perlbrew on OSX

I’ve tried and failed so many times to use perlbrew on OSX.

I’ll admit that I haven’t started a full-on investigation, but this is really quite frustrating and confusing:

➔ perlbrew install perl-5.20.0
Fetching perl 5.20.0 as /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/dists/perl-5.20.0.tar.bz2
Download to /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/dists/perl-5.20.0.tar.bz2
Installing /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/build/perl-5.20.0 into ~/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.20.0

This could take a while. You can run the following command on another shell to track the status:

  tail -f ~/perl5/perlbrew/build.perl-5.20.0.log

perl-5.20.0 is successfully installed.

➔ perlbrew switch perl-5.20.0
➔ which perl

➔ perlbrew install-cpanm

cpanm is installed to


➔ cpanm MP3::Info
--> Working on MP3::Info
Fetching ... OK
Configuring MP3-Info-1.24 ... OK
Building and testing MP3-Info-1.24 ... OK
Successfully installed MP3-Info-1.24
1 distribution installed

➔ perl -MMP3::Info -e1
Can't locate MP3/ in @INC (you may need to install the MP3::Info module) (@INC contains: /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.20.0/lib/site_perl/5.20.0/darwin-2level /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.20.0/lib/site_perl/5.20.0 /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.20.0/lib/5.20.0/darwin-2level /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/perls/perl-5.20.0/lib/5.20.0 .).
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted.

➔ /Users/c.wright/perl5/perlbrew/bin/cpanm MP3::Info
MP3::Info is up to date. (1.24)


IRC notifications on your phone (or Pebble watch)



Install irssi

sudo apt-get install irssi

Grab the script:

mkdir -p $HOME/development
cd $HOME/development
git clone
cd irc-notifications

Make sure you have required perl modules available

perl Makefile.PL

Install any missing modules. (TODO: make irssi scripts work with perlbrew)

Install the script:


You should see something like:

➔ sh
mkdir: created directory `/home/chisel/.irssi'
mkdir: created directory `/home/chisel/.irssi/scripts'
mkdir: created directory `/home/chisel/.irssi/scripts/autorun'

If you now run


you should see something like this (assuming you have an out of the box installation, with no configuration of your own yet):

19:03 -!- Irssi: irc_appnotify 0.08 ready

Any errors means some investigation into what didn’t quite work in the setup.

At this point you’ve got irssi installed and the notification plugin ready to go. Almost.

Configure PushOver

Download the relevant app for your device from [NOT FREE].

SIgn up at Copy your user key from your dashboard.

/set notify_pushover_user_key YOUR_USER_KEY
/set notify_methods Pushover

Connect to a server

Store network info for future ease:

/SERVER ADD -auto -network perlOrg 6667

Connect, set a nickname:

/connect perlOrg
/nick myTestNick

Send yourself a test message:

/q myTestNick Hello

Check your device for a PushOver alert.


Get alerts on your Pebble watch

I’m assuming you’re already the proud owner of a Pebble watch.


Open the Pushover preferences, tick “Display notifications on Pebble”. Sorted!

/q myTestNick Welcome to the future!

… and look at your watch.

Converting to Dist::Zilla

I’ve converted a number of distributions from $something to Dist::Zilla for release management, and every time I forget something … so this time I’m making notes as I go along.

Worst case, future-me will thank present-me (or will that be past-me?)

What follows is the transition for WebService::NotifyMyAndroid. It might have a couple of places where common sense needs to be applied, but it’s ‘good enough’.


I’m assuming you’ve already got a perl distribution and that you’re managing it with git.

I’m also asssuming you already have Dist::Zilla installed.

Custom dist.ini

My distributions are minted using this file as a template for dist.ini.

Let’s Go!

Just to be safe we’ll work from anew branch based on our current master:

git checkout master
git pull --rebase
git co -b dzil master

Now we’re ready to rock and roll!

Create our dist.ini

I’m ‘lazy’ and don’t like to write mine by hand, so I’ll let Dist::Zilla do the work for me:

dzil new WebService::NotifyMyAndroid
mv WebService-NotifyMyAndroid/dist.ini .
rm -rf WebService-NotifyMyAndroid/
git add dist.ini

If you don’t already have it, it’s worth adding


to your dist.ini.

Make the build process happy

To make ‘CheckChangesHasContent’ happy add the following before the most recent release:

      Convert to Dist::Zilla

then add it to the staged area:

git add Changes

Cleanup some files

Get rid of the files that we used to manage ourselves manually:

dzil build --notgz 2>&1 |grep 'multiple times' |cut -d' ' -f 5

If you don’t get any output at all it’s worth re-running without the piped-cut to make sure it didn’t abort the build earlier than expected.

