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Calculating Perl module installation directory

From: Adam Spiers
Subject: Calculating Perl module installation directory
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2011 16:12:04 +0000

Hi all,

I have been struggling to make GNU Stow installable via both autotools
and a more conventional CPAN-oriented process (since it's written in
Perl).  I've largely succeeded, but I've realised that I currently
have an unreliable method for calculating the path under which `make
install' should put Perl modules (which my code refers to as `pmdir').
Currently it naively defaults to ${libdir}/perl5 even though the
correct default would be the directory given by:

  perl -V:installsitelib

Incidentally this varies significantly by distribution; a quick sample
from my local systems reveals

  openSUSE: /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3
  Fedora:   /usr/local/share/perl5
  Ubuntu:   /usr/local/share/perl/5.12.4

But it's not good enough to simply take this value as the default,
because if the user invokes something like

  ./configure --prefix=/opt

then `make install' must not touch any directory outside /opt.
Bearing that in mind, what should the default value for pmdir be?  For
the Perl installations referenced above, I would suggest:

  openSUSE: /opt/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3
  Fedora:   /opt/share/perl5
  Ubuntu:   /opt/share/perl/5.12.4

This can be calculated by stripping `perl -V:siteprefix` (which will
be /usr on openSUSE and /usr/local on Fedora/Ubuntu) from off the
front of `perl -V:installsitelib` to obtain a relative path, and then
appending that to ${prefix}.  This means that the hierarchy under the
${prefix} chosen by the user mirrors Perl's siteprefix hierarchy for
per-site installs.  In other words:

    [  --with-pmdir=DIR        Perl modules are in DIR [[LIBDIR/perl5]]],
    [eval `$PERL -V:installsitelib -V:siteprefix`
AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS_POST([eval echo "Perl modules will be installed to $PMDIR"])

except that now the default value in the help text is wrong, and I
don't know how to fix it.

Is this a reasonable approach, and if so, how can I dynamically
generate the correct default value in the help text?


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