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Section 15.1.  Finding Modules

 
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15.1. Finding Modules

Modules come in two types: those that come with Perl and those that you can get from CPAN to install yourself. Unless we say otherwise, the modules we discuss come with Perl.

To find modules that don't come with Perl, start at CPAN Search, http://search.cpan.org, or Kobes' Search, http://kobesearch.cpan.org.[*] You can browse through the categories or search directly.

[*] Yes, there should be two s's in that URL, but there aren't and nobody ever fixed it.

Either of those resources are great since you can read the module documentation before you download the entire package. You can also browse the distribution and have a peek at the files without bothering to install the modules.

Before you go looking for a module, check if it has been installed already. One way is to just try to read the documentation with perldoc. The CGI.pm module comes with Perl (and we'll discuss it later in this chapter), so you should be able to read its documentation.

    $ perldoc CGI

Try it with a module that doesn't exist, and you'll get an error message.

    $ perldoc Llamas
    $ No documentation found for "Llamas".

The documentation may be available in other formats, such as HTML, on your system, too.[*]

[*] We cover Perl documentation in the Alpaca; most module documentation is in the same file as the actual code.

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