Alien::Build vs. Alien::Base::ModuleBuild

I have been working on the next generation of Alien::Base installer which is called Alien::Build. It is already quite usable, and I encourage it's use for anyone who is considering building a new Alien modules. It may also be useful to migrate existing Aliens, if they have requirements that can utilize its unique features. The main idea is to concentrate the recipe for discovery and building of a library into an alienfile which is separate from the Perl installer (usually ExtUtils::MakeMaker or Module::Build). Over the next few weeks I intend on writing a little about some of the new features of Alien::Build. In the meantime, if you are interested, Alien::Build::Manual::AlienAuthor may help you get started.

A year ago I mentioned that we were planning on spinning Alien::Base::ModuleBuild (AB::MB) off from the main Alien::Base distribution. Now that we have a viable alternative, we plan to split AB::MB off into its own distribution next week. Alien::Base will specify AB::MB as a prerequisite, until the first of October 2017. At that time it will be removed as a prerequisite and if you are using AB::MB you will need to specify it as a configure_requires in your Build.PL.

The main potential breakage for this is that when trying to install an Alien which hasn't been
fixed, you will receive an error message like this:

Can't locate Alien/Base/ in @INC

I think most Perl programmers will know that they need to install AB::MB and this is a very minor inconvenience. In addition, because we have been aggressive about notifying Alien developers and providing pull requests there are very few Alien modules that still have this bug. Those that do are not used widely .

We plan on maintaining AB::MB for quite some time, as there is a lot of working code that uses it, and works well.

Leave a comment

About Graham Ollis

user-pic Perl programmer with an interest in Alien and FFI technologies. Primary developer of FFI::Platypus and Alien::Build.