I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m not a huge Perl user.  In fact, I wouldn’t even call myself a minor Perl user.  Luckily there are others out there that do great things with it, like the Bugzilla people.

Having used it for some time, I’ve come to really appreciate all the functionality that it brings and have enjoyed the positive impact it’s had on my ability to concentrate on single problems without creating wider ones.  Unfortunately, no one said it was an easy installation.

Having been through my own pains with Bugzilla installations before, especially with regards to sending secure email, no one was more upset than I when I needed to re-install the operating system for a server hosting our Bugzilla.

I flashed back to annoyed thoughts of struggling with Perl modules and CPAN before I could even bother with configuration files for the other email issue.  I embarked and restored everything and tried the best I could to get all the required modules installed.  Some wouldn’t budge, however.  I kept getting errors about the lack of YAML and Make returning a bad status:

Make had returned bad status, install seems impossible

Installing YAML, of course, didn’t succeed so I tried my fallback fix-all of re-installing my build tools.  Luckily, this is easily accomplished on Ubuntu with:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

To my chagrin, I hadn’t ever installed build tools.  Of course, things now went swimmingly with important thinks like Make actually being installed.  I think this points out something interesting though, in the way we (I’m sure I’m not the first to do this) see development machines vs. production servers.  I, for example, wasn’t at all concerned with having GCC on a webserver so it never got installed.  Similarly, I found it astonishing to be reminded that a server distribution did not include such tools as well.

What’s the moral?  Well it’s nothing clever, just always remember to install your usual tools, even if you don’t think you’ll need them.  See?  Isn’t it easy to feel smart when you catch such a silly mistake?