Graham Barr has put out some new features on, both related to the META.yml file that comes with most distributions. The META.yml provides information in an easy-to-handle format on things like the author, version, license, what modules a distribution requires, and so on.

First, a few weeks ago, Graham added the ability to specify project home pages, source code repositories and alternate bug queues via the META.yml file. Now, if you go look at ack’s page on, you’ll see that there are links for all of those. Note that the bug queue would normally point to, but since I’m using the Google Code issue tracker for ack, I need to point users to it.

Second, today Michael Schwern worked with Graham to make the META.yml more accessible by creating a JSON format, and to create META.yml files on-the-fly for distributions that don’t ship with one. JSON is a very common format for structured information distribution, so JSON support at will make it easy for applications that may not know YAML to work with CPAN meta-information.

Thanks to Graham for some important updates to the site that is effectively the face of CPAN, and for his work on what is often a thankless job.