[Bioperl-l] No more Makefile.PL (MakeMaker -> Module::Build)

Chris Fields cjfields at uiuc.edu
Fri Nov 10 10:50:58 EST 2006

On Nov 10, 2006, at 4:15 AM, Sendu Bala wrote:

> Hi all,
> Since I'm seeing inadequacies with the current Makefile.PL scripts we
> have, I'm thinking of converting from ExtUtils::MakeMaker and the
> Makefile.PL scripts to Module::Build Build.PL scripts.
> The advantages this will bring would be creation and installation of
> documentation, sane handling of required and optional dependencies,  
> and
> hopefully good META.yml output, for CPAN compatibility wrt version  
> numbers.
> I'll be able to use Module::Build::Compat to automatically generate
> Makefile.PL scripts in 'passthrough' style (if an end-user tries to  
> use
> Makefile.PL without having Module::Build installed, it will offer to
> install Module::Build for them) when it comes time to make
> distributions, but Makefile.PL would no longer be in CVS.
> One thing I'm not clear on with the current situation is what is
> supposed to happen when the user chooses to install scripts. Where are
> they supposed to get installed to, and where do end-users normally run
> them from and how? How does this compare to expectations from other  
> perl
> module distributions that have installable scripts?
> Please comment and discuss, but I'd like to get this done for the  
> 1.5.2
> release so that the CPAN distribution will be happy.

I don't have a problem with this as long as it works for all  
systems.  It sounds like a good long-term solution, esp. for CPAN  
developer releases.

However, we've already had three RC's using the regular old  
Makefile.PL setup, which seems to work fine for now.  It also sounds  
like we will need to update all relevant installation documentation  
(since we can't run 'perl Makefile.PL' w/o Makefile.PL, unless I'm  
missing something).  Hence I'm a bit worried about adding something  
new like this after three RCs and just before a final release.

I think it's something we should do, but I'm not sure we should have  
it for this release.

Christopher Fields
Postdoctoral Researcher
Lab of Dr. Robert Switzer
Dept of Biochemistry
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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