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PPM build servers are dead -- long live PPM!

Subject: PPM build servers are dead -- long live PPM!
From: "Jan Dubois"
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2008 22:28:12 -0700
Our PPM build server infrastructure has been very maintenance
intensive; it needed some manual tweaking and fixing on a weekly
basis.  We finally couldn't stand doing it any longer and turned them
off a couple of weeks ago.  The PPM repositories are still there, but
they are not being updated anymore.

But fear not!  We took the time saved from having to do all the build
monitoring and fixing and started writing a new simplified build
system that avoids many of the problems the old one runs into.

We have built test repositories for 32-bit ActivePerl 5.10 on Windows
and Linux and would welcome any feedback from people willing to
beta-test them.  They are currently being hosted at:

  http://ppm.activestate.com/beta

There you'll find additional information about configuring them as
your default PPM4 repositories.  It contains links to the build-status
tables at the bottom (one per letter), e.g.

  http://ppm.activestate.com/beta/idx/W.html

If you are a CPAN author then you will also want to check the status
page listing all the modules from your CPAN directory, e.g.

  http://ppm.activestate.com/beta/author/GAAS.html

We are interested in feedback, especially regarding:

* Do you experience any problems with either the commandline or the
  GUI PPM client with these new repositories?

* Do the modules installed from these repositories work properly on
  your system?  Did they fetch all necessary prerequisites?

* If you are a module author and your module did not build or test
  properly: do the build logs contain sufficient information to
  understand _why_ they were not being built?

* Is there any information that you would like to see in the build
  status results?  What is it, and what do you need it for?

Please send your feedback to the PPM mailing list at

  mailto:ppm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

or enter a bug report in our bug database (use "ActivePerl" product
and "PPM_Server" component):

  http://bugs.activestate.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=ActivePerl

Here are a couple of known issues that we are already aware of:

* Some packages contain additional files that are not needed (and
  ignored) by the PPM client (HTML documentation, debugging symbols).
  This has already been fixed in the build system and all packages
  build during the last few days should already have these additional
  files stripped.

* Modules bundled with ActivePerl use static linking for all non-
  standard additional libraries.  E.g. Crypt-SSLeay does not require
  that libssl32.so or libssl32.dll is installed as well.  This makes
  it easier to bundle these modules with packagers like PAR, PerlApp
  or Perl2exe, and also avoids putting additional DLLs on the PATH
  where they might conflict with different versions of the same DLLs
  from other applications.

  For all modules bundled by ActivePerl (and for some additional
  popular modules we have defined on our internal "watchlist") we want
  to make sure the PPM packages will also use statically linked
  libraries.  This has not been done yet, so especially the Linux
  packages may include references to locally installed additional
  libraries (libz.so, libgd.so etc).

* The layout of the build status information is preliminary and hasn't
  been reviewed by a web-designer yet.

The ActivePerl Team


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