This is the start of a catalogue of the different files and directories you might come across in CPAN distributions: what they're for and how they're used. During the PRC I've had emails from a few people who didn't know what to do with the distribution they'd been assigned, which prompted this.

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Following on from my previous post on CPAN terminology, this one focusses on the model and terminology related to dependencies: the modules that your dist uses, and the other CPAN distributions that use yours.

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This is a collection of terms related to CPAN and CPAN distributions. I've often looked for such a thing, wanting to link from it in blog posts and the like, or somewhere to direct people to (such as PRC participants).

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There's been quite a bit of discussion this week about Perl 5.6, and how much effort people should put into their ensuring their CPAN distributions work with 5.6. The question I haven't seen asked: is anyone still using 5.6 in production?

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When using someone else's module in our CPAN modules, most of us don't bother to specify a minimum version of that module. If no-one else is using your module you can get away with that. But as your distribution moves up the CPAN River, you should start paying attention, and specify minimum versions both in the code and your distribution's metadata.

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A bit later than usual, this is a quick look at the number of CPAN pull requests that were done in May 2015. A noticeable drop from previous months, but still more than in any month before 2015. Just.

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A couple of times recently I've had to deal with distributions that have both a Build.PL and Makefile.PL. I've never been sure of the right way to handle such dists, and in both of the recent times I ended up with problems. From talking to various people on IRC and elsewhere, it seems like there's no good reason to have both. Personally I go with Makefile.PL (with ExtUtils::MakeMaker) if it's someone else's dist, or Dist::Zilla if it's a full adoption.

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When cleaning up a river, you need a measure for cleanliness, and then you start cleaning, and see whether your measure shows improvement. This post outlines two simple measures that may help us measure overall CPAN quality, and then start working to improve it. These are just early ideas — I'm sure we can some up with something better.

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This is the usual quick look at the number of CPAN pull requests that were done in April 2015. Ever-so slightly more than in March (650 vs 643), so the second-best month ever.

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There are some distributions on CPAN that were last released 20 years or so ago. Understandably many of them don't follow many of the conventions that we expect today, and some of them fail all their tests, and have for a while. I think we should do something about these dists: either update them to be well-behaved modern distributions, or remove them from CPAN. They'll continue to be available on BackPAN. Here I'll go through a batch of the oldest.

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