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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • You unquestionably have a point. And for licensing reasons, files actually *have* been deleted from the backpan in the past. But this is manually and can be done by admins only. Since this isn't a very frequent occurrence, that's fine in terms of workload and workflow. I'm talking about the semi-official backpan.perl.org, of course. Everybody could potentially run his own kind of backpan by just copying over anything in the recent submissions to CPAN. There's no controlling that.

    Now, the real value of backpan is that as an organization which uses modules from CPAN, you gain independence of an author's decision to delete one or more of his modules' past versions. I'm all for keeping CPAN itself reasonably lean. but if there are potentially incompatible changes, some organizations really want to make sure they can fall back to the tried old version that's been running their service for the past decade.

    Of course, you could just say that they're free to create a local backpan-like repository to ensure the described availability. But that's something that can be done (and is done, we have backpan) centrally much more conveniently.