[sf-perl] Perl host porting

Walt Sanders wsanders at pacificwebdesign.org
Thu Dec 18 12:29:19 PST 2008

Am I the only one finding Perl porting to different web hosts a problem?

I have one rather large website with about 400 pages, containing much  
user interaction handled with probably 50 or 60 perl.cgi programs  
scattered about in many directories.  It all works beautifully.

I recently thought to move the entire site to a different web host  
(for speed, cost and developer services improvements).  I actually  
thought I could just move it all and tweak a few paths possibly and be  
done.  So I tried putting up a few directories to see if everything  
will work ok.  Aaaaugh!  Perl won't work.

First I find that permission must be precisely 755 instead of the  
previous 777 (this baffles me).  Then only .pl instead of .cgi. or  
both.  Ok, irritating, but not a big problem (I didn't ask them to  
reset it).  But then only some of the perl programs would run.

Investigating, I start finding oddities like: program A works, program  
B doesn't.  I replace 100% of the content of program A with 100% of  
the content of program B, and program A then works fine.  I then  
rename program A to program B and it works fine.  OK, that one is  
fixed (not a clue as to why).  Hmmmmm.  If I take the original program  
B and simply change the name to program A (gotta work, right?), it  
doesn't work.

I could list a dozen similarly silly tweaks that eventually got about  
half of the perl programs working, none of them having to do with the  
programming itself!  I then tried to port to a 3rd large web host,  
thinking the 2nd host had some strange settings on its Apache server.   
There I found the same problem of very curious idiosyncrasies and  
curious illogical tweaks to make most of the Perl work, albeit  
different ones and none of it sensible.

I'm wondering if I live alone in my own little world of "stay the hell  
away from perl if you want a peaceful life".  On the first host, I had  
found perl to be wonderfully easy to program, totally reliable, and  
generally rock solid in the field.  This is a sad development.  Can  
anyone enlighten me a little as to what is going on?

I don't really want to change languages, Walt.

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