If you ran CPAN.pm configuration years ago, you might recall a long introductory text and screens full of configuration prompts flashing by. Those days are gone. I had already patched CPAN to make autoconfiguration nearly silent and now I've just released CPAN-1.94_64 that includes less introduction for a much slimmer configuration dialog.
It's not completely silent, so new users of Perl and CPAN.pm aren't entirely mystified, but you can see that it's down to just under 40 lines of text if someone chooses to auto-configure everything.
$ cpan CPAN.pm requires configuration, but most of it can be done automatically. If you answer 'no' below, you will enter an interactive dialog for each configuration option instead. Would you like to configure as much as possible automatically? [yes] Autoconfigured everything but 'urllist'. Now you need to choose your CPAN mirror sites. You can let me pick mirrors for you, you can select them from a list or you can enter them by hand. Would you like me to automatically choose some CPAN mirror sites for you? (This means connecting to the Internet) [yes] Trying to fetch a mirror list from the Internet Fetching with HTTP::Tiny: http://www.perl.org/CPAN/MIRRORED.BY Looking for CPAN mirrors near you (please be patient) ................................. done! New urllist http://mirrors.24-7-solutions.net/pub/CPAN/ http://mirrors.ccs.neu.edu/CPAN/ http://www.stathy.com/CPAN/ Autoconfiguration complete. commit: wrote '/home/david/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm' You can re-run configuration any time with 'o conf init' in the CPAN shell cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.9464) Enter 'h' for help. cpan>
This change should be part of the next stable release of CPAN and should also be in Perl 5.14, coming in April.