[Bioperl-l] "progress": useful changes vs. "shiny new thingie"

Hilmar Lapp hlapp at gmx.net
Thu Nov 16 00:52:23 EST 2006

On Nov 15, 2006, at 7:27 PM, Sendu Bala wrote:

> I would just want clarification that the consensus really is to stay
> with Makefile.PL for 1.5.2. The primary argument seems to be to not  
> have
> anything too new and untested in the branch, but Makefile.PL itself  
> has
> lots of new additions. My Makefile.PL improvements and the change to
> Build.PL have all been in the name of making 1.5.2 install well. The
> move to Build.PL was just the most appropriate way to fix some bugs  
> and
> make needed changes.

My take on this, aside from having said before that the move to  
Module::Build is certainly a good one except with not-so-great  
timing, is that the distribution if at all possible should have a  
working Makefile.PL.

If Build.PL can coexist that'd be great. That would give you the  
opportunity to have Makefile.PL print out a message right at the  
beginning that if the installation process messes up one should try  
Build.PL. This would spare you from fixing any problems in  
Makefile.PL that are fixed in the Build.PL approach.

As for CVS, I think Makefile.PL in CVS needs to be reduced to a stub  
that just prints out a message telling you to use Build.PL and does  
nothing else. If you check out bioperl-live from CVS you need to be  
prepared to having checked out the live edge of the code. Edges can  
be rough. The key thing is that the build process works.

Finally let's not forget that this is still a developer release. That  
means that a) perfection isn't needed, rather shorter release cycles,  
and b) development implies change. So the main reason why I find the  
timing less than optimal is because it prolongs the time until the  
next release.

Implementing changes like this do require a lot of energy. I very  
much appreciate that Sendu invested the time and energy to make it  
work, even though unfortunately at the last hour. Who knows who would  
have had the energy after the release. If Sendu hadn't put in the  
work now, the next release master may have been stuck with an even  
messier Makefile.PL system. Instead of Monday morning quarterbacking  
after no-one stopped him when he asked about it, we should all help  
him make the release - and the build change - successful now that he  
has done most if not all of the migration work already.

: Hilmar Lapp  -:-  Durham, NC  -:-  hlapp at gmx dot net :

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