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README.plan9
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=head1 NAME

perlplan9 - Plan 9-specific documentation for Perl

=head1 DESCRIPTION

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 lutherh@stratcom.com and we'll try to 
answer them.

=head2 Invoking Perl

Perl is invoked from the command line as described in 
L<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.

=head2 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.

=head2 What's not in Plan 9 Perl

As mentioned previously, dynamic loading isn't currently 
available nor is MakeMaker. Both are high-priority items.

=head2 Perl5 Functions not currently supported in Plan 9 Perl

Some, such as C<chown> and C<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.

=head2 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

=head1 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:

	mk install

If you wish to install perl versions for all architectures (68020,
mips, sparc and 386) run:

	mk installall

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.

=head2 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:

	mk man

To begin your reading, start with:

	man perl

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.)

=head1 BUGS

"As many as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the 
world . . ." - Carl Sagan

=head1 Revision date

This document was revised 09-October-1996 for Perl 5.003_7.

=head1 AUTHOR

Direct questions, comments, and the unlikely bug report (ahem) direct
comments toward:

Luther Huffman, lutherh@stratcom.com, 
Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc.