A Blog of Very Little Brain

'What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?' said Pooh. 'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'

We’ll call it a draw

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Previously on “why I no longer think Windows users complaints about Perl are unjustified” I found that installing anything not in ActiveState‘s PPM repos is altogether broken, and, while preliminary tactics worked, at least initially, it turned out that, in the long run, the house always wins. What I thought was a successful installation turned out to be a successful botch-up, with lower level dependencies, such as Moose, not being installed. Attempting to perform the same operation on Moose was apparently the last straw on the side of ActiveState Perl, and that failed miserably. In accordance, I gave up on them and removed the distribution from my machine.

Fortunately, there are other alternatives. Strawberry Perl is one of them. Unfortunately, many of those aren’t mature enough. Strawberry Perl is one of them. For starters, the installer file asks you for a Start Menu path, then begins installation in C:\Strawberry\. While I’m aware that Windows users are accustomed to their computer being treated like the local dump (i.e. everyone throws their garbage wherever they feel like), but I would like at least a minimal control over where I place (some) of the files. Extracting from the .zip file is no better, as all the paths have been hard-coded to the same “C:\strawberry” path.

It is often said that, when it comes to user-awareness, F/OSS projects show the same care and attention of a Soviet tank. Concepts like “Here’s the mailing list, the IRC Channel, the USENET group and the Bug-Tracker, good luck” tend to shirk away non-technical users. On the other hand, Windows users tend to fall on the less-savvy side, and, in accordance, Strawberry’s support page directs to the IRC page, the community site and the mailing list. Oh well.
Of course, users of Perl are, probably by definitions, tech-savvy, so this might not be a correct criticism. OTOH, even a bare-bones hardcore Perl programmer would appreciate some manner in which to reconfigure the distribution’s hard-coded paths, rather than search for every appearance of c:\strawberry (or c:\\strawberry, or c:/strawberry, etc), and replace them.

I’ve rummaged for a while in the files and folders in the distribution, and then checked the site. In the distribution’s CPAN page, I found these comforting words:

At present, Strawberry Perl must be installed in C:\strawberry.
Users installing Strawberry Perl without the installer will need to change the environment manually.

Oh dear.

(…to be continued)

Written by Erez

Monday, August 11, 2008 at 13:15

Posted in Programming

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