perl and ports

Greg Barniskis nalists at
Wed Jan 26 10:45:53 PST 2005

Gert Cuykens wrote:

> True, lets talk about the factory then
> The machinery would be /usr/src
> The resources would be /usr/ports
> Do you agree a wrench is not a resource ?

I think your analogies go astray because you don't fully understand 
the wide variety of uses Perl has. It used in many different 
contexts, like:

It might be a robotic arm that arguably could/should be left behind, 
if and only if that is its sole function. It might be the wrench at 
the end of that arm, which surely might be useful in another context 
and you should probably keep on hand. It might also serve as the lug 
nuts that bind the wheels to your vehicle, which are surely 
inadvisable to remove. Each port that requires Perl is different.

In the building/furntiture analogy, Perl might be a couch that you 
could remove if it was really in conflict with the room. It might be 
the paint brush that colors your walls and that might be useful when 
adding a new room to your house, so you should keep it. It might 
also be the hidden filler that makes your other couch so darn 
comfortable, which is surely inadvisable to try to remove.

Try to gain a fuller understanding of the vast and varied usefulness 
of Perl before rejecting it or trying to classify it as "being like" 
something that you are more familiar with.

re: Perl's removal from base. I read that with some concern when it 
was first discussed, but I see that the burden of building it from 
source over and over again is terribly cumbersome. If removal speeds 
development and testing, giving me more timely advances in FreeBSD 
features, at the cost of I have to "portupgrade -[args] perl" once 
in a while, I am A-OK with that.

Greg Barniskis, Computer Systems Integrator
South Central Library System (SCLS)
Library Interchange Network (LINK)
<gregb at>, (608) 266-6348

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