mod_perl or: Why Linux Can Be So Difficult.

First I need to say that I’m writing this all for the second time. Ecto (which I generally love) crashed after I tried to insert a link and I lost about 500 words. Nice.

In continuing with my previously mentioned desire to research wiki’s I came across and started to install Twiki, the Wiki I found to be the best tool for my needs and in my opinion, the most powerful wiki currently available. The install took two evenings–much longer than the MediaWiki install took, but that’s pretty typical for perl applications, they’re often more powerful and almost always more difficult than their PHP counterparts to install.

Everything went fairly well with the install and I was happy with it until I tried to edit an entry. I discovered that anything over about 500 characters was truncated when I saved the entry. After much searching, I found this page which suggests it’s a mod_perl problem. “Fine, I’ll just upgrade mod_perl” I said to myself. After a quick search I found an RPM for mod_perl-1.99_11-0. Attempting to install it returned three dependency errors. Not totally unexpected, but in order to lessen the amount of dependencies, I looked for and found an older version (mod_perl-1.99_09-10) which pleasantly surprised me by only returning one dependency error:

error: Failed dependencies:

httpd-mmn = 20020903 is needed by mod_perl-1.99_09-10

httpd-mmn didn’t look or sound familiar to me. A bit of Googling revealed that it has something to do with the version of Apache that’s installed. Great. I checked my version and found I’m using Apache 2.0.40. Upgrading Apache isn’t simple, especially running Plesk which requires a Plesk friendly Apache RPM. Usually that’s not a problem since they can be found on AtomicRocketTurtle’s site. I tried to do a YUM upgrade using his repository only to find he’s blocked EV1servers because he doesn’t like the way they handled the SCO / Linux issues. Great, another minor setback, but I decided to just download his RPM’s directly using wget (even though he recommends against this) and go from there. So, 20 minutes later I had downloaded enough RPM’s to upgrade Plesk and hopefully Apache with it. All went well, the usually less-than-simple task of upgrading Plesk succeeded with only minor hitches. I went back to the folder with the mod_perl rpm and tried it. It failed. Same dependency. Sigh. From here I really don’t know what to do.

This is why Linux is sometimes very frustrating to me. I’ve spent two evenings trying to install Twiki and another trying to make it work. Now I’m up at 1 in the morning at a dead end.