[Pdx-pm] Perl executables...

Chris Dawson cdawson at webiphany.com
Wed May 21 20:33:03 CDT 2003

On Wed, 21 May 2003, Tom Phoenix wrote:

> > In corporate atmospheres people are very wary about installing anything
> > with an installer,
> Why would you trust someone to give you an opaque binary if you don't
> trust them to give you an installer? Or are you saying that that's what
> they do, even if it doesn't make sense? :-)

I am saying that running an installer that writes to the registry and
manipulates extension mappings is scarier than running an executable from
a trustworthy source like yours truly, especially when I signed a contract
with ABC Corp, not ActiveState.  I am definitely not saying it makes
sense.  They trust our .exe because we signed a contract where we agreed
not to hose their facilities, but they rarely want to commit to making any
changes to their certified software lists on their end.  I suppose I could
pretend the ActiveState installer is something I wrote, but read below why
I am not sure this is a good idea anyway.

> > it is basically perl+script in one big file, but size is not so much an
> > issue in these situations as is the machine lock down that their IT
> > departments have imposed.
> Another policy that doesn't make sense to me. If you can install and run
> an opaque .exe file, why can't you run an installer program that installs
> a Perl program and (optionally, as needed) perl and some modules? After
> all, the opaque .exe could do the installation. In fact, that sounds like
> the way to sneak it past 'em.

On Windows, how do you install your non-standard perl modules, like
XML::XPath?  Using PPM?  What if the repository for ActiveState is down,
as it is often?  Do I send them a zip, ask them to unzip to a temporary
location and then run the installer program (um, perhaps a compiled perl
program, rinse, repeat, rinse...) to install ActiveState perl, and then
that installer also runs PPM to install modules coming from a zip within
that temp directory?  If any of those steps fail, I have to write logic
into my app to handle this.  Also, what if my permissions don't allow me
to install Perl for some reason?  All of this seems like it is much more
difficult to do than shipping a .exe perl program, and also still requires
a compiled perl app (unless the "install manager" is a batch script or
something), and most importantly has a lot of potential for user error.
With perl2exe I just test the script as a .pl on my machine and then run
perl2exe and ship it.  I have done this with several clients and there
seem to be no incompatibilities with the .exe produced, which I think was
the original question.

Oh, and I meant IT departments have "large network connections and very
stringent policies when it comes to installing third-party software."
That previous remark was a typo.  Sorry Selena! :)


> Cheers!
> --Tom Phoenix

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