File: PPM-HowTo

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From ach@mpe.mpg.de Mon, 09 Nov 1998 19:04:54 +0100
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From: Achim Bohnet <ach@mpe.mpg.de>
To: ptk@lists.stanford.edu
Cc: Murray Nesbitt <murray@activestate.com>
Subject: FYI: PPM recipe for module authors
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Due to the explanations of Murray Nesbitt I was able to produce a
PPM compliant distribution of Tk-Pod that can be installed with
ActiveStates ppm.pl tool.

I know it's a bit of topic but several people on the list had their
fights with this subject...

I've tried/verified the procedure below on Digitial Unix with perl 5.005_01
so some of the pitfalls may not be present using ActivePerl on Win*

	1) Add to WriteMakefile() call in Makefile.PL the attributes

	    ABSTRACT => 'A description of your module',
	    AUTHOR => 'Author Name (email@addr)',

	   Pitfall:

		o '<' and '>' are not escaped in generated ppd file
		  so one better used above format instead of a
		  proper email address like: Author Name <email@addr)

		o ABSTRACT should not be one line because embedded
		  \n are not escaped properly resulting in a buggy Makefile

		o To ensure that Makefile.PL run without complains with
		  older perl version I would suggested to wrap the two
		  attributes between  $] < 5.005 ? () : ( AUTHOR => ..., ...)

		o There seems to be some confusion about modules versus
		  distributions in the PPM business because PREREQ_PM =>
		  { This::Module => $min_version, ... }
		  that is used to track module dependencies, is translated
		  into a 'distribution like' dependency in the PPD file
			<DEPENDENCY NAME="This-Module" />

	2) run 'perl Makefile.pl BINARY_LOCATION=x86/Dist-Name.tar.gz'
	   where Dist-Name is the name of the distribution, e.g., Tk-Pod
	   in my case.

	3) run 'make ppd'.  This will create a Dist-Name.ppd file, e.g.,
	   Tk-Pod.ppd in my case.

	   Pitfall:

		o if you are not on Win* system you have to replace
		  the <OS NAME="my_os" /> with <OS NAME="MSWin32" />
		  (of course this fix only works for pure perl
		  distributions)

	4) run 'make'

	   Pitfall:

		o I assume that on Win* scripts listed in EXE_FILES
		  would be wrapped into a .bat.  Generation
		  on Unix does not do it of course.

	5) tar and gzip the resulting blib directory

	    'tar cvf module.tar blib'
	    'gzip module.tar'

	6) Create a directory that is accessible via WWW and copy
	   the ppd file into it.  Place the tar ball of the blib
	   directory relative to the ppd file with the relative path
	   used in step 2)

		/path/to/ppm/Dist-Name.ppd
		/path/to/ppm/x86/Dist-Name.tar.gz

	7) Now one sould be able to install it with ppm.pl from an
	   Win* box running ActivePerl with ppm.pl

		ppm> install http://www.our.server/my/ppd/Dist-Name.ppd

	   Pitfall:

		o Look like at least 'search' command uses some more
		  magic.  Setting the ppm.pl repository to the URL
		  of the direcotory with the just created .ppd file
		  returns HTML 'code' of the direcotory listing, generated
		  by apache, instead of a list of (one) PPM
		  distribution.


That's it.  If someone is adventuresome enough, try with ppm.pl

	install http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/~ach/ptk/ppm/Tk-Pod.ppd

or

	set repository ACH http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/~ach/ptk/ppm
	install Tk-Pod

Worked for my on NT 4.03 with ActivePerl build 504.

One can of course inspect http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/~ach/ptk/ppm
with a WWW browser to check the input used by ppm.pl

Hope this helps to create one's own PPM distribution,
Achim
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