Installing ack on Windows with ActiveState Perl

Search is important! Having a good tool for text search can lower or eliminate barrier, speed up work, and generally make life more enjoyable and fulfilling. That handy search tool, for me on Linux, has been ack for the past few years. One still needs to know some grep and regex. In fact, the more you know regex and grep, the better. But for a handy and quick pattern matching against source files, I use ack all the time. By default, it ignores Subversion, Git, and other VCS directories and files, which is nice.

On Linux systems, it’s really easy to get ack. On Centos/Red Hat based systems, yum install ack will get it for you. On Ubuntu based systems, one needs to run apt-get install ack-grep. Not surprisingly, on Ubuntu, the default program name is ack-grep, although you can change that.

You can use ack on Windows system as well. Over the years, I’ve played with Strawberry Perl and ActiveState Perl on Windows. Although I haven’t done much of Perl work on Windows lately, I think ActiveState Perl would be my pick if given a choice, simply because its ppm program is nice and the precompiled PPM packages are really pretty extensive. I think most users don’t want to mess with MinGW, dmake, and whatnot. Even cpan can be a bit frightening for beginners. This is my opinion, your mileage may vary!

Anyway, if you have ActiveState Perl and ppm on Windows, run this to get ack. Afterwards, just invoke ack from the command line (if you get your PATH right). Enjoy!

ppm install ack

4 thoughts on “Installing ack on Windows with ActiveState Perl”

  1. Hey, nice to hear from you K. Brian Kelley. ActiveState is pretty impressive overall. I also like their Komodo IDE.

  2. Komodo IDE有点小贵。 免费的Komodo Edit其实也不错, 我用它开发python程序, 感觉仅仅是少了debug功能、source code的outline展现功能, VCS集成。 但可以使用一些插件弥补这些缺失的功能。
    1. NST, source outline
    2. SVN-K, svn bind to tortoisesvn
    3. Remote Drive Tree, dedicated to browse remote folder
    4. Perfect Python, Performs PEP8, PyLint, PyFlakes checking
    Perl的debug我不知道有没有开源的方案, 如果开发python程序, 下一个winpdb, 然后在Komodo Edit中加一个custom menu, 目标纸箱winpdg.bat, 集成调试功能就有了。

  3. Wade老弟你好,谢谢分享!记得在你的博客上看到Komodo的解释,很给力。Komodo的另一大优势是Vim key binding。:)

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