I'd like to flag whether my app is running on dev or prod with a
variable that's in httpd.conf
( right now i manually toggle a var in a config file, and its driving
me nuts )

i wanted to use PerlSetVar, but that's read at request time - which
won't work, as this needs to be read before a request

so then i looked at

custom Apache configuration directives
http://perl.apache.org/docs/2.0/user/config/custom.html

and everything in there looks way more complicated than what i could
possibly need

can anyone point me in the right direction?