CPAN materials are grouped into categories, including Perl modules, distributions, documentation, announcements, ports, scripts, and contributing authors. Each category is linked to related categories. For example, links to a graphing module written by an author appear in both the module and the author areas.
Since CPAN provides the same offerings worldwide, the directory structure has been standardized; files are located in the same place in the directory hierarchy at all CPAN sites. All CPAN sites use CPAN as the root directory, from which the user can select a specific Perl item.
From the CPAN directory you have the following choices:
CPAN.html CPAN info page; lists what's available in CPAN and describes each of the modules ENDINGS Description of the file extensions, such as .tar, .gz, and .zip MIRRORED BY A list of sites mirroring CPAN MIRRORING.FROM A list of sites mirrored by CPAN README A brief description of what you'll find on CPAN README.html An HTML-formatted version of the README file RECENT Recent additions to the CPAN site RECENT.DAY Recent additions to the CPAN site (daily) RECENT.html An HTML-formatted list of recent additions RECENT.WEEK Recent additions to the CPAN site (weekly) ROADMAP What you'll find on CPAN and where ROADMAP.html An HTML-formatted version of ROADMAP SITES An exhaustive list of CPAN sites SITES.html An HTML-formatted version of SITES authors A list of CPAN authors clpa An archive of comp.lang.perl.announce doc Various Perl documentation, FAQs, etc. indices All that is indexed. latest.tar.gz The latest Perl distribution sources misc Misc Perl stuff like Larry Wall quotes and gifs modules Modules for Perl version 5 other-archives Other things yet uncategorized ports Various Perl ports scripts Various scripts appearing in Perl books src The Perl sources from various versions
To get the current Perl distribution, click on latest.tar.gz. For ports to other systems, click on ports. The modules link is the one you want if you're looking for a Perl module - from there you can get a full list of the modules, or you can access the modules directly by author, by CPAN category, or by module. (Section 2.4, "Getting and Installing Modules" later in this chapter talks about installing modules.) Click on doc for Perl documentation, FAQs, etc.