It's not all about working out the syntax error, either (even if "you need a newer version of perl" seems much better than some "yada-error in Foo::Bar line 1234").
With the version string, automated tools can decide which is the newest version of the module they can use on a given installation. One of these tools is cpantesters. For example my Maplat project uses some features of perl 5.12, so it wont work on older perl installations:
Maplat CPAN Testers results
The "Pass summary" table gives the potential user a good overview which Maplat version works on which OS and perl version.
The detail tables gives me as a developer a good overview where the bugs are. It differenciates between NA (not available), PASS and FAIL. This makes it much easier to use my limited time to hunt for real, *new* bugs than having to sort out known incompatibilities.
Also, if i ever want to backport some modules to older versions of perl (for whatever reasons), i can simply grep through the files for the version string and find the one that are too modern. Works the other way around, too, when a newer version of perl changes/fixes/removes some "experimental" features of the previous version.
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