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CPAN Module Installation (aka Oh, God, Here We Go Again)

by marinersk (Priest)
on Jul 24, 2014 at 03:14 UTC ( #1094866=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

marinersk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

New computer. Most but not all installation complete.

Decided I'd like to try my hand at automating Windows stuff (mouse, keyboard, etc.). The tools out there are nice but gosh wouldn't it be nice to have some more direct control.

A quick Google search turns up references to Win32::GuiTest. Sounds about right. Let's go get it.

And then and old, familiar panic starts to set in. OMG I am going to have to learn again how to install a CPAN module.

:: sigh :: Heaven help me.

And I have my usual measure of first-attempt success:

S:\Steve\Dev\gscripter>perl -MCPAN -e 'install Win32::GuiTest' It looks like you don't have a C compiler and make utility installed. + Trying to install dmake and the MinGW64 gcc compiler using the Perl Package M +anager. This may take a a few minutes... ppm.bat install failed: Can't find any package that provides MinGW64 It looks like the installation of dmake and MinGW64 has failed. You w +ill not be able to run Makefile commands or compile C extension code. Please +check your internet connection and your proxy settings! Can't find string terminator "'" anywhere before EOF at -e line 1.

I'm almost ready to just give up on Perl. After all this time, you'd think this stuff would have gained more ground in the usability space. Problem is, all the Perl geeks who use CPAN use it enough to remember all the tips, tricks, gotchas, pre-reqs, etc.

So y'all have only improved the stuff where you have felt it was needed. (This is not a complaint. It is merely an observation and a conclusion.)

It's too late and I'm not 18 anymore. Guess I'll put this down and pick it back up another day.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka blaming the wrong people, not reading the product documentation)
by marto (Cardinal) on Jul 24, 2014 at 07:23 UTC

    "I'm almost ready to just give up on Perl. After all this time, you'd think this stuff would have gained more ground in the usability space. Problem is, all the Perl geeks who use CPAN use it enough to remember all the tips, tricks, gotchas, pre-reqs, etc."

    This isn't a perl issue, it's an ActiveState issue. If you want to make life difficult for yourself while working on a Windows platform, use ActiveState. If you want to make life easier use Strawberry Perl. The compiler issue you mention is well documented, even by ActiveState standards. Basic research would have found this issue before installing the product. Strawberry perl ships with everything you need (regardless of 32/64 bit builds).

    "So y'all have only improved the stuff where you have felt it was needed."

    Again you're talking (well complaining) about one commercial product, not Perl. Have you raised these issues with ActiveState? I doubt it. I'm curious as to what improvements you helped make in these areas, rather that point out where you (mistakenly) believe others have concentrated their contributions.

Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka Use Strawberry Perl)
by Athanasius (Archbishop) on Jul 24, 2014 at 06:46 UTC

    Hello marinersk,

    Don’t give up so quickly!

    Looks like you’re on MS Windows. So, install Strawberry Perl. I’m using version 5.20.0.1 / 64bit, in the “PortableZIP” package which comes with PDL. This installed without hassle, and the installation includes Win32::GuiTest 1.60 as part of the package. (See the release notes for the many other modules, tools, and libraries that are bundled in the installation package). The chief benefit of using the “PortableZIP” install is that it sits happily side-by-side with any other Perl installations on your system.

    Why make things harder for yourself than they need to be? ;-)

    Hope that helps,

    Athanasius <°(((><contra mundum Iustus alius egestas vitae, eros Piratica,

Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka choices are choices)
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 24, 2014 at 06:40 UTC
Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka Oh, God, Here We Go Again)
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:15 UTC
    Decided I'd like to try my hand at automating Windows stuff

    There is your problem right there. Windows. Perl was originally developed for Unix-like operating systems, and to this very day, still works better on Linux. It works so well, as a matter of fact, I'm impressed.

    But you, on that inferior OS Windows, complain that the normally perfectly working Perl systems, don't work right.

    Switch to Linux, because Windows is your REAL problem.

    Plasma shields UP!! :-)


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh
      Plasma shields UP!! :-)

      ;=) you do not need it dear zentara, I hope here we are free to express our opinion..

      Indeed as stated by Athanasius Strawberry Perl come very handy if you need or want to work with not-freedom-driven OS.

      In real life there are a lot of systems (clients and servers) where i put my own usb key with portable perl by strawberry. I use in conjuction with UnxTools and i pipe perl's program to grep and tail for my pleasure.

      Strawberry also come with an uptodate version of make and dmake. no pain with cpan installation.

      L*
      There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
      Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.

      If I wasn't used to this kind of stupid trolling repeating over and over again since I started using Perl some fifteen years ago, I would find it strange from people that swear to "There is more than one way to do it."

      No, Windows is not the problem, this attitude is.

      Jenda
      Enoch was right!
      Enjoy the last years of Rome.

        I didn't mean to impune StarwberryPerl, and I'm grateful to you and the others who make it all possible.

        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
        Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh
Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka Oh, God, Here We Go Again)
by jellisii2 (Hermit) on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:53 UTC
    There is a camp that says "If you want to work on windows, use the vendor supplied tools." While I don't sit in that camp, I can say that if you're genuinely sick of "this usability stuff" concerning ActiveState's version of perl to the point of giving up, Look into Powershell. It's a MASSIVELY HUGE LARGE ENORMOUS improvement over batch files, if you're willing to invest the time to learn it. The learning curve is a bit steep in my opinion, as the community is significantly smaller, as is the accompanying documentation, but it gets you well into the guts of the OS and FS in a way that I haven't seen matched.
Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka Oh, God, Here We Go Again)
by BillKSmith (Prior) on Jul 24, 2014 at 15:23 UTC

    Although I do not disagree with any of the arguments given for not using ActiveState Perl, I fell that it does offer advantages to the Windows user who knows little or nothing of Unix.

