Thursday, June 26, 2008

The CPAN is a Mixed Blessing

The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) was the first serious package manager I ever saw. It seems to have stagnated.

When I first saw it, it seemed miraculous. If you asked it for something, not only did it get what you want and install it, it also got everything the package you'd asked for depended on! Amazing.

Yesterday, I got a Debian package, for one of my Ubuntu boxes, that had some Perl stuff. I'd already gotten pieces of it (maybe all of it) from the CPAN, at some forgotten point in the past. The versions clashed.

Ah! No problem. The new version's right. I'll just remove the CPAN version.

Oops! There is no CPAN "uninstall." My choices now are to update via the CPAN in addition to everything else, or to un-install my box and start over.


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