As great as CPAN is, you've brought up its Achilles's Heel.
The ugly truth we all avoid when we tout the greatness of CPAN is the fact that its many jewels are hidden among heaps of mediocre, amateurish tripe. (Sorry, but it's true.) I don't mean to impugn CPAN's greatness by any means but I do think that we should be honest with ourselves. Part of the problem is that we applaud the sheer quantity of modules it contains as some grand realization of TIMTOWTDI without acknowledging that
some many of those ways suck.
Maybe the ratings on CPAN were supposed to help. If so, I don't think they have. They certainly don't help someone find the best module to use. That can take hours of reading documentation (and then more hours of discovering what's wrong with that documentation) and hours more of experimentation.
Dependency hell has grown out of control, IMNSHO. I have a pet peeve when it comes to the Test::* modules. I'm sick to death of finding I have to go install Test::Yet::Some::More to run the tests for Some::Module.
I think CPAN needs a "best of breed" designation or something. There should be some way of searching a subset of modules that have already gotten substantial use and review by experienced Perl programmers. It should also be a requirement that no BoB module depends on any non-BoB module.
"My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
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