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Re: using perl in preinst script

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 11:48:18PM +0100, Carsten Hey wrote:
>  * pam_getenv and pam-auth-update from libpam-runtime:

>    pam_getenv is 76 lines of code.  pam-auth-update is 490 lines of code
>    and has been added after Lenny has been released.

And the lack of pam-auth-update has been a glaring gap in Debian
functionality for the better part of a decade before that.  I'm not dropping
pam-auth-update from the package, and I'm not rewriting it in C or in shell
because I don't believe either would make for a suitably maintainable

I took great care to implement pam-auth-update using only the Essential
functionality guaranteed to be available, which in some cases meant avoiding
perl modules that would have made for cleaner code.  If Debian were to drop
perl-base from Essential, then I might as well rewrite pam-auth-update in
python.  perl-base's Essential status was the *only* reason for implementing
this in perl to begin with.

> > I cannot imagine this ever happening at a practical level.

> Not if people continue to add new perl scripts to essential and to write
> new preinst scripts in perl.

Which there is zero reason for anyone to go out of their way to avoid doing.
I don't see any way that it would benefit Debian to drop perl from the base
system and limit ourselves to C, C++, and shell as implementation languages.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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