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Programming Perl, 3rd Edition by Jon Orwant, Tom Christiansen, Larry Wall

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Chapter 22. CPAN

CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) is the central repository for everything Perl. It contains the collected wisdom of the entire Perl community: hundreds of Perl modules and scripts, several books' worth of documentation, and the entire Perl distribution. If it's written in Perl, and it's helpful and free, it's probably on CPAN. CPAN is mirrored worldwide, and you can find a nearby mirror with the CPAN multiplexer at http://www.perl.com/CPAN. The multiplexer will remember which mirror you choose so that when you visit http://www.perl.com/CPAN/ (note the trailing slash) you'll be automatically redirected to that mirror. Alternatively, you can start at http://www.cpan.org. The interface is different, but the data is the same.

Once you get to the main CPAN directory, you'll see some subdirectories:

authors

This directory contains numerous subdirectories, one for each contributor of software. For example, if you wanted to find Lincoln Stein's great CGI module[1] and you happened to know for a fact that he wrote it, you could look in authors/Lincoln_Stein. If you didn't know he wrote it, you could look in the modules directory described below.

doc

This directory holds all manner of Perl documentation, including all of Perl's official manpages in several different arrangements and formats, such as text, HTML, PostScript, and Perl's native pod format, documented in Chapter 26.

modules

This directory contains modules written either in Perl or in a combination ...

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