These are a few notes describing features peculiar to Plan 9 Perl. As such, it is not intended to be a replacement for the rest of the Perl 5 documentation (which is both copious and excellent). If you have any questions to which you can't find answers in these man pages, contact Luther Huffman at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to answer them.
Perl is invoked from the command line as described in perl. Most perl scripts, however, do have a first line such as “#!/usr/local/bin/perl”. This is known as a shebang (shell-bang) statement and tells the OS shell where to find the perl interpreter. In Plan 9 Perl this statement should be “#!/bin/perl” if you wish to be able to directly invoke the script by its name.
Alternatively, you may invoke perl with the command “Perl” instead of “perl”. This will produce Acme-friendly error messages of the form “filename:18”.
Some scripts, usually identified with a *.PL extension, are self-configuring and are able to correctly create their own shebang path from config information located in Plan 9 Perl. These you won't need to be worried about.
What's in Plan 9 Perl
Although Plan 9 Perl currently only provides static loading, it is built with a number of useful extensions. These include Opcode, FileHandle, Fcntl, and POSIX. Expect to see others (and DynaLoading!) in the future.
What's not in Plan 9 Perl
As mentioned previously, dynamic loading isn't currently available nor is MakeMaker. Both are high-priority items.
Perl5 Functions not currently supported in Plan 9 Perl
Some, such as
umask aren't provided because the concept does not exist within Plan 9. Others, such as some of the socket-related functions, simply haven't been written yet. Many in the latter category may be supported in the future.
The functions not currently implemented include:
chown, chroot, dbmclose, dbmopen, getsockopt, setsockopt, recvmsg, sendmsg, getnetbyname, getnetbyaddr, getnetent, getprotoent, getservent, sethostent, setnetent, setprotoent, setservent, endservent, endnetent, endprotoent, umask
There may be several other functions that have undefined behavior so this list shouldn't be considered complete.
Signals in Plan 9 Perl
For compatibility with perl scripts written for the Unix environment, Plan 9 Perl uses the POSIX signal emulation provided in Plan 9's ANSI POSIX Environment (APE). Signal stacking isn't supported. The signals provided are:
SIGHUP, SIGINT, SIGQUIT, SIGILL, SIGABRT, SIGFPE, SIGKILL, SIGSEGV, SIGPIPE, SIGPIPE, SIGALRM, SIGTERM, SIGUSR1, SIGUSR2, SIGCHLD, SIGCONT, SIGSTOP, SIGTSTP, SIGTTIN, SIGTTOU
Compiling and Installing Perl on Plan 9
WELCOME to Plan 9 Perl, brave soul!
This is a preliminary alpha version of Plan 9 Perl. Still to be implemented are MakeMaker and DynaLoader. Many perl commands are missing or currently behave in an inscrutable manner. These gaps will, with perseverance and a modicum of luck, be remedied in the near future.To install this software:
1. Create the source directories and libraries for perl by running the plan9/setup.rc command (i.e., located in the plan9 subdirectory). Note: the setup routine assumes that you haven't dearchived these files into /sys/src/cmd/perl. After running setup.rc you may delete the copy of the source you originally detarred, as source code has now been installed in /sys/src/cmd/perl. If you plan on installing perl binaries for all architectures, run “setup.rc -a”.
2. After making sure that you have adequate privileges to build system software, from /sys/src/cmd/perl/5.00301 (adjust version appropriately) run:
If you wish to install perl versions for all architectures (68020, mips, sparc and 386) run:
3. Wait. The build process will take a *long* time because perl bootstraps itself. A 75MHz Pentium, 16MB RAM machine takes roughly 30 minutes to build the distribution from scratch.
Installing Perl Documentation on Plan 9
This perl distribution comes with a tremendous amount of documentation. To add these to the built-in manuals that come with Plan 9, from /sys/src/cmd/perl/5.00301 (adjust version appropriately) run:
To begin your reading, start with:
This is a good introduction and will direct you towards other man pages that may interest you.
(Note: “mk man” may produce some extraneous noise. Fear not.)
“As many as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world . . .” - Carl Sagan
This document was revised 09-October-1996 for Perl 5.003_7.
Direct questions, comments, and the unlikely bug report (ahem) direct comments toward:
Luther Huffman, email@example.com, Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc.