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Re: Feaping Creature-ism in core Debian Packages

On 30 Aug 1999, Stephen Zander wrote:

> >>>>> "Dale" == Dale Scheetz <dwarf@polaris.net> writes:
>     Dale> Perl may never become a stable language, but even if it does
>     Dale> in the future, it surely isn't stable right now, and should
>     Dale> not be incorporated into critical system installation
>     Dale> processes.
> Justify this in terms of the perl-base package please.  While I agree

Why should I do that? Perlisms in installation scripts do not limit
themselves to the base perl language, so saying that the base
functionality of perl is stable isn't sufficient.

> that expecting every .pm from the complete perl package to exist is
> unreasonable, relying on the functionality of an essential package
> seems fair.  What, specifically, doesn't work or do you just not like
> the idea of perl installtion scripts in general?
It has been regularly possible to scrog the installation of non-perl
packages that use perl scripts during installation, if the perl
installation fails for any reason. This has happened on several of our
past releases requiring severe work arounds in order to get the system
back in shape. We already have the same possible failure point with bash,
enough so that folks are constantly talking about replacing it.

If we are going to use perl in install methods, then why not lex and yacc,
python and tk/tcl? The reason for not doing so is the same reason I would
prefer to stick to shell scripts. It keeps the point of failure in one
location where effort and care can be taken to keep things going smoothly.
Diversifying installation scripts simply creates more possibilities for

Concrete example:

I _do_ have perl, and perl-base, installed on the Ultra, yet debhelper,
which is a perl based package building tool, will not build, although the
pre-buildt binar-all package installs and works OK, as best I can tell.

Why are we sticking calls to perl routines into a rules file in the first


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