Ask not what CPAN can do for you

If you're still not sure what to do on CPAN Day this year, you could help me with one of my trickle projects: help us get META.yml and META.json files added to CPAN distributions that currently have neither.

Send me an email and I'll assign you a distribution. I've ordered the list of distributions based on how far up the CPAN River they are. Fixing these distributions results in more accurate river data, and will also help various tools and services.

What do you do?

Once you've been assigned a distribution, you'll do the following:

  • Look at the distribution on MetaCPAN, and confirm that it doesn't have either metadata file.
  • Download the distribution and work out what the problem is
  • Depending on the fix, you may just have to email the author.
  • Or you might end up doing a pull request, if the dist is on github.
  • If you don't get any response from the author, you might adopt the distribution, so you can do a release to CPAN that does have metadata. If the author's not responsive, then you won't be able to get co-maint on CPAN Day, but getting to that stage is still a great thing to do.

How do you fix distributions?

The most common case we've seen so far is that author built the tarball manually, and instead just needs to run:

perl Makefile.PL
make dist

That's it!

If the distribution is using Dist::Zilla, then you may need to add [MetaJSON] to the dist.ini file, and then get them to run:

dzil release

For one distribution I had to fix up the Makefile.PL, as there were various problems, and that's why the author had created the tarball by hand.

If you get stuck you can ask for help on the #toolchain channel on, or email me (neilb at cpan dot org).

1 Comment

*cough* could have told people to sponsor/donate to CPAN Testers or join the Enlightened Perl Organisation who support them and MetaCPAN etc... ;)

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About Neil Bowers

user-pic Perl hacker since 1992.