mod_perl 2 not ready yet

I’ve spent nearly three days this week trying to port one of our sites to Apache 2.2 and mod_perl 2.0.2 (from Apache 1.3.33). It should be a relatively simple exercise thanks to the porting notes available:

Yet sadly, there’s still a lot of problems with mod_perl 2. Firstly, much CPAN software still hasn’t adjusted. In my case it was SOAP-Lite. But I also noticed that libapreq wasn’t classed as “ready” by Mason, so we had to fall back to CGI.pm there.

But the real killer is that they managed to completely break environment variables, in the name of thread safety. Unfortunately, our application uses Inline::Java from inside Apache to talk to Lucene. Now Inline::Java spawns a JVM to run a JAR file and be the server. So that the JVM can find the jar (as well as the lucene jar and our code), it sets $ENV{CLASSPATH}. Except that change never shows up, so the JVM just says “unknown class” and exits.

Basically, mod_perl2 breaks system. This is not clever.

So we won’t be upgrading to Apache 2.2 for a while. This is a shame, as it has a bug fix we really need (>4Gb file support). Instead, we switched to using FTP. Yuck.

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