I agree that expanding the reach of Perl on low level hosting is an excellent idea. However, you suggestion of creating tar balls does not do this. It is the same old approach to creating web applications. You have a series of scripts that rely on modules. The user has to set permissions, edit configuration files, use ftp etc. To much of these things are beyond the basic user. Creating custom tar balls will not solve this.
in reply to A Vision for Easy Web Application Deployment for Perl
An alternative approach would be to have a standardised dispatch script for using perl modules as web applications. It would be a single script that specified a module, a method in that module, and query arguments. All web applications would have to be a module, and could all be installed from CPAN.
To make such an approach viable for people with no Perl skill, an alternative interface to CPAN could be devised. One that didn't require shell access. Such a system would need to be able to operate entirely through the browser, downloading modules in segments, as a page refreshed. Alternatively if no web access modules where available (such as LWP), a wizard could be created to help users upload modules themselves.
With a pair of standardised scipts (dispatch and install), CPAN could become an excellent way of distributing web apps.