There was a meditation recently titled something like I never thought I'd have to do this on that OS. The more a PHB realizes how quickly solutions are created in Perl for OS foo, they automatically (and rightly!) think that it should be doable on OS bar. And, it is ... if you use the modules.
I think that addresses the portability issue.
... does not require our new-comer to jump right in and start installing modules - a known difficulty for many at first.
What difficulties? What issues? This is an assertion which flies in the face of accepted knowledge without any supporting statements. On every Unix-like system, the following works quite nicely:
With ActivePerl, you have the following:
Very rarely do modules fail to install. When they do, you email the module's author and they fix it. Or, you post here and we not only fix it, but provide a work-around, and explain why it failed. All of which is a good education for our newbie.
You are correct in one respect - there are often a multitude of solutions on CPAN for a given problem. Many are incomplete or tailored to a specific need. Many are buggy and/or no longer supported. Navigating that successfully is only done with experience - the experience that is found at the Monastery, among other places.
Remember - the goal of asking a question is not to get the answer. It's to learn how to get the answer. Sometimes, it's even to learn what question to ask. Focusing on the task at hand is a good way to never achieve independence. It can be dizzingly confusing at times, but it is the only way to true enlightenment.
Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose