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Re: The difficulty or ease of packaging Perl/Python/Ruby/PHP applications

On Jan 22, 2008 2:48 AM, Gunnar Wolf <gwolf@gwolf.org> wrote:
> The difference is not language-wide, IMHO, but goes a couple of levels
> further down. Just as a first note, I understand here you are talking
> about web-facing applications, not applications in general. Desktop
> applications are IMHO simpler, as you only have to drop the libraries
> in a suitable place, be it @INC if they are meant to be shared, or
> /usr/share/your_app_name/lib (or something like that) otherwise, and
> the "binary" (be it a binary or a script) in /usr/bin. The user
> invokes it, and everybody is happy.

I believe that thinking about packaging/distribution and installation early in
the life of a project is very important to its success. I saw just too many
applications with too long HOWTO installs caused by lack of planning for
those "uninteresting" aspects of the project.

Let me explain myself more with two of my applications:
a web application and a GUI application.
They are good examples as neither are ready for wide distribution :-).

One of the examples is the code behind www.cpanforum.com
It is a web application also packaged as a CPAN module but I don't think
any sane person have ever tried to actually install it. One day it might
become a real multi-purpose forum software. Once that's ready it would
be great if it was packaged with Debian and other Linux distros so a web
ISV (or a company that needs it internally) could install it with the
standard packaging tools of their distro.

The installation does not have to prepare for high-performance or things
like that. It just have to be almost out-of-the-box. (e.g. it might
still require
the execution of some command line or web based setup script)

So I would like to know how to prepare it to make its packaging by you
ppl. easy.

The other is a GUI application that is also packaged as a CPAN module. It is
call App::Wack and it is a GUI wrapper around wack. It uses the Perl
binding of Gtk2.
I would like to make sure that when the day comes and if you decide to add it
to Debian it will be as easy as possible for you to add it.

I wonder if the fact that they are CPAN modules makes your life easier than
some random application that lives on souceforge?
Eg. how easy/difficult is to package Krang?
How easy/difficult would it be to package docperl
http://docperl.sourceforge.net/ ?
What about Zim, the desktop wiki
http://pardus-larus.student.utwente.nl/~pardus/projects/zim/ ?

Is there a *simple* guide out there on
"How to package your application in order to make it easy for Debian
to repackage it and distribute it?

Is there such a guide that might apply specifically to applications
written in Perl?


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