39AM -0700, Randal L. Schwartz wrote: > Your code is not installable from CPAN.pm, which is still the primar +y > means of CPAN installation for the majority of Perl users. See this? --> . That's the smallest violin in the world, and I'm playing it just for y +ou.
I suggest you email him at http://downlode.org/email.html and let him know politely that it's not just me who wants CPAN.pm compatibility, and also that this was a non-responsive answer.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

janitored by ybiC: tweaked E.Martin email address from mailto: link to URL of his 'mailto" web page.

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Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Sep 17, 2003 at 16:45 UTC

    While I agree it is somewhat brusque I can empathise with wanting to kill ExtUtils::MakeMaker and move to Module::Build - and requiring it and CPANPLUS for an Acme module is hardly the end of the world as we know it :-)

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 17, 2003 at 16:53 UTC
    This might be considered a meditation if you were asking the community what their thoughts about different installation methods (Module::Build for example) in CPAN modules. But instead you just want to rally the troops to try to bash the module author into doing your way.

    Please, gentle monks, let us meditate on this non-trivial question rather than acting in the manner Randal suggests.

      Regarding the debate: Randal had a point which may no longer be as valid due to newer ways of building modules (a couple of years ago it would have been a perfectly reasonable email -- now it's debatable), but the response was completely inappropriate. There are certainly people that I do not like online, but if they contact me, I will respond politely. Even if I do lose my temper, I won't respond with such a petty reply. That just shows the maturity level of the author.

      Further, please note that he explicitly wrote "politely" and he emphasized it. There was an attempt to rally the troops, but there was no attempt to get them to "bash" the module author. Admittedly, I know Randal and consider him to be a friendly acquaintance so I could be biased, but while I have seen him post things that I feel are offensive, this is not one of them.

      Cheers,
      Ovid

      New address of my CGI Course.

        I did not say or imply it was offensive, but that it was inappropriate. Your post is so carefully worded that I can't even tell if you think it was an appropriate meditation or just defending Randal out of kindness.

        If I feel that my email messages to various module authors are not replied to politely or with the answer I think best serves the community should Perlmonks::Meditations become my griping ground as well?

        One other note: politely or impolitely refusing aside, the module author is following the number one preferred scenario of installation found in the docs of Module::Build::Compat: just include a Build.PL and no Makefile.PL and require that Module::Build be installed. Can we fault the author of the Acme:: module for using Module::Build and following the recommended usage of that module?

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by hardburn (Abbot) on Sep 17, 2003 at 16:55 UTC

    To be fair, he's using Module::Build rather than ExtUtils::MakeMaker. After a few minutes of browsing the POD, Module::Build seems much more flexible than MakeMaker.

    I don't like his reply, but it might be more productive to alter CPAN.pm/CPANPLUS.pm to make it capable of using alternativite build systems. Meanwhile, Earle might be pointed to Module::Build::Compat.

    Update: another poster pointed out that CPANPLUS can already do this :)

    ----
    I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
    -- Schemer

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

      Okay, I think Module::Build::Compat is what will finally switch me over to using Module::Build. Thanks for the link.

      Cheers,
      Ovid

      New address of my CGI Course.

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 17, 2003 at 16:58 UTC

    Perhaps if you're going to quote Mr. Martin in a public forum you should post the entire correspondence.

    "Your code is not installable from CPAN.pm, which is still the primary means of CPAN installation for the majority of Perl users" doesn't exactly sound friendly to me either (I'd also like to know how you came to that conclusion).

    I'm also curious why you think this warrants a discussion. Have you looked at this module's source? Slow day for flamebait? Hardly seems worth annoying people over.

      Howdy!

      No, it's not "sweetness and light", but neither is it rude, nasty, or condescending. It is plain speech, cutting directly to the heart of the matter. Mr. Martin's reply reflects very poorly on his character. It was uncalled for, based on the information to hand.

      How do you come to your conclusion that we are seeing an abridged form of the correspondence? Are you Mr. Martin?

