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CPAN packaging.

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Marc W. Mengel
July 20, 2001 16:36
CPAN packaging.
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I'm noticing lately that lots of modules (well, okay, two, but it
looks like trend to me :-)) that used to just install from a
perl -MCPAN -e shell, now whine because they no longer include
their requisite libraries.  In particular GD, and XML::Parser have
started down this road, requiring libgd and expat, respectively,
to be installed before they will build.  Now they may have
done this for perfectly valid reasons, and I don't mean to pick on
them, BUT...

It seems to me that this breaks the model of CPAN, that you can install
these modules and they just work.  So it seems to me we need to either
1) make a statment that CPAN modules should include their requisite
   code libraries
2) include in CPAN a mechanism to have the URL, etc. for the source of
   a dependant library, so if it isn't present we download it and
   build it before building the module.
Or perhaps there's some third option I'm not thinking of.  But having
modules that used to work, suddenly start saying "Sorry, you need to
go to and download and install it now."
is a real incompatability.

Marc Mengel <>

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