Padre, the Perl IDE, are leading by example when it comes to doing community engagement well. Twice now, folks from the Padre project have dropped me a note to ask about this or that, which is a great way to catch people's attention So, with such great outreach, I'd feel like a complete schmoe if I didn't at least give Padre a whirl.

Unfortunately, getting Padre running is currently pretty difficult -- I'd say a tad more difficult than installing Bricolage, which has historically been a non-trivial exercise. No doubt the Padre install process is going to get a whack easier soon, given the high number of commits the project sees in a given week.

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New Internationalist

A Perl-based editor for Perl, on a Mac. 

Giving credit where credit is due: The folks behind Padre, the Perl IDE, are leading by example when it comes to doing community engagement well. Twice now, folks from the Padre project have dropped me a note to ask about this or that, which is a great way to catch people's attention So, with such great outreach, I'd feel like a complete schmoe if I didn't at least give Padre a whirl. 

Unfortunately, getting Padre running is currently pretty difficult -- I'd say a tad more difficult than installing Bricolage, which has historically been a non-trivial exercise. No doubt the Padre install process is going to get a whack easier soon, given the high number of commits the project sees in a given week. 

Anyway, for those that want to enjoy the benefits of a pure-Perl editor -- like being able to improve it -- on OS X today (well, on OS X 10.5, as there's currently no easy way to get Padre running on Snow Leopard's 64-bit Perl), here's a quick write-up of how to do it. 

Padre, The Perl IDE on OS X (10.5)

Since I'm somewhat risk adverse, I decided to try the advice on the Padre download page to use a newer version of Perl. The system version of Perl in OS X 10.5 is 5.8.8 and Padre requires a Perl configured with threading enabled. 

Turns out this isn't too hard, just:

  • Download the current release of Perl 5.10. Unpack it. 
  • Run sudo ./Configure with -Dusethreads to compile it with threading.
  • From there, follow the instructions in the README to get Perl installed in /usr/local/bin/ so it doesn't  muck with your system's Perl. 
  • Then, to make it easy to use your new Perl, run: export PATH=/usr/local/bin:${PATH}

Now you should have a localized version of Perl 5.10 installed and can start having all kinds of fun using its new features

  • Then, and only then, use CPAN to install Padre 
  • I hit two failures during the CPAN process (wish I'd noted what they were!)
  • I forced installed these two modules  (yah, yah...)

And, voila, an ostensibly working Padre on Mac OSX. If you're experiencing problems, make sure to note what they are and pop into the ever-helpful #padre IRC channel on irc.perl.org. 

I must say, after some initial fiddling about, I was quite impressed with Padre's functionality. Unfortunately, I'd only recently invested the time in upgrading from the simple text editor that I've used for years to the Eclipse-based EPIC for development and can't say that I'm ready to make another leap quite yet. That said, I'll certainly be keeping a close eye on Padre to see how it evolves. 

Again, kudos to the Padre team for building a promising product and an engaged community. Neither are easy to do. 

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