in reply to Life beyond CGI and DBI

I don't know how enlightened or clever this is, but I follow a fairly strict pattern of behavior whenever I run up against a new problem; go to and type in all the relevant keywords I can think of. Spending the time looking through the list usually quickly establishes if I'm contemplating a new wheel or at the very least, a better way to go about my new wheel.

Following links to modules from responses to perlmonks and other discussions is also helpful, since it at least exposes me to modules I might otherwise not even think about.

Having said all that, I've actually been criticized before for consistently recommending CPAN modules on a project... it seems anyone can download and install modules, but real code monkeys hand code everything. I backed away slowly, in case sudden movement caused the critical overload of this person's synapses.

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Re: Re: Life beyond CGI and DBI
by punchcard_don (Beadle) on Oct 09, 2003 at 11:59 UTC
    Thank you all (or at least most) for your thoughtful replies. They have been as interesting a study in human nature as they have been informative on the subject of PeRl modules. :-)

    Several have hit the nail on the head

    - yes, I have written some interesting regex's to rewrite html pages and although that was personally satisfying to overcome that challenge through brute creativity, my schedule probably would have preferred I have a working knowledge of the applicable module

    - the plumber analogy was an excellent one, as I do alot of plumbing too. 95% of the work is accomplished with boring old tape measure, pipe cutter, garnet paper, torch, solder and flux. But what really impresses is when you know how to properly adjust a pump's pressure cut-in and cut-out switches to make the whole thing actually work. On the other hand, those fancy wire-brush deburrers may be easier to use than garnet paper, but they don't prepare the surface nearly as well. They're the tool of the lazy man who wants a flashy tool in his toolbelt. And that was the gist of my question - looking beyond the torch and solder, are these other tools really helpful, or just all-too-common hype of those trying to look interesting?

    - typical problem of the independent - setting aside non-bilable time to keep skills up to date. As much as I love being an independent, one great thing the employees have is that cozy security of being able to learn while somone else pays the bills. As someone said, time is not unlimited and must be managed. Time constraints have obliged me, in recent years, to adopt a needs-pull approach: learn as needs exceed knowledge; as opposed to a knowledge-push approach, but the motivation behind this thread is a desire to change that.

    What I've taken away from this discussion is that there are a number of very useful modules, so off I go to check them out.

Re: Re: Life beyond CGI and DBI
by etcshadow (Priest) on Oct 09, 2003 at 12:00 UTC
    Well, this (and some of the other comments in here) raise an interesting point... is, well, sort of hard to use. There are hundreds of useless or duplicative modules cluttering up CPAN searches. People never know where to start. It's almost become a matter of arcane knowledge what perl modules are good to use. I mean... how often on this site do you find questions like "between modules X, Y, and Z (which all do basically the same thing), which one is best / compare and contrast" only to have answers like "Oh, you haven't heard of module P or Q? They do that, too".

    I guess what I'm getting at is: has anyone considered putting together a sort of meta-index of CPAN modules? What's actually a useful module? If I'm building X class of application, what are a few modules I should seriously investigate using? That sort of thing.

    Are there already such sites? If so, where? (Hmmm... maybe I should have just posted this to meditations.)

    Not an editor command: Wq

      Something along those lines can be found here. It's beta, but seems useful or interesting from my limited usage. Watch out for folks venting their personal religious views, instead of actually giving a critique of the module.

      Good points! Both you and the OP might consider digging up There are reviews and tutorials for the selective CPAN modules. is the place I first found out about Class::DBI. It was love at first sight. :))))