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How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?

by Anonymous Monk
on Nov 13, 2009 at 15:53 UTC ( #806982=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I'd like to keep more up to date about useful modules on the CPAN. How do you do this?

Some thoughts:

∗ One way I've found is to look at what modules get pulled in by CPANPLUS when I install something that I already know about and need.

∗ Anyone know of a "Perl module a day" website? If not a dedicated site, then maybe someone doing the iron man blogging challenge? Would be a great way to come up things to blog about...

∗ It might be useful if cpanratings kept a list of the "42 most-recently rated modules". I'm not sure what their position is on providing a "higest-rated" modules list.

Comment on How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by toolic (Chancellor) on Nov 13, 2009 at 16:06 UTC
    I have subscribed to some modules of interest at http://noticpan.org. This will automatically send me an email everytime a selected module has been updated.

      That site's not coming up for me.

      However, found cpan-update on lists.perl.org.

      Considering how active the CPAN is, might get a bit tiresome going through all those though.

        If you subscribe to the cpan-update daily digest, you get a single piece of mail every day that shows you a listing of recently updated modules. You won't have the time or energy to read through it carefully every day, but if you skim through it now and then, you'll see something that catches your attention. There's no guarantee of quality or popularity, but at least you know it's a module that's under active development.

        If you haven't read it yet, you should look at The Perl Cookbook. It's Second edition is only a little dated at this point, and it frequently recommends good and useful modules for particular tasks. Similarly Perl Best Practices has a lot of advice like that (though you should forget about Class::Std, and if someone tries to tell you about a great replacement for Getopt::Long, you should remind yourself that you have real work to do).

        Also, these days, I tend to recommend perlsphere if you want to keep up with miscellanious developments in the perl world... it's a pretty comprehensive aggregator.

        Update: corrected perlsphere URL.

        That site's not coming up for me.
        I can not access NotiCPAN at the moment either. It seems like it is down for everyone.

        Looking back at my emails, the last one I received was a little more than a month ago (Sep 30 2009). Furthermore, one of the modules I'm tracking was updated on CPAN Oct 28 2009, but I have no record of an email for that update. Perhaps it has been down for several weeks now. Since I can not access the website, I can not report a probelm to the website :) I'll try to reply to the email in an attempt to report a problem.

Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by keszler (Priest) on Nov 13, 2009 at 16:38 UTC

      Browse around on Perl Monks? See what people are talking about? There isn't a magic answer, I'm sad to say.

      --Pileofrogs

        There isn't a magic answer, I'm sad to say.

        Well, I'm not sure about the percent magic content, but the Pythoneers have the PyMOTW (Python module of the week). Though, that only seems to cover the Python standard library.

Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by youwin (Beadle) on Nov 13, 2009 at 21:00 UTC
    You may appreciate this site which writes about a few modules each year: perladvent.org
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by Bloodnok (Vicar) on Nov 13, 2009 at 22:28 UTC
    I have several prime sources of information WRT (potentially useful) modules:
    • Google
    • CPAN and in particular, its dedicated search engines
    • The wonderful world of the perl monastry i.e. this site, as this thread most ably demonstrates
    As for keeping track of any useful modules, I refer the reader to posts elsewhere on this thread.

    A user level that continues to overstate my experience :-))
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by trwww (Priest) on Nov 13, 2009 at 23:27 UTC
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by Khen1950fx (Canon) on Nov 13, 2009 at 23:30 UTC
    An easy way to keep track of a module that you follow is to use cpanf. For example, if I'm following Module::Build, then I could just do:

    cpanf -l Module::Build

    It'll come back with the recent Module::Build on the recent list. And if you want to see all the latest releases, then;

    cpanf -l
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Nov 14, 2009 at 15:15 UTC
    ...you could also google for "best perl modules"...which is a question that has been asked many times before.... search groups.google.com too

    .... you will get your answers

    ...the problem with classifying modules as useful is that until they are widely tested by everyone, you don't know if a module is buggy or not, and you rely solely on the glorious self-accolades of the module authors :-)

    ...so you really want to find the best-written, and best-working modules....which you can only get by polling existing users....that is why perlmonks is so useful..... you quickly get the feel for the quality of various modules, by the chatter you see about them here


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 14, 2009 at 19:19 UTC
    I read comp.lang.perl.announce, where Randal has some script which daily lists the updates on CPAN.
Re: How do you learn of and keep informed about useful CPAN modules?
by metaperl (Curate) on Nov 16, 2009 at 18:52 UTC
    I praise to the high heavens Randy Kobes' CPAN update mailing lists! Mailing lists for a summary of daily and weekly updates to CPAN are available.

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