Too many CPAN.pm config options?

Over the years, CPAN.pm has accumulated a staggering number of configuration options. Recently, an otherwise expert Perl programmer (that I won't embarrass by name) asked on IRC for the name of an option rather than reading the (admittedly long) manual. This reminded me that many Perl users may not know about a handy feature that has been in the CPAN shell since 2006:

cpan> o conf /MATCH/
cpan> o conf init /MATCH/

The first form will show all options matching a pattern. The second will re-run interactive configuration with explanatory paragraphs for all options matching a pattern.

Thanks to these features, I rarely actually read the manual. As long as I have a rough idea what the option name might be, I just search for it. And I can always fall back on "o conf" to see all options and then "o conf init NAME" to read the paragraph about any particular one.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted November 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh! I could have used that last night! ;-)

    P.S. Finally made the switch/jump to Local::Lib. Thanks for the push.

  2. Posted December 3, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Just adding those to the help command in the CPAN shell would be a significant upgrade in the quality of the module for perl users. I remembered there was a command to re-run the interactive setup of an option, I just couldn't find it with the help command...

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