The full title of this session is, 21st Century Systems Perl – the New Perl Enlightment for sysadmins
While Perl isn’t dying, “PERL” most certainly is dying. This is a good thing, because it includes all the really crappy stuff, such as Matt’s Script Archive. Thank goodness for that. To be fair, this code would have been horrible written in any language. Remember, blame the artist, not the tool.
We have a very mature community, which means we also have very mature practices. We are also converging on a standard platform, even if there are more than one ways to do something.
Part 1: Minimising Developer Fatalities
As a developer, we should do what we can to make our sysadmins’ lives easier.
Right off the bat, we should use the local::lib module, which allows an application to use custom library areas without polluting the system installation areas. It can even work with /etc/skel. Matt is a big fan of using a local library path, included with the application, so it can be maintained separately from both the operating system vendor’s modules and even other applications.
Improve module installation using Module::Install.
Package modules for your distribution of choice using cpan2dist.
Improve the CPAN experience using App::cpanminus, which is amazing easy to bootstrap:
> wget cpanmin.us > ./cpanm
Start using all of the modules associated with best practices by installing Task::Kensho.
Vendors are getting better at distributing Perl and keeping up with module releases. The Debian Perl team is the strongest, with Fedora lagging quite a bit far behind. Fedora is finally getting better, now that members of the Perl community have a say in the packaging of Perl and the modules.
After many debug sessions, Matt has come to the conclusion that mod_$lang is evil. Jamming languages into the web server is a bad, bad idea. However, actually hooking into the different handlers can be useful. Matt’s preference now is now FastCGI.
Part 2: Maximising Automation Banality
“In the systems world, shiny and exciting is not good.”
Use IO::All to fix the syntax and semantics of I/O operations.
Systems script shouldn’t need to be deployed. It should be possible to just drop the script onto a host and it will Just Work. That’s where PAR::Packer.