Wiki - BackPAN BOF

Recently I've realized that I need old versions of a pile of distributions.

I would like to work on using existing tools to index a copy of the BACKPAN, extracting useful information from every file in every version of every distribution and putting it into a database.

Perhaps with that information we could create a program that
- reads in an autobundle (or not) and
- determines exactly *which* versions of which distributions are installed
- downloads them from the BACKPAN *or* the CPAN, and
- injects them all into a local mini-cpan

This is only my own personal goal... however, I would really love to find out what other similar needs people may have, and perhaps we can work together to create something of benefit to a wider audience!

Please post your name below, and add any comments you have if you're interested! I will open an IRC channel for more discussion if there's interest.

Interested people:
* Stephen Scaffidi (‎hercynium‎)

BTW: If you're wondering "why??" then read on as I attempt to explain my circuitous journey to this point...

I began with a server that is working fine, but I need to create a way to deploy it's services on other systems. This includes installing all the perl modules required by it's applications and scripts.

Traditionally, the easiest way to do this is to use cpan on the existing server and create an "autobundle". Copy that autobundle to a new server and tell cpan to install it. Problem solved, right???

In this case, wrong. It turns out that a bunch of the modules on the existing server come from old/obsolete versions of various cpan distributions. And the newer versions are either broken or incompatible. And, of course, the cpan command only cares about the *newest* versions of everything.

I don't have time to pester each and every CPAN author, nor do I have the patience to fix then maintain my own patchsets for everything.

There is no way to make cpan install specific versions... unless I create my own mini-cpan and fill it with the exact versions I need - this is where the BACKPAN comes in handy, and I believe I can't be the only person who is/has been in this situation!

Help me make the CPAN even more useful to everyone!

(Elliot Shank: I'm not planning on attending this, but have a look at and Undergoing active development.)

Last modified: 06/22/09 03:21 PM by Elliot Shank

Tags: backpan bof cpan hackathon

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