the compiler that's used for the most spread Windows distribution of perl is not free
That's not quite true. The express edition is free (as in beer, at least) and works fine with ActiveState. (It just doesn't come automatically installed and configured like in Strawberry.)
And just because PPM is useful on Windows doesn't mean it can't be used elsewhere to avoid build/test/install. I'm not saying one should, but I'm clarifying chromatic's point that the standard CPAN build/test/install cycle is kludgy and PPM is one example of an alternative.
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