    The first is ease of installation. You download the file appropriate to your version of windows, click on it, and wait for the installation to complete.

    The second is documentation. Documentation of ActiveState features and windows procedures is merged with the perl documents in an easy-to-use form.

    The third is the GUI interface to their package management utility (PPM). The windows user should find this intuitive. True, the default depository does not have every module in CPAN. However, you can be confident that the modules that it does have will work in your environment. (My installation does include Win32::GUITest. Check it out marinersk)

    Bill

      Until you find you can't access AS PPM repos because you're using an old perl and they want to charge you for access. Strawberry perl is trivial to install, and even has portable options. Strawberry perl can install via PPM also.

        Everyone who finds it trivial to find, download, install, initialize and test required, but unfamiliar utilities on their new windows computer already has strawberry perl! Everyone else weighs the advantages against the effort. I choose AS many years ago and have rarely regretted my choice.
        Bill
Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka Oh, God, Here We Go Again)
by tbone654 (Beadle) on Jul 24, 2014 at 13:33 UTC
    Rule #1 for All New Windows Computers
    1.) Install Redhat Cygwin a.)Install all modules in the install package 2.) Add any additional packages a.) perl -MCPAN -e shell i.) install Net::Telnet ii.) install Other::Packages 3.) Yer done...
    Like running a virtual UNIX box on top of Windows

      Rule #1 for All Your New Windows Computers

      For people that would rather use Unix, but find themselves in front of a Windows box, yes, this is probably the right advice. I think such people are few and far apart. Anyone who uses Windows, because s?he wants to use Windows, will react to such advice by muttering "you know what? Go fsck yourself." and leaving Perl. There's little Perl still has to offer anyway.

      For administration type stuff he'd rather use PowerShell and for other kinds of programming C#.

      Jenda
      Enoch was right!
      Enjoy the last years of Rome.

Re: CPAN Module Installation (aka Oh, God, Here We Go Again)
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 24, 2014 at 06:33 UTC
    Obvious troll is obvious.
       > Anonymous Monk:
       > Why is this under perlmeditation?

      Because that's where we comment on Perl-related musings.
      The more important question is why was it moved to Seekers of Perl Wisdom? I wasn't asking for help. It's not like I haven't ever successfully installed CPAN modules. I just do it so infrequently that I don't have the decoder ring and magical incantation sheet handy. :-)

       > Athanasius:
       > So, install Strawberry Perl.

      I may have to consider it. You and others indicate some (finally-) pertinent advantages, and I still really do like Perl -- so much that I've not taken the time to really grow into any other languages since I started using it. I can't blame anyone but me for that LOL.

       > marto:
       > Again you're talking (well complaining) about one commercial product, not Perl.

      An oddly mixed comment, as I was making an observation, not a complaint -- yet you are spot on regarding the details of the scope of the issue.

      However, the fact that the details of my issue comes from a particular flavor of Perl doesn't change the fact that I still find it daunting to load CPAN modules, which are -- wonderfully -- a sort of bread and butter (or backbone) of the Perl community. The single biggest reason I feel out of step with the rest of the Perl community is because I wrote nearly all the modules I needed a long time ago, and increasingly, the solutions posted in SoPW rightfully point to CPAN modules with which I have allowed myself no time to acquire notable familiarity.

      But that's my problem -- and this remains an observation, not a complaint. :-)

       > zentara
       > Plasma shields UP!! :-)

      LOL! Don't need the shields around me -- I have pretty thick skin (and, as this thread has shown, sometimes a thick skull, also) and don't find religious comments problematic until the author shows a sincere failure to admit to reality.

      For the record, that isn't you. :-)

      I found your comment appropriately humorous, and appreciate the closing note, quoted above. The plasma/smiley line clearly states (to me, anyway) "If you don't have a sense of humor, this line will not help".

       > jellisii2
       > Look into Powershell.

      Thanks for the tip -- I have been, actually, for the very reason you state. I haven't pursued it as diligently as I could have because, well, to be honest, Perl does most of what I need and I can write it in my sleep.

      Recent code of mine might even be proof that I often do (ROFL).

       > Jenda
       > For administration type stuff he'd rather use PowerShell and for other kinds of programming C#.

      Likely. I'm kind of on the fence about C# -- but there's a market out for it, which isn't as true of my other strong language (C -- heck, even C++ is becoming less prevalent), so C# remains a fairly strong candidate for my second-next new language.

      First is Java, not only because the job market is still strong for it, but because that's the chosen and preferred language for developing Android Apps.

       > BillKSmith
       > My installation does include Win32::GUITest. Check it out marinersk

      I did, but trying to run PPM directly also yielded similar issues. As has been pointed out, some more succinctly than others, the simple issue is that I either need to finish the loading of my complete developer platform software suite, to include GNU C and NMAKE or similar toolings, or I need to shift the paradigm a bit. My working world is moving increasingly to the 64-bit platform, and yet somehow remains largely Windows-centric despite a genuine, though not strongly pursued, desire to move into the Linux space. I just keep landing jobs where they pay me to work on Windows systems, which has somehow managed to survive decades of mediocrity and poor product direction decisions.

      Thanks, one and all, for your comments, advice, and even the critiques. I just wish this post hadn't been put on SoPW. I was not seeking advice.

      But, typical of our wonderful Monastery community, help and advice was forthcoming anyway. :-)

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