Publishing CPAN Modules with Dist::Zilla

This month was a two-part meeting. In the first part, Todd Rinaldo showed us how the Dist::Zilla module can help reduce the overhead and repetitive tasks of maintaining a CPAN-compatible module.

Todd lead the group through using Dist::Zilla to create a CPAN-compatible module. Along the way, we saw some of the rough edges of this tool. Although it does do a really good job of removing some of the repetitive work of updating a module, it does not provide nearly as much help with starting the module in the first place. After getting past the initial startup, Todd was able to show how Dist::Zilla helps with maintaining modules.

Afterward, we opened the meeting to questions and discussions of problems people were trying to solve. One attendee submitted a problem where he was cleaning up some HTML. His solution (using multiple substitutions) worked, but he felt it could be improved.

As a group, we were able to come up with 4-5 different solutions, that ranged from using HTML::TreeBuilder though more advanced substitutions and use of the flip-flop operator to determine what parts needed changing. In the process, we discussed which parts of regex-based solutions to HTML problems are fragile and pushed at the edges of our collective understanding of this kind of problem.

It was a lively discussion, where almost everyone learned something.

We had 8 people attending this month. As always, we'd like to thank cPanel, Inc. for providing the meeting space and food for the group.