The output should look something like this:


Checking the files, all the files, bar README, are autogenerated. Looking at the README we decide we’d like to keep this file, but under a different name:

git mv README README.install

Then remove the other files:

for f in $( \
  dzil build --notgz 2>&1 \
    |grep 'multiple times' \
    |cut -d' ' -f 5 \
); do
    # make sure we don't git manage them
    git rm -f $f;
    # make sure they aren't artifacts form previous builds
    rm -f $f;

We also no longer need these files:

rm -rf blib/ _build/
git rm Build.PL
rm -rf blib/ _build/ Build

Nor do we want any META files hanging around:

for f in MANIFEST* *META*; do
   git rm -f $f 2>/dev/null; \
   rm -f $f; \

Dist::Zilla generates build directories and files based on our dist name; let’s ignore them:

echo '/WebService-NotifyMyAndroid*tar.gz' >> .gitignore
echo '/WebService-NotifyMyAndroid*/' >> .gitignore
echo '/.build/' >> .gitignore
git add .gitignore

Deal with versioning

Anywhere we’ve manually specified $VERSION we should simple remove it:

# remove manual version setting in thse files
vim $(/bin/grep -rl 'our $VERSION' lib/)
# git status
# git add <files we edited>

Add missing abstracts

To list files with missing abstracts simple do he following:

dzil build --notgz |grep "couldn't find abstract" |cut -d' ' -f 7

You should edit these manually and add an appropriate:

# ABSTRACT: <one line abstract>

line to each of the files. I prefer to put my comment at the end of the file (but before the END marker:

1;# Magic true value required at end of module
# ABSTRACT: Perl interface to Notify My Android web API

Don’t forget to ‘git add’ any files you’ve edited.

Cleanup POD

Assuming you also use the PodWeaver plugin, you should work through all the perl and POD files in your distribution to make the following alterations:

Module NAME and abstract line

No need to add the NAME section:

=head1 NAME

WebService::NotifyMyAndroid - Perl interface to Notify My Android web API

Version numbers in POD

No need to manually specify and update the VERSION block:

=head1 VERSION

This document describes WebService::NotifyMyAndroid version 0.0.3.

Licence and Copyright

This is added automatically, so you can remove any of these sections

Authors and Contributors

In lieu of a ‘Contributor plugin’ you may wish to promote your contributors to authors - otherwise you end up with them in different parts of the woven POD.

Make sure you specify your authors in dist.ini:

author           = Steve Huff <>
author           = Chisel <>

and remove any ‘AUTHOR’ and ‘CONTRIBUTOR’ sections in your POD.

Custom step

I did this just for this distro, just to cleanup:

git rm README.mkd

Commit And Push

We’re in the final stages now; time to push our work to our remote to keep it safe:

git commit -m 'Convert dist to use Dist::Zilla'
git push -u origin master

Test a release candidate

From my experience, you’ll always miss something obvious, or silly when converting to Dist::Zilla, so it’s probably best to release a developer release of the module until there’s enough feedback from CPAN Testers for us to fix everything, or decide it’s good enought to release to the world:

dzil clean && \
V=0.0.5_01 dzil release

Keep Testing

If you’re anything like me, you’ll miss a few things on your first release, no matter how careful you are. You’ll also probably find you get failures for unexpected and surprising reasons.

Don’t despair, just chip away at the niggles until you have a developer release that shows as a pass for all (or near enough) reports on CPAN Testers.

Versioning Developer Releases

I finally stopped to think about how I’m numbering my developer releases for various modules I have floating around.

Two theories

Until recently I’ve always thought:

v0.0.5_1 is the first developer release leading up to v0.0.5

Something (sorry, I can’t remember what exactly) I read recently got me thinking about this and I started to think that maybe I’d got myself tied up into knots.

I started to wonder if the correct interpretation was actually:

v0.0.5_1 is the first developer release AFTER v0.0.5; working towards v0.0.6

I’m sure this is blindingly obvious to some people, but it was something I’d never stopped to properly thing about.


After writing a quick script I came up with the following output:

| Input       | normal()    | cmp-prev    | cmp-next      |
| 0.0.4       | v0.0.4      |             | <  0.0.5      |
| 0.0.5       | v0.0.5      |  > 0.0.4    | <  0.0.5_01   |
| 0.0.5_01    | v0.0.5_1    |  > 0.0.5    | <  0.0.5_50   |
| 0.0.5_50    | v0.0.5_50   |  > 0.0.5_01 | <  0.0.5_99   |
| 0.0.5_99    | v0.0.5_99   |  > 0.0.5_50 |  > 0.0.5      |
| 0.0.5       | v0.0.5      | <  0.0.5_99 | <  0.0.6      |
| 0.0.6       | v0.0.6      |  > 0.0.5    |               |


As you can see, the non-developer release numbers compare as expected.

0.0.5 was put before and after the 0.0.5_xx versions for comparison at both ends.

As you can see,

v0.0.5 is less than < 0.0.5_01


v0.0.5_1 is greater than v0.0.5

This matches my newer, second hypothesis:

v0.0.5_1 is the first developer release AFTER v0.0.5; working towards v0.0.6

Why does this matter?

For the most part, most people really won’t care … or even notice. I’ve been getting this wrong for as long as I can remember and haven’t been adversely affected.

However, if you want the progression of your code to ‘make sense’ with the progression of your version numbers it’s important to get this right.

Also, although untested, I’m fairly confident that if you have some poor soul brave enough to try out your v0.0.5_1 release and after a few iterations you’re happy with the results and release v0.0.5 ‘final’ you’re doing a disservice to the brave soul who’ll never ‘upgrade’ to your lower version numbered release.

Command history in the perl debugger

I’m always forgetting what pieces I need to make this happen, so I’m writing a note to my future self.

Ubuntu Packages


  • libncurses-dev
  • libreadline-dev

Perl Packages


  • Term::ReadLine::Gnu

Save a little time with puppet

Include these somewhere and run a puppet update

class libncurses-dev {
    package { libncurses-dev: ensure => latest }

class libreadline-dev {
    package { libreadline-dev: ensure => latest }

Save the history to a file

Add this to ~/.perldb