      Maybe this isn't a traditional "meditation", but I'm not sure which other category is a better fit. So long as MakeMaker/CPAN dominate the process the way they do, it behooves module writers to support it. Alternative tools need to make the transition mostly painless.

      yours,
      Michael

        Since when it is worthy of any kind of meditation to quote private email without permission? And Randal's post does not even make a mediocre attempt at asking for discussion, it just calls for action without thought. It not only doesn't belong in Meditations, as it is it doesn't belong in Perlmonks.
        How do you come to your conclusion that we are seeing an abridged form of the correspondence?

        "Your code is not installable from CPAN.pm, which is still the primary means of CPAN installation for the majority of Perl users." doesn't sound like a complete email to me. If that's all it consisted of I don't think merlyn should have been surprised by the response. Either way such incomplete quoting always sets off alarms when I read it.

        It was uncalled for, based on the information to hand.

        The information we have on hand is one person's account of one part of a (apparently) very brief email conversation on an extremely trivial matter. I wouldn't look too far into it.

        Are you Mr. Martin?

        No - I am. For your information, the anonymous monk was correct; Randal is being economical with the facts. He clipped out a very important part of the conversation: my initial reply.

        Here's his original message to me:

        From: Randal Schwartz
        To: Earle Martin
        Subject: Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl is missing a Makefile.PL
        
        And the installation doesn't get very far without it. Can you get one added 
        so I can see what you're doing?
        
        And then I replied. As opposed to what his abbreviated quote at the top of this discussion would suggest, I was perfectly civil. Part of his response may sound familiar.
        From: Randal Schwartz
        To: Earle Martin
        
        Earle> Sorry, this module requires Module::Build to install, as stated in the     
        Earle> README.  
        
        Please add a simple Makefile.PL then, that calls Module::Build. There's an 
        example of that in the Module::Build docs, if I recall.                
                                                                                  
        Your code is not installable from CPAN.pm, which is still the primary means 
        of CPAN installation for the majority of Perl users.
        

        At this point I lost patience. I think that's pretty rich coming from the author of Acme::Current, don't you?

        -- Earle
Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 17, 2003 at 17:10 UTC

    Mr. Martin has his e-mail address in a non-machine-readable mode at his web site.

    Don't you think that throwing his e-mail address here you are doing him a lousy service?

    If he wanted to avoid spam, you should respect his wishes and ling to that page instead of writing his e-mail address plain and clear.

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by naChoZ (Curate) on Sep 17, 2003 at 17:21 UTC

    Perhaps you'll need to start attaching your home node's boilerplate to e-mails as well? Sheesh... an unfortunate response.

    Seriously though, make use of the new rating and review system to which cpan links. Rate Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl here. It seems a more appropriate and beneficial place to post.

    --
    "I just read perlman:perlboot," said Tom, objectively.
    naChoZ

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 17, 2003 at 17:34 UTC
    It's a friggin' Acme module. We really ought to be spending these precious cycles encouraging folks to not do much more inane thing such as automate the updating of modules like Acme::Current.

    -- am
Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by hossman (Prior) on Sep 17, 2003 at 17:57 UTC

    I don't neccessarily agree with Randal's choice of wording, or his sentiment, but he has a valid point, that bears some discussion...

    Module::Build may be the latest greatest thing in building perl modules, but it seems to me (and aparently at least a few other people) that untill the release version of CPAN.pm supports it, modules posted to CPAN should include a Makefile.PL.

    If someone wants to release some perl code on their www site that has special instructions for installing it, fine ... that's their choice. But I like to think that CPAN modules should be held to a slightly higher standard in which there is an expectation that it can be installed as easily as any other module using the CPAN.pm shell.

    If I release a distribution on CPAN that was encoded in such a way that required special knowledge in order to install it (either a magic decryption string, or a lot of time pooring over the code to figure out how it was encoded and how to get arround it) would that be an appropriate use of CPAN? ... would it be fair to the perl community at large that I had released a module in such a way that novice users wouldn't be able to install it using the standard installation tools?

    This doesn't seem any different. Yes it's an Acme module, and sure there are more inportant things in the world to worry about then this one module ... but it's prompted my curiosity: at what point does a CPAN distribution become "unacceptable" to the perl community?

      I think it is perfectly acceptable to put a module on CPAN that includes no automated installation and just tells you to copy the relevant file(s) to the relevant locations. There have been, and very probably still are, such modules on CPAN.

