Chapter 2

Understanding the CPAN

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER:

  • Understanding the CPAN
  • Using CPAN clients to install modules

This is the end of Chapter 10. Or it was. Many Perl books, if they include information about the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), mention it almost as an afterthought, just as your author was going to. However, CPAN is the soul of Perl. Its use is so common that your author repeatedly found it hard to create compelling examples of Perl without duplicating code already on the CPAN. Thus, the CPAN is now not only near the front of the book, it has an entire chapter all to itself. You cannot be a real Perl programmer without understanding the CPAN.

It’s been said that the best way to make a technology popular is to release a killer app that requires it. VisiCalc, a precursor to spreadsheets, made the Apple II computer popular. Ruby on Rails is the killer app that made the Ruby programming language famous.

Perl has the CPAN. Though many have tried, nothing compares to the CPAN.

THE HISTORY OF THE CPAN
In 1994, on the Perl-packrats mailing list, an idea was born. The idea was simple: Make a single place for Perl authors to upload their modules and for others to download them. That idea became the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) and was launched in 1995. Since then, it has grown to an enormous size. By October of 2011, the CPAN had this to say for itself http://www.cpan.org/
The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) currently has ...

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