Specifying the github repo for a Module::Install dist

githubtoolchainPRC Sun 5 April 2015

There are quite a few CPAN dists on github that don't have the repo listed in the metadata. This post shows how to fix that for a dist that uses Module::Install. I hit various problems, so I'm writing down these notes for next time, and so that people can correct anything I got wrong.

I've never used Module::Install (MI from here on) and I've avoided doing this sort of PR on dists using it in the past. But yesterday I thought "how hard can it really be?", and the answer was "harder than it should have been, but easy once you know the trick". Kind of sums up much of programming, really :-)

The main thing I knew about MI was that it creates an inc/ directory in the top-level of your distribution, which contains MI and any other plugins you're using. This means that someone installing your module doesn't need to install MI first: batteries included.

This should be easy

I forked the repo, then went to Gabor's article, which says how to add the repo to a dist's metadata, for the different builders. It says you just ad the following line:

repository 'https://github.com/flathead/Zork';

So then I ran perl Makefile.PL and checked the META.yml. Hmm, still not there. Okay, maybe it gets updated when you build the dist? So I tried:

perl Makefile.PL
make dist

... and had a look at META.yml in the tarball. Nope, still no joy.

A different plugin

I asked on the #toolchain channel on IRC, and it was suggested that I look at other dists that are using MI. A good suggestion. The one I looked at is using Module::Install::GithubMeta; you add the following line to your Makefile.PL:


This sets both the repository and homepage entries in the metadata, where the repository() command just sets repository field, as you might expect.

I ran perl Makefile.PL, still no repo in the META.yml, so I tried building the tarball again, but no joy.

Most of the time you don't want to have META.yml in github, so I tried deleting it. But when I ran perl Makefile.PL I got a warning about META.yml not existing. So I removed it from MANIFEST as well. This time I didn't get a META.yml.

At this point I gave up and emailed BINGOS, the current maintainer of MI, asking for help.

It's easy

The key thing I needed to do was

Remove the inc/ directory from the github repo

MI adds the inc directory to the release tarball, but it doesn't need it in the (author's) source directory. Or rather, I guess the lack of the inc directory tells MI that you're an author not an installer?


Remove META.yml from gitub, but leave it in MANIFEST.

MI will generate META.yml for you, but only if it's listed in MANIFEST. You'll get a warning about META.yml not existing, but ignore that.

As you can tell, I've only somewhat improved my understanding of MI, but I could get the PR done.

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