      Besides, using Module::Build only adds a prerequisite to installing your module. Many modules require that you first download other modules before building and installing. How is this different except that the CPAN module doesn't support it. (gad, who really uses CPAN for anything other than searching and downloading modules anyway, doesn't anyone look at sources before running make anymore?)

      would it be fair to the perl community at large that I had released a module in such a way that novice users wouldn't be able to install it using the standard installation tools?

      Now you sound if you have some obligation to some "community". Instead of worrying about things that are on CPAN, worry about all those modules you haven't written yet. You think it would be fair to the Perl community at large that you had not released a module at all?

      CPAN has just one requirement: uploaded code should be freely distributable. That's all. No requirement that it should support CPAN.pm, CPANPLUS.pm, MakeMaker or Module::Build. It's following the Perl spirit, it's only asking you to be nice. But you don't have to.

      Abigail

        Now you sound if you have some obligation to some "community"...CPAN has just one requirement: uploaded code should be freely distributable. That's all. No requirement that it should support CPAN.pm, CPANPLUS.pm, MakeMaker or Module::Build. It's following the Perl spirit, it's only asking you to be nice. But you don't have to.
        So is it OK to put intentional malware on CPAN as long as the license is acceptable?

        For anything that is meant to be useful for a community, there is a point when community mores naturally come into play. I think that it is fair to expect that code placed on CPAN should make a good faith attempt to be easily installable on most systems or have documented why it is not.

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 17, 2003 at 18:22 UTC

    Here's my stupid-question-of-the-month (TM). How difficult would it be to send him a (tested) patch containing the change and asking him to make it? I couldn't do it, personally, since I'm a near-rookie but... doesn't sound that hard to me. Also, it would give you much more of the moral high-ground here if he refused to accepe the patch.

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Sep 17, 2003 at 19:26 UTC
    I checked my calendar, but it's not showing any date near April 1. I'm ready to believe that you think that Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl is a vital module. It might be for your code, but believe me, the Perl public in general doesn't have a need for Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl.

    Really, Randal, it's a joke module. With London roots. In the Acme name space. And you think it's appropriate to let others email him about how his module should look like? Djees. He's the author, not you. You send him a request, he told you no. Can't you just leave it at that? If you don't like the module: don't use it. You're smart enough, you can code a module with similar functionality *with* a Makefile.PL.

    Noone suggested mass mailing you when you pulled that Acme::Time::Current stunt.

    Abigail

      Noone suggested mass mailing you when you pulled that Acme::Time::Current stunt.

      Amen. I found the author's response to be quite humorous. It would have been even funnier if he insulted you in pirate speak!

      P.S. Abigail, I consistently love your commentary. Someone should archive your comments and put them in a book. I would buy it. Better yet, come to America and run for president. :)

        Better yet, come to America and run for president. :)

        Or at very least, Governor of California. Why not, everyone else is. I'd think a smart monk would have a better chance than many of them. ;)

        --
        "I just read perlman:perlboot," said Tom, objectively.
        naChoZ

        One thing I love about PerlMonks: I consistently forget that people are so danged far away. I never really thought about where Abigail is: I just liked reading his code.

        s/come to America/come back to America/
Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by PodMaster (Abbot) on Sep 18, 2003 at 08:11 UTC
    I agree with the authors humorous response (if I received such an email, I doubt i could be as funny).

    Forget CPAN.pm.

    The distribution comes with a README which outlines how to install the module.

    I suggest you try that email out on every cpan author who uses Module::Build and see what other kinds of responses you get (probably not as funny).

    PS - I do find non-portable install methods annoying (and rarely even resort to writing a Makefile.PL). I also dislike authors using alternatives to MakeMaker before said alternative are mature enough. Module::Build is fairly mature. Nuff said.

    MJD says "you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!"
    I run a Win32 PPM repository for perl 5.6.x and 5.8.x -- I take requests (README).
    ** The third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

Re: Acme::Lingua::Pirate::Perl author needs encouragement to add Makefile.PL
by bart (Canon) on Sep 18, 2003 at 19:37 UTC
    Maybe the author was just practising in talking like a pirate. :)

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