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Re: Feaping Creature-ism in core Debian Packages

On Thu, 2 Sep 1999, Craig Sanders wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 01, 1999 at 07:44:45AM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > Personally I object to perl routines embedded in a rules file, but the
> > point I was trying to make is that placing perl-base in the essential
> > packages creates a "camel's nose" situation. Those who use perl are
> > now allowed to do so in installation scripts as well as in package
> > build circumstances.
> there is nothing wrong when this happens, as long as only those
> 'perlisms' available in perl-base are used.

But that _is_ my point. Just because perl-base is essential, and always
going to be on the machine, doesn't speak to the other "versions" of perl
that may be on the system at build time, and doesn't speak to which perl
libraries may be available and used by mistake.

While debhelper says that it only depends on perl (the perl provided by
perl-base, I assume) you can not build it without perl-5.005 (perl-5.004
will not work)

I found it interesting that after yesterday's LSB phone conference (which
I did not attend due to other commitments), the subject of perl came up.
Alan Cox made some very crisp statements about perl, and has given me
permission to quote him here on this list.

The following comments are his, and suggest that LSB will _not_ specify
perl for use in installation scripts:

>From alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk Thu Sep  2 07:32:05 1999

Perl is unsuitable for specification. There is no fixed grammar for perl. Each
perl script is potentially precisely dependant on a perl revision and may
break arbitarily.

It sucks but its reality. Majordomo broke on 3 out of 4 "minor" revision
updates to perl I did. The perl community informs me that there is no perl
grammar. They don't themselves know what is and isnt perl except by feeding
it through interpreter of the week.

So perl is like this
	We have to standardise on a specific minor revision
	If we standardise on it and bugs (eg security stuff) is found the
		perl community don't back fix old perl. You move on your 
		scripts break. 

Thats going to be a _big_ dependancy problem.



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      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
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