If your configuration doesn't seem to do what it's supposed to do, you should debug it. First, build mod_perl with:

panic% perl Makefile.PL PERL_TRACE=1 [...]

Next, set the environment variable MOD_PERL_TRACE to s (as explained in Chapter 21). Now you should be able to see how the <Perl>section globals are converted into directive string values. For example, suppose you have the following Perl section:

<Perl>
    $DocumentRoot = "/home/httpd/docs/mine";
</Perl>

If you start the server in single-server mode (e.g., under bash):

panic% MOD_PERL_TRACE=s httpd -X

you will see these lines among the printed trace:

...
SVt_PV: $DocumentRoot = `/home/httpd/docs/mine'
handle_command (DocumentRoot /home/httpd/docs/mine): OK
...

But what if you mistype the directory name and pass two values instead of a single value? When you start the server, you'll see the following error:

...
SVt_PV: $DocumentRoot = `/home/httpd/docs/ mine'
handle_command (DocumentRoot /home/httpd/docs/ mine):
DocumentRoot takes one argument,
Root directory of the document tree
...

and of course the error will be logged in theerror_log file:

[Wed Dec 20 23:47:31 2000] [error]
(2)No such file or directory: <Perl>:
DocumentRoot takes one argument,
Root directory of the document tree