in reply to eval $VERSION in modules?

A bit of Googling turns up 'eval' $ExtUtils::MakeMaker::VERSION to make it numeric. It doesn't seem like that'd be necessary in your case, but it's apparently idiomatic usage in some cases:

The added statement is the 'standard' method of handling development version numbers.

UPDATE: JavaFan points out that the possible is not the same as the good. I was not recommending this trick (in fact, I'd never seen it before), just trying to explain what it might mean.