Alien::Base Beta Release!

I am happy to announce that Alien::Base (GitHub) has seen a beta release, version 0.001. It seems that my design change that I previously blogged about has indeed fixed (well avoided) the problems that I was having supporting Mac.

This is not to say that Alien::Base is quite completed. While I have released two testing modules which are an Alien:: module (Acme::Alien::DontPanic) and a dependent module (Acme::Ford::Prefect) these are very simple modules. To be sure that the API is flexible enough and that the loader mechanisms are robust enough Alien::Base needs to be used in the wild.

This week’s Chicago/ meeting, our monthly Project Night, will feature (though not exclusively) creating these modules. I personally will work on porting Alien::GSL to the Alien::Base system. I hope that if you are in the area you will consider attending or if not please attempt to wrap your favorite C library using Alien::Base and let me know how it goes.

Also, please try installing Alien::Base, Acme::Alien::DontPanic and Acme::Ford::Prefect (in that order, though installing Ford should just work), and let me know how that works on your system. I have been developing on Linux and have run some tests on Mac obviously. I have seen some conflicting reports on different Windows/Perl combinations, so this remains to be seen.

I am very happy to have reached this point, and I want to thank the Perl Foundation and my grant manager Makoto Nozaki for their patience with me. This was supposed to be a short project and it has become a much longer one than originally proposed. Hopefully the community will find it useful.


Fantastic work, Joel! I am excited that it’s finally out on CPAN. I think that at I’ll try to get Alien::FFCall and the next release of FFI onto CPAN as a separate test of the Alien::Base infrastructure. Not only would this be cool to have in general, but it would make it a lot easier for Alien module authors to write meaningful tests for their modules.

Congratulations getting this across the (first?) finish line! :-D

Awesome! I’m really glad to hear that this is available. The CPAN toolchain has been missing this functionality for too long.


I’m on Mac OSX Mountain Lion and all those modules you mentioned (Alien Base and the Acme modules) installed just fine.

I wonder how much effort to port the various Image::Magick stuff to this… That’s probably the #1 busted up hard to install alien module. I’d also love to see a few of the more popular XML/XSLT third party libraries ported and maybe even the dev libs for mysql and Pg, if that makes any sense.

This is great work and is probably one of the #1 issues that my webops/sysadmin people curse at Perl for! Making progress here is going to really help.

I would really like it if the mysql libs would be ‘Alienated’. Also, the GD libs are really hard to use; is down, it is confusing where to get these. Packaging them as a Perl module might help here. I understand I should try to build one of these…

Hmm…wondering if Alien::Base could be applied to poppler and poppler-utils…

Thanks for your effort! The three modules build, test and install cleanly on Mageia Linux 3/Cauldron. Given the time and the motivation, I can test it on other systems I have on VirtualBox VMs. Should I?

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About Joel Berger

user-pic As I delve into the deeper Perl magic I like to share what I can.