the state of perl in mandriva 2010

mandriva linux 2010 is out... this is thus a good time to have a look at the state of perl in this release.

adelie (mdv 2010 codename) ships perl 5.10.1 with threads[0], which allowed me to drop half the patches carried within mandriva[1]. and since perl 5 porters hope to make perl 5 releases more often, it means that (hopefully) i'll be able to trim down those patches even more!

on the modules front, mandriva is shipping plenty of them. padre 0.47 (and lots of plugins), moose, poe framework (and lots of components), devel modules, dbi drivers, gui (tk, wx, gtk) and various lib bindings, you name it... using book's pearl of wisdom, this gives us[2]:
12117 installed modules
including 11016 from cpan (15.65% of cpan)
that is 1685 distributions (8.88% of cpan)
that's not half of cpan, but a good deal nevertheless. chances are that you will find the module you need - and if you don't, drop me a mail or open a request and i'll package it for you.

but the biggest change that you will see in mandriva 2010 regarding perl (well, maybe you won't even notice it), is the new standardized version scheme forced upon all perl modules. for example, dist-zilla version 1.092680 is shipped for mandriva 2010 in rpm perl-Dist-Zilla-1.92.680. yes, i know, it means that the mandriva version might differ from upstream version. yes, i am aware that this sucks. yes, i am also aware that there's no real way to get upstream version back from mandriva rpm version. and no, i don't plan to roll back this change - unless you have another miracle solution that deals with rpm not understanding cpan modules changing their versioning scheme without bumping their major (grrr!).

however, note that previous mandriva version (and fedora too) already mangled some modules version, but not all of them - which is even worse imo. since i agree with david that version numbers should be boring, all modules now have their version mangled. no ifs, no buts, we're mangling it. and it makes life easier for us packagers...

of course, the modules' code is not affected by this change. it's only the packaging that changed a bit. to check which version is installed, just check the $VERSION of this package. that's always been, and remains, the only safe way to be sure. eg:
$ perl -E 'for (@ARGV){eval "require $_"; say "$_\t",$_->VERSION if !$@}' Dist::Zilla
Dist::Zilla 1.092680
on the parrot front, we're shipping 1.6.0 (1.7.0 was too late to be included). and rakudo is still not present, since it cannot use an installed parrot.

all in all, that's a quite a good release on the perl front. if you add all the work that went in all other areas, mandriva 2010 will be quite a solid release. i invite you to test it out - who knows, you might even like it so much that you'll switch to it permanently! :-)

[0] no need to complain, rgs - i know your feelings about it.
[1] yup, i took the ownership of the perl package - silly me...
[2] why, yes, i install all perl modules available as rpm on my box :-)

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