Comprehensive C archive network

The Perl programmers of the world (of which I am not one, due mostly to an overabundance of the virtue of laziness) have long had at their disposal the mighty CPAN, the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, a well known globally accessible, searchable library of Perl code. it is often described as “the envy of other languages,” as it is here:

One of Perl’s major strengths is the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) which serves as a library for Perl extensions and utilities. The envy of many other languages, it hosts an eclectic range of add-ons ranging from Complex number support, to graphics and chart drawers, a superb database abstraction interface and even a few comedy modules.

Off an on, over the years, I have thought to myself, “self, wouldn’t it be neat if there were a CPAN for C?” I’ve sometimes even framed it as a complaint, “Why isn’t there a CPAN for C?” And I’ve sometimes vaguely thought, “why don’t I start my own CPAN for C?” But then there’s that overabundance of the virtue of laziness thing stopping me, you see. But in a recent fall from grace from this virtue, I actually got as far as thinking, “What would I call this CPAN for C?”, and I thought of several names, and googled them, to see what was there already, and none of the names were that good anyway. But then I hit upon “CCAN” for the “Comprehensive C Archive Network.” Now you might think this would have been my first choice. But somehow it wasn’t. It required several separate bouts of industriousness, separated by lazy years, before I hit upon this most obvious of names. Well, when I searched for “ccan,” after slogging past a couple of Chesapeake bay related hits, I found this:

Comprehensive C Archive Network


But… hmm. it appears to be in a state of infancy. There’s not much there. Still, it’s nice to see I’m not the only one thinking along these lines. It would be nice if the site gets some traction. I’m not sure the CPAN model fits C quite as well as it does perl. For example, there’s a lot of C code floating around in various places like sourceforge, github, and google hosts code repositories as well, and there are random ftp sites, etc. It’s probably asking too much for the maintainers of code using those other sites to also update a site like CCAN. I haven’t looked into CCAN too much, but if it tries to become “yet another packaging scheme,” that will likely doom it to failure.

I need to play around with it a bit to get a better idea what the potential is, but I think the idea is mostly good.

Hmph. WordPress seems to insist that I mean “C#” in my tags when I clearly mean “C”.

WordPress morons get your software shit together. I do not mean C#, I mean C.

~ by scaryreasoner on February 20, 2009.

One Response to “Comprehensive C archive network”

  1. Several Perl programmers with help of C programmers already tried to start CCAN. A C library to implement TAP testaing standard was created. But installing C libraries is much harder than installing Perl librariesn due to missing standard on building/testing/installing libraries.

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