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++ for tachyon's nice introduction to module installation. Since I have already done about 600-700 tests for the CPAN-testers I would like to supply some comments (footnotes) from my experience.
1. In our days, fortunately most authors use h2xs and make dist. Therefore, these tarballs expand to Some-Module-0.01, and if you cd into the directory you don't have to search for the place to do your perl Makefile.PL.
Tarball distributions which expand just to Some are really a pain, especially if you download a few modules from the Some:: Namespace.
Unfortunately there are also some tarball distributions which don't get expanded in their own directories, but in the current directory -- Have fun with the cleanup afterwards.
2. Unfortunately, many CPAN authors are still not used to -- or don't know about -- setting PREREQ_PM in Makefile.PL. So be prepared to get the "Can't locate foo/bar.pm in @INC" error while running make test.
3. While you should find important information in the Readme File, don't be surprised if you just find a Readme template, where the author never cared to replace "blabla".
4. If make test just does one test (1..1) it is in most cases just a load test. This means, your module will get loaded without problems, but it does not tell you wether the supplied functions work as expected. While make test is a important step for confidence building you should test the Module with your own scripts, and report errors to the author if appropriate. Be prepared, that many tests supplied by the author do not test all functions.
Edited by footpad, ~Wed Nov 28 20:04:16 2001 (GMT)