|P is for Practical|
I don't necessarily think it should be an "author provides it or none at all" thing.
Agreed. But the motivation of the 'abandon ActiveState move' seems to be primarily driven by module authors who's modules are being flagged as 'unbuildable' by the automated AS process.
I think I can understand why AS do not fix the automated process. It's probably simply one of survival. They are (now again I think) as smallish company with limited pockets trying to survive. Any manual intervention into their automated process--which they provide free to the community with little possibility of return--would be a pure sink on their resources. They are already providing the storage, cpu and bandwidth.
I think that the premise that "they should do more" is flawed. Adding the need for personnel, to manually intervene, to the equation, could make the service and/or company go away completely! I also think that fostering the expectation that large volumes of win32 Perl (corporates and individual) users (as opposed to hackers) will abandon AS for a DIY build it yourself on every machine alternative is forlorn and pointless.
The moves in this direction, like strawberry perl, are motivated by the wish to make things easier for the Perl module developers--which by and large means non-win32 users--rather than the vast majority of win32 Perl users.
Making life easier for module writers to write, build & test their modules on win32 is a strong and good motivation. And it can only benefit win32 users also in the long term, by giving them access to a wider set of modules. But maybe the best solution would to not throw the baby out with the bath water.
If AS could provide a mechanism for allowing volunteer intervention to correct 'broken' automated builds might be one solution. Using CPAN to provide a central repository for binary distributions might be another. I realise that binary distributions can be bigger than a standard module, and that CPAN disk space is neither limitless and is also provided free to the community--and by many mirrors--by generous donations.
But then, there is an awful lot of cruft on CPAN now--stuff that hasn't been updated or downloaded for years if not decades--along with other stuff that probably shouldn't have ever made it up there in the first place.
Then again, I'm the wrong person to be having any of these thoughts--but I have them anyway.
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"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.