Introducing metacpan.org - A better search for the CPAN
I'm very excited to announce the front end for MetaCPAN: metacpan.org. This is what you can expect from the new interface to the CPAN:
- New uploads instantly available
New uploads to the CPAN are indexed within seconds. No more waiting for new upload to appear on the search site. Check out /recent
- Modern site layout
The page layout leverages the extra space you have on widescreen displays. Instead of having all the information in a top-down manner, the page's layout is made up of up to three columns. Each is filled with information about the main resource.
- Limit search to distributions or authors
distribution:syntax, you can limit your search to a given distribution. Example: distribution:Moose around. The same works for the
author:tag. This functionality is embedded on various pages across MetaCPAN.
- Search snippets preview
Search results include text fragments which contain the query. This helps to identify the results you were looking for.
- Search for mirrors near you
The /mirrors page includes a map of all mirrors and allows for a for a search of mirrors close to you. Clicking on the "nearest" link will ask you browser for your current position and then sort the mirrors accordingly. You can also filter by protocol.
- Activity indicators
Author and release pages contain an activity graph that shows the number of uploads by a given author or a given distribution over the past 24 month. This is very useful for evaluating whether a release is well maintained or if an author stopped releasing modules.
- Author's page includes metadata
Each user can add additional metadata to her PAUSE account id by uploading a
author-1.0.jsonfile to her PAUSE directory. A good example is the page of DWHEELER. The page includes links to all of his online profiles and more.
- Advanced source code view
Code snippets in the documentation are highlighted and names of modules are linked to its documentation. POD sections are collapsed and can be expanded. See the source of Hash::Util for an example.
- Feeling lucky?
Generally users are only interested in the first result of a search. Clicking on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button or hitting shift + enter will bring you directly to the first result. You can use this to add a search keyword to Firefox and others using this url:
- Open Source
Yes, it's open source. The github repository can be found here. Patches are greatly appreciated. If you need any help to get started hacking, join us on #metacpan (irc.perl.org).
There are still a lot of new features to come (icebox) but the API as well as the front-end are now stable enough to be used by everyone else. Also, we've finally moved to a server that can hold the whole index in memory. We'd like to thank our first sponsor, speedchilli, who are generously sponsoring our hosting and providing some seriously beefy hardware:
"We are a web solutions company providing hosting and open source consultancy. We provide reliable, cost effective hosting for customers who require anything from a single dedicated server to a fully managed hosting solution. Being a business based around open source we feel it is important to give back to the community and are very happy to support the metacpan.org project." - Stewart Hunt
Please help us improve the CPAN experience
We will track searches and analyze them to optimize the search results. If you come across odd search results, such as modules that shouldn't appear because they are outdated or modules that are missing from the results, please report them to us. We will do our best to fix them.
You can also contribute directly by forking the project. Running the front-end doesn't require any heavy dependencies and is installed in less than a minute. You should also join #metacpan on irc.perl.org. It's a very active channel and new input is highly appreciated.