Several binary packaging systems (notably RedHat Linux, Debian GNU/Linux and ActiveState ActivePerl) have a recurring problem with "dual-life" modules.
These are modules that come with the Perl core, but are also distributed via CPAN.
The primary problem seems to be that binary packaging systems consider files to be inviolate. They freak out and can't handle the idea that there might be two packages which contain the same file, where the file from one of the packages can be legitimately installed over the top of the other.
It seems to be that we might be framing this in entirely the wrong terms.
These dual-life modules aren't so much two separate packages, but represent "updates to the Perl standard library".
Can we provide some assistance to the various Perl packagers in this regard?
Should upgrades to, say, Test::Builder on CPAN mean that they should upgrade their core Perl distribution to a new revision?
I've already had a debian packager tell me he couldn't upgrade the debian PPI pacakge (and thus upgrade perlcritic) because I updated my Scalar::Util dependency to a version newer than provided by the core.
If we the Perl community (in the loose sense of the word) provide an official recommendation that packagers should incorporate upgrades to dual-life modules into their core Perl package, this might provide some assistance to corporate requests to people like RedHat to upgrade their Perl packages, because the official guidelines say to...