A Cautionary Tale

An old fashioned antique clock

I can never remember exactly how Time::Piece works. But that’s ok because I have documentation.


So Time::Piece has been in the Perl core since 5.9.5. I’m running Perl 5.14.2 but I don’t have Time::Piece installed.

After ten minutes or so of head-scratching it came to me.

I’m running Fedora. The Fedora packagers have decided that they don’t need to install the whole standard Perl distribution as part of their standard installation. I don’t have a problem with that. I do have a problem with their naming conventions.

The minimal Perl installation that they include by default is in an RPM called “perl”. The full RPM that includes everything that a Perl developer would expect to see is called “perl-core”. Surely it’s obvious that those names are the wrong way round?

Isn’t there some way that the Perl 5 Porters can object to  this renaming of Perl?

I know I should be installing my own Perl with perlbrew. But I generally find that the system Perl works for everything that I need. There’s just this one thing that is guaranteed to trip me up every time I work on a new Fedora installation.

This is a public service blog post. Perhaps someone will come across it and be saved a couple of hours of confusion.

Author: Dave Cross

Dave Cross runs Magnum Solutions Ltd., a London Perl consultancy. In 1998 he started London Perl Mongers, the first Perl Mongers group outside of Northern America.

1 thought on “A Cautionary Tale”

  1. As a Fedora Perl user, you’re right, the naming scheme is wack. I think the problem comes from the use of the word “core”. This term has special significance in the upstream project. Otherwise, speaking strictly from a packaging perspective, you’d think it would indicate “perl-minimal” or something, like the way Vim is split up.

Leave a Reply