Wow. This is an extremely long Note, but I'd like to make a probably-too-general reply, if I may. I agree with many of the problems of CPAN you pointed out, though I'm not entirely sure your major premise (that CPAN needs coordinated, overarching design) is necessarily inferred by those problems. Perhaps some gentle nudging by well-respected members of the Perl community would suffice. Or perhaps all it needs is a small amount of hacking on the Perl community itself. I'm not convinced that the anarchy-like Open Source method of development (which, to me, CPAN is a perfect example of, and ESR likes to call a Bazaar) doesn't have an answer to the problems you cited. In any case, I doubt there's going to be any strong policy put in place on CPAN -- that could be considered overarching design -- anyway. :)
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