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CPAN - As Seen From Space!

by grantm (Parson)
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:46 UTC ( #943704=perlnews: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

"Forget the Great Wall of China - I can see CPAN from up here and and that thing is huge!"
- Buzz Aldrin, Astronaut

CPAN is big. In fact it's so big you almost need a map. Well I'm happy to announce that now there is one! I present for your entertainment and edification - the Map of CPAN.

The Map of CPAN is really just meant to be a bit of fun. Search sites like and the shiny new exist to help you find what youíre looking for. The Map of CPAN allows you to find things you werenít looking for. Zoom in on things that catch your eye. Explore patterns. Follow links and dependency chains. Discover stuff. Surprise yourself. Itís about serendipity! Try it.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by ::rml:: (Acolyte) on Dec 15, 2011 at 13:14 UTC
    This is absolutely gorgeous. It's like looking at a map of the world, and discovering for the first time places you'd never dreamed even existed. Kudos.
    -- C-x C-c
Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by syphilis (Chancellor) on Dec 16, 2011 at 08:14 UTC
    Wow - you could have used that as living proof of the four color theorem ... except that you used five colors.


      I'm not sure that me managing to produce a map with only 4 colours would have "proved" anything :-) As the help dialog explains, the light blue areas contain all the tiny namespaces that don't "make the cut".

Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by iguanodon (Priest) on Dec 18, 2011 at 04:06 UTC
    This totally rocks. Thanks for spending your time developing a way for me to waste mine :)

      You're totally welcome :-)
Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by cavac (Deacon) on Dec 20, 2011 at 19:40 UTC

    "I can see my house module from up here!"

    (this post is intended to shed some light in a funny way. don't take it to seriously)

    There are a couple of interesting things i noticed.

    • Acme is bigger than Win32 or Mail (meaning of course it is much more important).
    • Net is huge, while still missing IPv6 in most parts. So it will probably grow by the factor of 1.5 (the relative size difference between 4 and 6).
    • A big number of people had trouble using existing XML parsing solutions so they rolled their own.
    • Quite a lot of developers are not very inventive at naming their modules, so they concluded that since essentially all programs deal with data in one form or another, their module falls into the Data category.
    • The big Test blob tells me that there are enough testing frameworks around so that we could actually start developing comprehensive module tests.
    • Since we have not - to my knowledge anyway - yet made first contact, why do we actually have an Alien category?
    • Biology and Chemistry are far easier to understand and implement than Text, because they can be done with far fewer modules.
    • In the same way, artificial intelligence (AI) seems about the same complexity than working with Perl arrays, and both are far easier than DateTime calculations.

    Thats the nice thing about statistics. Never trust them unless you faked them yourself.

    BREW /very/strong/coffee HTTP/1.1
    418 I'm a teapot
Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:56 UTC

    more like a condensed sqare/pixelated fractal ... so dense :)

Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 16, 2011 at 08:28 UTC
    Say, how are the (jagged) edges are determined? Or, why is each & every region not a rectangle?
      If you click on the "need more help?" link it explains that the CPAN distributions are laid out along a Hilbert Curve. The resulting shapes are dictated by where along the curve one namespace ends and another begins.
Re: CPAN - As Seen From Space!
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 17, 2011 at 18:19 UTC
    I tried to run it locally using contents of your github repo, as advised in the help section. However it does not seem to work as it tries to access files in the source_data directory, which is not in the repository. Can you add these files to the repository or maybe suggest how can I replace them?

      Pulling the latest version from github should fix your problem. The source_data directory simply needs to exist. You could just create it if it's not there, but the latest version of the code should create it automatically.

      Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me if you encountered other issues. The code hasn't been widely distributed so it's like to have undeclared dependencies and non-portable assumptions in the code. By all means let me know of these so I can fix them. The github issue tracker is probably the best place to do that.

        Thanks, I have figured it out. Created source_data dir and put these files there:
        01mailrc.txt.gz 02packages.details.txt.gz all_ratings.csv
        Other things I had to change were minor, like lib path in the script and some nginx settings after they were written by puppet. Puppet also was unable to install 3 perl modules, which I then installed with cpan.

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[marto]: yeah, so that stays as before. But before the boys were born I'd be on quite often at night (GMT) also
[marto]: I had the option during our TUPE transfer to buy 5 more days holiday. They were shocked when I did :P

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