Dist::Zilla::Plugin::Readme::Brief - Provide a short simple README with just the essentials


version 0.003003


  ; Override autodetected install method
  installer = eumm
  ; Override autodetected main_module or main_module.pod as a source
  source_file = lib/Path/To/
  ; Override name to use for brief body
  description_label = WHAT IS THIS


This provides a terse but informative README file for your CPAN distribution that contains just the essential details about your dist a casual consumer would want to know.

  • The name of the primary module in the distribution

  • The distribution's main modules description

  • Simple installation instructions from an extracted archive

  • Short copyright information


This is still reasonably fresh code and reasonably experimental, and feature enhancements and bug fixes are actively desired.

However, bugs are highly likely to be encountered, especially as there are no tests.


  • Heading is derived from the package statement in the source_file

  • Description is extracted as the entire H1Nest of the section titled DESCRIPTION ( or whatever description_label is ) in the source_file

  • Installation instructions are automatically determined by the presence of either

    • A Makefile.PL file in your dist ( Where it assumes EUMM style )

    • A Build.PL file in your dist ( where it assumes Module::Build style )

    • In the case of both, only instructions for Makefile.PL will be emitted.

    • All of the above behavior can be overridden using the installer attribute.

  • ALL Copyright and license details are extracted from the source_file in any H1Nest that has either COPYRIGHT or LICENSE in the heading.

  • Or failing such a section, a COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE section will be derived from zilla->license



Determines the file that will be parsed for POD to populate the README from.

By default, it uses your main_module, except if you have a .pod file with the same basename and path as your main_module, in which case it uses that.

This parameter and associated .pod support is new in v0.003000


Determines what installers to document in the INSTALLATION section.

By default, that section is determined based on the presence of certain files in your dist.

However, in the event you have multiple installers supported, manually specifying this attribute allows you to control which, or all, and the order.

  installer = eumm ; # only eumm

  installer = eumm
  installer = mb     ; EUMM shown first, MB shown second

  installer = mb
  installer = eumm   ; EUMM shown second, MB shown first

The verbiage however has not yet been cleaned up such that having both is completely lucid.

This parameter was introduced in version v0.002000


This case-insensitive attribute defines what =head1 node will be used for the description section of the brief.

By default, this is DESCRIPTION.

This parameter was introduced in version v0.003000


Here are some competing modules and how this module differs from them.

  • [Readme]

    Gives a much briefer more generic README file, which lacks quite as much readable content, and contains no installation instructions.

  • [ReadmeFromPod]

    Provides various output formats, but ultimately is a transformer of your source_file's POD, which is excessive for some peoples tastes. ( And lacks install instructions )

  • [ReadmeAnyFromPod]

    Based on the above provides a bunch of extra features, but is ultimately limited in similar ways with regards to install details and verbosity.

  • [Pod2Readme]

    Possibly the most straight forward PODREADME translator, but limited like the above in that it is only a POD translator, but lacks the install instructions aspect.

  • [InstallGuide]

    The polar opposite approach that only focuses on elaborate installation instructions in INSTALL, but lacks any of the POD and COPYRIGHT elements.


Kent Fredric <>


This software is copyright (c) 2020 by Kent Fredric <>.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.