Monday, 03 June, 2002
Up late last night wrestling with ActiveState Perl on Apollo. While I got the basic functionality working, and RCS functional, I’m not able to add additional Perl modules from CPAN. It looks like the Makefile is being generated with “bad separator” characters, and consequently, I can’t get updates to Perl. This won’t do, as I need several modules for login and email.
Whew! Did I get my butt kicked. A classic example of 95% done, 95% of the effort remaining. The basic Perl behavior – showing pages, editing, running RCS to store and recall revisions – went relatively smoothly (see the last two days blogs). But a couple of the advanced functions – registering new users, sending mail – required additional Perl modules not included with the original. I attempted to run CPAN to obtain these modules, but it was throwing errors on cl.exe and make. It appears that there was no cl.exe included, and the Cygwin Make.exe is incompatible (too UNIXy) to work with the ActiveState native Win32 stuff. So, installed VC6 to provide the native Win32 tools of Nmake.exe and Cl.exe. Still got errors, way outside my level of expertise. Dug around newsgroups and messageboards and finally threw in the towel. The conventional wisdom is the cygwin is a Unix emulation on Win32, while ActivePerl is a full port, and the two do not co-exit well. Wish I knew how others got it to work, or claim they do. Out with ActiveState, rolling back to Cygwin. A big disappointment, as performance is a key reason for moving to Apollo, and the Cygwin Perl in CGI mode is not going to be as scalable as the PerlIS module in native ISAPI mode. On the bright side, the ISAPI interface is more likely to crash the server, so we’ll just have to see how it works out.