[Pdx-pm] Module Installation, An Interpretive Dance in Five Unnatural Acts

Michael G Schwern schwern at gmail.com
Thu Jul 6 12:20:23 PDT 2006

Since we're having a hackathon this Wednesday I'd like to rope folks
into helping me with my OSCON lightning talk.

I had a revelation this morning over breakfast.  Few people understand
the module installation toolchain.  The role CPAN, Module::Build,
MakeMaker, Module::Install, Test::More and Test::Harness play in
installing a simple Perl module.  What part does what?  And its all
pretty detailed and difficult to explain and frankly rather boring.

Then it hit me.

"Module Installation, An Interpretive Dance"!

A physical illustration of the module installation process in five
unnatural acts.
* MakeMaker
* Build
* Test
* Install

Performers would play out each part of the process while a module
installation scrolls by on the screen behind them.  Our hero, the
module itself making its way through the process, would be played by
one person.  MakeMaker by another.  make another.  And so on.

For example... the "Test" act.

The "voice of the developer" booms "MAKE TEST!"
"make" gathers together the ".t"s.
"make" hands the ".t files" to "Test::Harness"
Each ".t file", in turn, orders "module" to perform (dance, sing, etc...)
At the end of each performance, ".t" holds up an "ok" judging card.
During a performance, "module" makes a mistake.
".t" holds up a "not ok" card.
"Test::Harness" gives the thumbs down to "make".
"make" pulls out a gun and shoots "module".
"module" falls over dead.
The performance stops.
The lights dim.
"the developer" (dressed in white) walks on and applies a band-aid to "module"
   (alternative:  "the hand of the developer" comes down from on high
(the projector))
"module" returns to life.
The lights come back up.
The "Test" act repeats itself, quickly, this time with no mistakes.
"Test::Harness" gives "make" the thumbs up.
We proceed to the "Install" act.

Obviously this will need a lot of people, probably 10.  Musical talent
is optional.  There's a wide range of roles: members of the "CPAN
dischorus" and the ".t" players will be rather simple;  "make" will
require a lot of on stage time;  "module" will be the most involved.
Anyone with talent in music, opera, stage direction, costuming, dance,
etc... will be most welcome.  This can be as elaborate or as simple as
we have the time and effort for.

Inspirations include P.D.Q. Bach, Operaman and Spike Jonze's "Praise You" video.

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