FAQ 2.6 What modules and extensions are available for Perl? What is CPAN? What does CPAN/src/... mean?
- From: PerlFAQ Server <comdog@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 10:03:01 +0000 (UTC)
This message is one of several periodic postings to comp.lang.perl.misc
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2.6: What modules and extensions are available for Perl? What is CPAN? What does CPAN/src/... mean?
CPAN stands for Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, a ~1.2Gb archive
replicated on nearly 200 machines all over the world. CPAN contains
source code, non-native ports, documentation, scripts, and many
third-party modules and extensions, designed for everything from
commercial database interfaces to keyboard/screen control to web walking
and CGI scripts. The master web site for CPAN is http://www.cpan.org/
and there is the CPAN Multiplexer at http://www.cpan.org/CPAN.html which
will choose a mirror near you via DNS. See http://www.perl.com/CPAN
(without a slash at the end) for how this process works. Also,
http://mirror.cpan.org/ has a nice interface to the
http://www.cpan.org/MIRRORED.BY mirror directory.
See the CPAN FAQ at http://www.cpan.org/misc/cpan-faq.html for answers
to the most frequently asked questions about CPAN including how to
become a mirror.
CPAN/path/... is a naming convention for files available on CPAN sites.
CPAN indicates the base directory of a CPAN mirror, and the rest of the
path is the path from that directory to the file. For instance, if
you're using ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN as your CPAN
site, the file CPAN/misc/japh is downloadable as
Considering that there are close to two thousand existing modules in the
archive, one probably exists to do nearly anything you can think of.
Current categories under CPAN/modules/by-category/ include Perl core
modules; development support; operating system interfaces; networking,
devices, and interprocess communication; data type utilities; database
interfaces; user interfaces; interfaces to other languages; filenames,
file systems, and file locking; internationalization and locale; world
wide web support; server and daemon utilities; archiving and
compression; image manipulation; mail and news; control flow utilities;
filehandle and I/O; Microsoft Windows modules; and miscellaneous
See http://www.cpan.org/modules/00modlist.long.html or
http://search.cpan.org/ for a more complete list of modules by category.
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