I loaded up Panther AKA Mac OS 10.3. They charged me full price for it, even though the computer’s exactly one month old (bad). Considerable visual improvement and some nice app bells & whistles, and this new Exposé thing is drop-dead cool (good). Emacs wouldn’t run (bad), rebuilt per the instructions of the OS X Emacs guy, worked fine (good). The ongoing software blew up because XML::Parser wasn’t there (bad). I shuddered with memory of previous bashings of the head against the OSS wall. Hey, Apple is now shipping with Perl 5.8.1 (good). Hey, there’s a cpan command that seems to be essentially a tool for firing single commands at perl -MCPAN -e shell. (Thanks to Iain Truskett for some syntax help). cpan install XML::Parser works (good). ongoing still won’t proof because DBI isn’t there (bad). cpan install DBI works (good). ongoing won’t proof because DBD::mysql isn’t there (bad). cpan install DBD::mysql almost works, but blows up on the last step with a gnarly ld error (bad). apt-get thinks my mysql is up to date. So for now I can’t proof and I can’t do pictures here (very bad). And DBD::mysql is a pretty damn important piece of infrastructure, so I’m not going to be only one feeling the pain. [Update: It’s fixed! Read on for details, thanks, and a bit more on the up- and down-sides of Open Source.]

Dominic Mitchell, Tony Bowden, Paul Mison, and Aaron Swartz all wrote in pointing to this and this, the latter being the official word from someone at Apple. It works, but just as with Apple’s previous Perl 5.6, but unlike the 5.8 I built myself, perl gives you a warning for each non-ASCII character that gets printed, sigh.

Anyhow, this is Open Source in a nutshell. Sometimes, unlike for example your typical OS X application, things don’t Just Work. But when they don’t, if you holler for help and are assiduous with Google, you get help a lot faster than a vendor can provide: for example, Apple’s own on-line support was entirely useless.


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
October 25, 2003
· Technology (85 fragments)
· · Mac OS X (114 more)

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