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1If you read this file _as_is_, just ignore the funny characters you see.
2It is written in the POD format (see pod/perlpod.pod) which is specially
3designed to be readable as is.
4
5=head1 NAME
6
7README.macosx - Perl under Mac OS X
8
9=head1 SYNOPSIS
10
11This document briefly describes perl under Mac OS X.
12
13
14=head1 DESCRIPTION
15
16The latest Perl (5.8.1-RC3 as of this writing) builds without changes
17under Mac OS X. Under the 10.3 "Panther" release, all self-tests pass,
18and all standard features are supported.
19
20Earlier Mac OS X releases did not include a completely thread-safe libc,
21so threading is not fully supported. Also, earlier releases included a
22somewhat buggy libdb, so some of the DB_File tests are known to fail on
23those releases.
24
25
f7451e23 26=head2 Installation Prefix
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27
28The default installation location for this release uses the traditional
29UNIX directory layout under /usr/local. This is the recommended location
30for most users, and will leave the Apple-supplied Perl and its modules
31undisturbed.
32
33Using an installation prefix of '/usr' will result in a directory layout
34that mirrors that of Apple's default Perl, with core modules stored in
35'/System/Library/Perl/${version}', CPAN modules stored in
36'/Library/Perl/${version}', and the addition of
37'/Network/Library/Perl/${version}' to @INC for modules that are stored
38on a file server and used by many Macs.
39
40
f7451e23 41=head2 libperl and Prebinding
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42
43Mac OS X ships with a dynamically-loaded libperl, but the default for
44this release is to compile a static libperl. The reason for this is
45pre-binding. Dynamic libraries can be pre-bound to a specific address in
46memory in order to decrease load time. To do this, one needs to be aware
47of the location and size of all previously-loaded libraries. Apple
48collects this information as part of their overall OS build process, and
49thus has easy access to it when building Perl, but ordinary users would
50need to go to a great deal of effort to obtain the information needed
51for pre-binding.
52
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53You can override the default and build a shared libperl if you wish
54(S<Configure ... -Duseshrlib>), but the load time will be
55significantly greater than either the static library, or Apple's
56pre-bound dynamic library.
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57
58
f7451e23 59=head2 Updating Panther
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60
61As of this writing, the latest Perl release that has been tested and
62approved for inclusion in the 10.3 "Panther" release of Mac OS X is
635.8.1 RC3. It is currently unknown whether the final 5.8.1 release will
64be made in time to be tested and included with Panther.
65
66If the final release of Perl 5.8.1 is not made in time to be included
67with Panther, it is recommended that you wait for an official Apple
68update to the OS, rather than attempting to update it yourself. In most
69cases, if you need a newer Perl, it is preferable to install it in some
70other location, such as /usr/local or /opt, rather than overwriting the
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71system Perl. The default location (no -Dprefix=... specified when running
72Configure) is /usr/local.
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73
74If you find that you do need to update the system Perl, there is one
75potential issue. If you upgrade using the default static libperl, you
76will find that the dynamic libperl supplied by Apple will not be
77deleted. If both libraries are present when an application that links
78against libperl is built, ld will link against the dynamic library by
79default. So, if you need to replace Apple's dynamic libperl with a
80static libperl, you need to be sure to delete the older dynamic library
81after you've installed the update.
82
83Note that this is only an issue when updating from an older build of the
84same Perl version. If you're updating from (for example) 5.8.1 to 5.8.2,
85this issue won't affect you.
86
87
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88=head2 Known problems
89
90If you have installed extra libraries such as GDBM through Fink
91(in other words, you have libraries under F</sw/lib>), or libdlcompat
92to F</usr/local/lib>, you may need to be extra careful when running
93Configure to not to confuse Configure and Perl about which libraries
94to use. Being confused will show up for example as "dyld" errors about
95symbol problems, for example during "make test". The safest bet is to run
96Configure as
97
98 Configure ... -Uloclibpth -Dlibpth=/usr/lib
99
100to make Configure look only into the system libraries. If you have some
101extra library directories that you really want to use (such as newer
102Berkeley DB libraries in pre-Panther systems), add those to the libpth:
103
104 Configure ... -Uloclibpth -Dlibpth='/usr/lib /opt/lib'
105
106The default of building Perl statically may cause problems with complex
107applications like Tk: in that case consider building shared Perl
108
109 Configure ... -Duseshrplib
110
111but remember that there's a startup cost to pay in that case (see above
112"libperl and Prebinding").
113
114
115=head2 MacPerl
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116
117Quite a bit has been written about MacPerl, the Perl distribution for
118"Classic MacOS" - that is, versions 9 and earlier of MacOS. Because it
119runs in environment that's very different from that of UNIX, many things
120are done differently in MacPerl. Modules are installed using a different
121procedure, Perl itself is built differently, path names are different,
122etc.
123
124From the perspective of a Perl programmer, Mac OS X is more like a
125traditional UNIX than Classic MacOS. If you find documentation that
126refers to a special procedure that's needed for MacOS that's drastically
127different from the instructions provided for UNIX, the MacOS
128instructions are quite often intended for MacPerl on Classic MacOS. In
129that case, the correct procedure on Mac OS X is usually to follow the
130UNIX instructions, rather than the MacPerl instructions.
131
132
f7451e23 133=head2 Carbon
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134
135MacPerl ships with a number of modules that are used to access the
136classic MacOS toolbox. Many of these modules have been updated to use
137Mac OS X's newer "Carbon" toolbox, and are available from CPAN in the
138"Mac::Carbon" module.
139
140
f7451e23 141=head2 Cocoa
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142
143There are two ways to use Cocoa from Perl. Apple's PerlObjCBridge
144module, included with Mac OS X, can be used by standalone scripts to
145access Foundation (i.e. non-GUI) classes and objects.
146
147An alternative is CamelBones, a framework that allows access to both
148Foundation and AppKit classes and objects, so that full GUI applications
149can be built in Perl. CamelBones can be found on SourceForge, at
150L<http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/camelbones/>.
151
152
153=head1 AUTHOR
154
155This README was written by Sherm Pendley E<lt>sherm@dot-app.orgE<gt>.
156
157=head1 DATE
158
f7451e23 159Last modified 2003-08-16.