גאבור סבו - Gábor Szabó
and 1 contributors

NAME

CPAN::Porters - resource for people maintaining packages of CPAN modules in various distributions

SYNOPSIS

CPAN modules can be either installed from source (downloaded directly from CPAN) or they can be installed with the package mangement system of your distribution.

CPAN::Porters is a resource for people who are maintaining those packages in the various distributions.

Reasoning

When developing an application we usually don't want to build our own machine. Neither compile our own kernel. In most of the cases we won't want to compile and install our own version of a database engine nor Apache or any other 3rd party tool. So my assumption is that we won't want to install our CPAN dependencies either. Again - in the standard case.

For people just using an application written in Perl it is even more important that they should not deal with all these packages. Most of us know how much people suffer when they need to install 10s of modules and their dependencies from CPAN. Especially for modules with dependencies outside of CPAN.

While CPAN.pm, CPANPLUS.pm have improved a lot they still cannot deal with cases when one of the dependencies fails to install cleanly.

In addition while we usually want to work with recent versions of modules from CPAN, we usually don't want to get the bleeding edge. Espcially not in applications.

General resources

http://www.szabgab.com/distributions/ Statistics about CPAN modules in the various distributions

Module Authors: http://lists.cpan.org/showlist.cgi?name=module-authors

Perl QA http://qa.perl.org and the mailing list http://lists.cpan.org/showlist.cgi?name=perl-qa

CPAN Testers http://testers.cpan.org/

CPAN Discuss http://lists.cpan.org/showlist.cgi?name=cpan-discuss

Guidelines for inclusion

In addition to the guidelines of each distribution on which module to include, when to upgrade etc. we would like to setup our own guidelines to help people decide what to include, what would be the priorites, when to upgrade a module etc.

A few guidelines on how to select and prioritize modules:

  • Modules that are dependencies of another module by a different module author.

  • Modules that require compilation

  • Modules that require files not on CPAN

    Such modules are especially difficult to install with CPAN.pm or CPANPLUS as they require files outside the scope of CPAN. Making sure such modules and their dependencies can be installed with the standard packaging system gets extra points.

  • Web development frameworks

  • Modules required by some of the big open source Perl applications.

         For a good listing see the journal entry of brian d foy
         L<http://use.perl.org/~brian_d_foy/journal/9974>

Requirements for inclusion or upgrade

  • The module already has all its prereq in the system

  • The module passes all its tests with its prereqs currently in the system on the system

  • The tests of all the currently available dependent modules in the system pass with this new version

  • A broader requirement would be that the version has no failing test reports on any other system, though this requirement might be too harsh and unnecessary

Guidelines for module authors

In order to make packaging of CPAN modules for the various distros easier module authors should create and package their module adhering to some standards. Following is a wishlist created by the Debian Perl module maintainers: http://people.debian.org/~terpstra/message/20080304.104744.f5ca7c1c.en.html

  • Sane version numbering

    While having the version in a uniform way might be nice, it would be already helpful if one module used a consistent scheme.

    That is stick try to stick to the whatever version numbering scheme you have started.

    "We have way too many modules where we have to do {d,u}versionmangling because they switch from x.yyyy to x.yy and x.yy.zz or stuff like that (and we try to add 00$ or strip it or divide .xxxx into .xx.yy or something like that)."

    TODO: list a few reasonable scheme here:

     \d+\.\d\d(_\d\d)?
  • Copyrights/licensing

    Ideally each and every file in given CPAN distribution should have clearly stated copyright and license information. AUTHORS/CHANGES (if properly filled) can be used as a source of guessing, but I think guessing about legal stuff is nothing we want daily.

  • No interactive prompting during installation

    No interactive prompting from Makefile.PL or other parts of the build system without corresponding (and documented!) ways of setting the same parameters automatically.

  • No network access during build

    no network access needed for building and testing (or an easy and documented way to turn network tests off).

  • Use standar packaging systems

    Please use one of the standard Perl module build packages if at all possible. (This probably goes without saying.)

  • Structured POD

    POD documentation for modules should be structured as described in the pod2man man page. In particular, the NAME section and its content is mandatory. Otherwise, one doesn't get a valid man page.

    Make sure your POD documentation makes sense when translated with pod2man. I went several times, i.e., over all of PDF::API2's manpages because they used "=head1 PDF::API2::Some::Thing" instead of "=head1 NAME". Those bugs take a _lot_ of time to properly patch!

    POD is not just to be used by perldoc.

  • Don't ship Makefiles

    Please don't ship generated Makefiles etc.

  • Testing

    Don't use conditions in tests that test for the existence of author specfic files or settings (" unless -d '.svn'" or "unless $username eq 'timbo'")

    Specifically, don't do this unless that's being used as a criteria for skipping a test that's really meaningless outside of the author's environment. (I do have a few tests in modules that depend on local infrastructure to run and hence are skipped if they're not run by me.)

Distributions

For our purposes a distribution is one if the Linux (or BSD) distributions with its own rpm or deb (...) based packaging system. It can also be some stand-alone Perl package such as the ActivePerl of ActiveState or Vanilla and Strawberry Perl.

Debian

Perl Packages - the return http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/281

Building Debian Packages of Perl modules: http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/78

Debian New Maintainers' Guide http://www.debian.org/doc/maint-guide/

Debian Perl mailing list: http://lists.debian.org/debian-perl/

http://pkg-perl.alioth.debian.org/

The Debian Perl Policy http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/perl-policy/

The latest versions of CPAN modules built for Debian. This site is not related to the official Debian packages. It can be good for people who want the latest versions of CPAN modules in .deb format. http://debian.pkgs.cpan.org/

Debian Package serach tool will help finding out if a module is already in included: http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages

Wiki about the Debian Perl Group: http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianPerlGroup

Parse::Debian::Packages

Ubuntu

My current understanding is that the best way to get CPAN modules into Ubuntu is to get them into Debian unstable and then sync them into Ubuntu universe.

Look at Gutsy Gibson (7.10) development forum http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=238 and more specifically at Requesting New Packages for Inclusion in Gutsy Universe http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=414355

Fedora

More details needed.

For now look at http://fedoraproject.org/ and

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/PackageMaintainers

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Perl?action=show&redirect=Perl

http://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-perl-devel-list

And the wish-list so far:

  • Clearly and properly copyright your works.

  • Always apply a widely used and commonly acknowledged license to your works.

RedHat

Mandriva

MDV::Distribconf

http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Policies/Perl

SuSE

OpenSUSE

http://en.opensuse.org/SUSE_Build_Tutorial#Perl_Packages

Gentoo

As in Gentoo the standard way is to install everything from source and they have some way to channel all CPAN via their system for Gentoo this whole issue is probably not relevant.

FreeBSD

http://people.freebsd.org/~tom/portpm/

NetBSD

http://www.netbsd.org/docs/pkgsrc/creating.html

OpenBSD

http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq15.html

ActivePerl

ActivePerl is distribute by ActiveState http://www.activestate.com/ Its list of packages far exceeds of any of the other distributions listed here. It is based on the automatic build system of ActiveState.

Strawberry and Vanilla

http://win32.perl.org/

Sun Solaris

IBM AIX

HP-UX

TODO

  • Collect the basic information for the main distributions

SEE ALSO

http://www.mail-archive.com/module-authors@perl.org/msg05248.html

http://use.perl.org/~Alias/journal/32221

PIG has moved here: http://svn.ali.as/cpan/trunk/PIG/

cpan2dist is a script from CPANPLUS

AUTHOR

This document is maintained by Gabor Szabo <gabor@pti.co.il>