|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
I wish I could kiss you, Elisheva. IMO, the issue of stale perl documentation/modules is probably one of the most imposing obstacles the Perl community faces today. It has been around for so long, solving so many problems, and in so many different ways, that it is really hard to discover what's the very best way/most current/most supported way to do some of the most basic tasks in the language.
I find that I most often:
1. Get discouraged with new mods and stick with old methods.
2. Learn a new mod only to discover, once I fall in love with it, that it's no longer supported or outdated or has been replaced by something newer.
3. Have completely gone about approaching the problem wrong, and that my solution will have to be completely redone if I were to apply it to anything other than the very specific problem I just solved.
I just spent the last month or so learning CGI.pm. I had fun with it, I learned a ton, and then realized that my solution is probably about five years too old to be applicable to modern solutions (as cool as I thought it was to learn). That's demoralizing.
Turns out that the object method of invoking CGI.pm is only one way to use it, and I still don't entirely follow whether the functional or object methods were better.
In attempting to learn the module, I looked at dozens of tutorials, and found an assortment of books. And even then, I think the most current was from 2007.
If a tutorial is to be relevant, I'd really like to know if it's still being used/done this way. I appreciate having learned ancient history of computing--imo, that's how you learn the foundations of analysis--is understanding the underlying history, but in order to really engage, I need to know what current methods work best.
Also I know there's always the option to update the most current versions of perl docs, but those docs are seldom at the level of tutorials. They don't contain a lot of examples, nor do they tend to be filled with practicle case use examples.
I admit I'm lazy. I don't want to do a lot of legwork, to know whether or not the Perl Hacks book that's copyrighted in 2005 is current with my Active Perl distro of win32 v 5.12.2 and the SDL module hack... I see a lot of information about MacOS, but is it being used in the realm of PC's still? Or am I about to go learn some really cool tricks that are of ancient date but of little use to me in the longterm?
Anyhow, thanks for the detailed, updated discussion of Module::Build. it's one of the topics I've wondered about, and just seeing how it applies, helps me to get a grasp on some of the better practices used among current programmers. And I don't have to buy the latest book, fish through 700 pages of a book that is on its eighth revision, in order to find the new nuggets...
Best regards, --Ray