Thanks for this (RFC) tutorial, such a thing has been missed for some time now. While there is no One True Way to build a CPAN distribution, the described way is a good one.
. If the third component is preceded by '_', CPAN counts the upload as a development release. It will be available for testing but not as a published download.
More precisely, CPAN clients (such as CPAN.pm, CPANPLUS and cpanminus) are encouraged not to install development releases by default. That and the big red marker on the search.cpan.org page seem to be the only real difference between development and "production" releases.
Regarding the alternatives, maybe Dist::Zilla is worth mentioning - it automates much of the module maintenance, including CPAN uploads.
For Debian packages the dh-make-perl tool can also help creating .debs from CPAN modules.
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