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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Don't forget CPAN.pm. That's the other end of the stick that lets people access the stuff inside CPAN in the most incredibly useful and lazy fashion.

    I honestly feel that without CPAN.pm, CPAN as a whole would not be as popular as it is today. Look at something like HTML::Mason, which has a half dozen dependencies. CPAN.pm Just Takes Care Of It[tm].

    -Dom

    P.S. I know that CPAN.pm has many flaws, but it makes up for them by 1) being useful and 2) being installed by default with perl.

    • While CPAN.pm is important (as is search.cpan.org, and the DNS magic Ask has set up) they're really less important than many people think.

      It's not been that long since I managed systems where CPAN.pm was completely unusable, and I had to do it all by hand--FTP, make, and the like. No automatic dependency checking, no fetching, no module lists, nothing. (Plus it was five miles uphill in the snow to the nearest mirror!) The only thing available was the base mirror functionality. And with that... CPAN was phe
      • by hossman (2110) on 2002.11.12 17:47 (#14707)
        CPAN.pm is what makes it possible for people who aren't admins, don't know how to become admins, and don't want to be admins to install perl modules.

        There may be some modules that don't install cleanly, or have strange external dependancies that they don't make clear ... but those are special circumstances of the modules. The bottom line is: if I write a pure perl module, and someone wants to use it, they can install it without needing to know anything other then perl. As far as I'm concerned that's the most powerful part of CPAN.

        The mirroring and archiving and PAUSE are great, but the fact that anybody can install CPAN modules, without even needing to know what "make" is, or how to run "ftp" is what makes CPAN really great -- it gives all of those modules users.

        If someone wanted to try and duplicate the success of CPAN in another language, I think they would HAVE to have a "client" that worked just as well as CPAN.pm
        • I'm not knocking CPAN clients like CPAN.pm or CPANPLUS. I like 'em both, and I'm glad they're around, but... they're not what's made CPAN a success. They built on the success that CPAN had. Yes, they moved CPAN to a new level, and that was good, but the base mirror net and its infrastructure is what's made this all possible. The rest are (nearly inevitable) conveniences, bells, and whistles--often massively useful, but ultimately optional.
          • Actually, I'd say the one thing that really 'made' CPAN was search.cpan....once it caught on it made CPAN accessible to a much wider audience which is why it is so often confused for the archive itself. CPAN was a success just by existing at a time when you had to ftp to 15 different sites just to get the kit you wanted for your systems. CPAN.pm made it convenient and search.cpan made it navigable and less intimidating for those a lot less familiar with CPAN. WAIT and UWinnipeg had been around for at least