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Learning Perl, Second Edition by Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Christiansen

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How to Get Perl

The main distribution point for Perl is the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, or CPAN. This archive contains not only the source code, but also just about everything you could ever want that's Perl-related. CPAN is mirrored by dozens of sites all over the world, as well as a few down under. The main site is ftp://ftp.funet.fi (128.214.248.6). You can find a more local CPAN site by getting the file ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/MIRRORS from ftp://ftp.funet.fi. Or you can use your web browser to access the CPAN multiplex service at http://www.perl.com. Whenever you ask this web server for a file starting with /CPAN/, it connects you to a CPAN site, which it chooses by looking at your domain name. Here are some popular universal resource locators (URLs) out of CPAN:

http://www.perl.com/CPAN/
http://www.perl.com/CPAN/README.html
http://www.perl.com/CPAN/modules/
http://www.perl.com/CPAN/ports/
http://www.perl.com/CPAN/doc/
http://www.perl.com/CPAN/src/latest.tar.gz

The CPAN multiplex service tries to connect you to a local, fast machine on a large bandwidth hub. This doesn't always work, however, because domain names may not reflect network connections. For example, you might have a hostname ending in .se, but you may actually be better connected to North America than to Sweden. If so, you can use the following URL to choose your own site:

http://www.perl.com/CPAN

Note the absence of a slash at the end of the URL. When you omit the trailing slash, the CPAN ...

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