I got an email reply from Graham Barr that this format link
does work: http://search.cpan.org/dist/libwww-perl. From the PM side, there are a couple of gotcha's:
- you have to use the distribution name which might not be the commonly used name (eg: libwww-perl rather than LWP
- you have to remember that distribution names use hyphens
rather than double colons (eg: XML-Parser)
- don't forget about case sensitivity
Given all this, it's not hard to see why the [cpan://name] links go to the search function but if you get the module name wrong (eg http://search.cpan.org/dist/xml::parser) then search.cpan.org falls back to search mode anyway.
So, perhaps the implementation of the [cpan://name] links should be fixed to change '::' to '-' and then point to search.cpan.org/dist/name
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