Dist::Zilla::Plugin::lib - A simpler bootstrap for a more civilised world


version 0.001002


  name = My-Dist
  author = Mr CPAN Person <>
  license = Perl_5

  ; push ./inc into @INC
  lib = inc

  ; loads inc/My/


Dist::Zilla::Plugin::lib serves as a relatively straight-forward and uncomplicated way to wire certain local paths in your distributions source tree into Perl's @INC library load path.

Its primary audiences are twofold.

Self-Building Dist::Zilla Plugins

Many recent Dist::Zilla plugin workflows champion a state of lib/ which are usable "as is" without needing to cycle through a dzil build phase first, and this plugin offers a simple way to stash lib/ in @INC without needing to pass -Ilib every time you run dzil.

Workflows that require a build cycle to self-build should use [Bootstrap::lib] instead.

Bundled Dist::Zilla Plugins

Many heavy CPAN distributions have bundled within them custom Dist::Zilla plugins stashed in inc/

Traditionally, these are loaded via [=inc::Foo::Package] exploiting the long held assumption that "." ( $CWD ) is contained in @INC

However, that is becoming a less safe assumption, and this plugin aims to make such equivalent behaviour practical without needing to rely on that assumption.


Inserting a section in your dist.ini as follows:

  lib = some/path



Will prepend some/path (relative to your distribution root) into @INC, and allow loading of not just plugins, but plugin dependencies from the designated path.

[=Some::Plugin] will be able to load, as per existing Dist::Zilla convention, via inc/Some/, and then fall back to searching other @INC paths.

[Some::Other::Plugin] will also be able to load from inc/, via inc/Dist/Zilla/Plugin/Some/Other/

Ensuring dot-in-INC

Its not sure when "." in @INC will actually go away, or which parts of the dzil ecosystem will be re-patched to retain this assumption.

But the simplest thing that would work with changing the least amount of code would be simply inserting

  lib = .

Early in your dist.ini

This will have a mostly the same effect as retaining dot-in-INC even in the event you run on a newer Perl where that is removed by default.

The differences however are subtle and maybe better depending on what you're doing

  • "." will be prepended to @INC, not appended.

    This means [=inc::Foo] will actually hit inc/ first, not simply as an afterthought if it isn't found in other paths in @INC

    For instance, currently, I could create a lot of havoc by simply shipping a dzil plugin with the same name as somebody already is using for their private inc/ hacks, and then trip them into installing it. Because currently, site beats "." where authors intended to source from "." not site

  • "." will be absolutized to $zilla->root

    As it stands, the "." in @INC is only ever ".", which means calling chdir between calls to require effectively changes what @INC means.

    Given that is the specific threat surface for that issue, it would be silly to repeat that mistake, especially as when you write "." you typically want to imply "Where I am now" not "Wherever the code will be 30 seconds after now after it chdirs to random locations at the discretion of code I haven't even read"

    There's still some annoying scope for this absolutization going wrong, due to Dist::Zilla not ensuring this path is fixed early on but [lib] fixes and absolutizes it as early as possible, with the hope we'll know what you meant by cwd before somebody can change cwd

    ( And if that fails, it will fail spectacularly, not selectively work some of the time if your stars align )

Migrating from dot-in-INC code

If you have existing code that relies on the .-in-@INC assumption, migrating to use this plugin in way that would seem "proper" would play as follows:

1. Rename your plugins in inc/

All those packages called inc::Some::Plugin become Some::Plugin

2. Replace your section lines

inc is no longer needed as part of the plugin, so replacing all sections


In line with step 1.

3. Add a [lib] section before all your plugins

And tell it to assume that inc/ is now in the load path.

  +lib = inc



This attribute can be specified 1 or more times, each time specifying a path which will be assumed to be a path relative to $zilla->root

Paths specified will be passed to>import in the same order as they appear in your configuration, after absolutizing them. prepends the values to @INC in a nature akin to

  unshift(@INC, @{ $lib })

Which is functionally similar to:

  @INC = ( @{ $lib }, @INC )

That is, retaining the specified order in @INC .




Kent Fredric <>


This software is copyright (c) 2017 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.