As time moves on the Voyage gradually moves forward.
In the proposal I sent, I already knew that I would not be able to dedicate any time until the last week of September. So, what did happen until now:
The Apache & mod_perl nightmare
ACTually, let me take you back december 2013. After I visited the London Perl Workshop, I went to the French hackathon Patch -p1 in Paris to see if I could do some useful things on ACT. I wanted a good looking web-site for the Dutch Perl Workshop! The only thing I had at time was a jurassic Apple PowerBook G3 500Mhz FW. I still love that baby. During that specific hackathon my slow machine was not performing well and I had to go back home without having much achieved, technically.
Back home I bought a book that most would start screaming about "Practical mod_perl". In there is a recipe to get it all up and running... If only. As family we went to a resort in Belgium between Christmas and New-Year and I tried to be a nice family man. Most of the time I was trying to set-up my machine so it would run Apache 1.x with mod_perl. And it still didn't work out.
The best solution was actually the most simple one, a dead clean install of the original MacOS 10.4! Which includes a running Apache 1.x and mod_perl pre installed... Had I only known before.
Why this long story? For it is one of the many stories you will hear from anybody that wanted to install Act on their own system. It is a nightmare. Luckily there were some people that had succeeded before:
- Detlev sent his notes on how tried to set up his development virtual machine for the NLPW and I never got the chance to work those out for one simple reason: I did not had a laptop robust enough to run virtualisation. But that has changed.
- Alex Mundata had worked out a way to install a working setup inside a Vagrant box. I looked at it and tried it - but failed a few times, as there were some unclear things in his setup
The green pastures of 'Act-out-of-the-box'
So, I took all that info and started to work on a super easy way for any Act developer to start hacking:
- Download Vagrant
- Download the 'Act-out-of-the-box' vagrant image
- vagrant up
- Choose your install type
- Welcome to Act
So, what is happening there, what install types...?
As it seems there are different ways people like to work on Act. Some of them just want a test machine so they can play locally with the design and interaction. For them there will be a pre-setup environment that will give them only what they need. Others want to do some stuff in the core of Act, those will get another environment.
During that last install step, it does one other important thing, it does clone a repository from GitHub: the stable production version, the HOT Act Voyager version or a PSGI version.
The 'Act-out-of-the-box' comes pre-installed with:
- Apache 1.2.42
- mod_perl 1.31
- sample databases
- Act dependencies
This is going to save all Act developers, including myself a lot of work and time. I think this is a huge step forward to make Act hackable for anybody.
I'm about to finish the last step in the installation procedure, so that will work nicely as it is supposed to work, not like some idiot me has smashed it together.
Then... it gets time for me to get the databases a bit more fancy and give Act a nice shiny DBIx::Class interface.
Patch -p2 hackathon in Lyon
I'm looking forward to the end of november, when Patch -p2 will be held in Lyon. I hope a lot of fundamental things have changed before then so we can all work on some fresh hackable environment
Your Captain Theo van Hoesel