Shlomi Fish (shlomif) wrote in shlomif_tech,
Shlomi Fish

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Introducing Module-Format

This weekend I worked on Module-Format, a new CPAN distribution, and yesterday released version 0.0.1 of it to the CPAN. In a nutshell, Module-Format allows one to convert strings representing Perl modules (and their encapsulating distributions) to representation-netural objects, and to render them into other formats of modules. To better explain the motivation, let's start with a few use cases for this.

If you're working on Debian, Ubuntu or a derivative and would like to install Perl distributions using apt-get, you can define the following shell function:

    apt-get -y install $(perlmf as_deb "$@")

And then inovke it like up XML::RSS XML-LibXML DBIx/ (note the inconsistency - perlmf handles all those formats for you), and it will install them.

Similarly in Mandriva using urpmi you can use:

    urpmi --auto $(perlmf as_rpm_colon "$@")

And then type the same command. (It will actually be better because urpmi will fetch individual rpm provides modules such as perl(XML::RSS) that may be contained in larger distributions).

Similarly to install stuff using cpan2dist, one can say something like:

function c()
    cpan2dist --verbose --format=CPANPLUS::Dist::Mdv \
        --install --timeout 0 $(perlmf as_colon "$@")

So this is what perlmf, which is the command-line program that ships with Module-Format can do. Module-Format provides a more generic Perl-based API for that, and replaces some ugly and ad-hoc shell functions that I defined for that.

Module-Format is: 1. Free and open source software distributed under the permissive MIT/X11 licence. and 2. Only dependent on core modules and List::MoreUtils (a dependency which I'm planning to remove in a future release). The source code is maintained in the web-cpan Mercurial repository, so feel free to contribute.

Happy module formatting.

Tags: cpan, linux, mandriva, open, perl, software, source

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