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Dan Book


Dist::Zilla::PluginBundle::Starter - A minimal Dist::Zilla plugin bundle


  ; dist.ini
  name    = My-Cool-Distribution
  author  = Example Jones <jones@example.com>
  license = Perl_5
  copyright_holder = Example Jones
  copyright_year   = 2017
  version = 0.001
  [@Starter]           ; all that is needed to start
  revision = 2         ; always defaults to revision 1
  ; configuring examples
  -remove = GatherDir  ; to use [Git::GatherDir] instead, for example
  ExecDir.dir = script ; change the directory used by [ExecDir]


The [@Starter] plugin bundle for Dist::Zilla is designed to do the minimal amount of work to release a complete distribution reliably. It is similar in purpose to [@Basic], but with additional features to stay up to date and allow greater customization. The selection of included plugins is intended to be unopinionated and unobtrusive, so that it is usable for any well-formed CPAN distribution. If you're just getting started with Dist::Zilla, check out the tutorials at http://dzil.org.

Migrating from [@Basic] is easy for most cases. Most of the bundle is the same, so just make sure to remove any extra plugins that [@Starter] already includes, and configure the included plugins if needed (see "CONFIGURING"). Migrating a more complex set of plugins, including some that interact with the additional generated files, may require more careful consideration.

[@Starter] composes the PluginRemover and Config::Slicer roles to make it easier to customize and extend. Also, it supports bundle revisions specified as an option, in order to incorporate future changes to distribution packaging and releasing practices. Existing revisions will not be changed to preserve backwards compatibility.

The FAKE_RELEASE environment variable is supported as in Dist::Milla and Minilla. It replaces the [UploadToCPAN] plugin with [FakeRelease], to test the release process (including any version bumping and commits!) without actually uploading to CPAN.

  $ FAKE_RELEASE=1 dzil release

For one-line initialization of a new [@Starter]-based distribution, try Dist::Zilla::MintingProfile::Starter.

Another simple way to use Dist::Zilla is with Dist::Milla, an opinionated bundle that requires no configuration and performs all of the tasks in "EXTENDING" by default.


[@Starter] currently only has a few direct options; it can be further configured by the composed roles, as in "CONFIGURING".


  revision = 2

Selects the revision to use, from "REVISIONS". Defaults to revision 1.


Requires revision 2 or higher.

  revision = 2
  installer = ModuleBuildTiny

  revision = 2
  installer = MakeMaker::Awesome
  MakeMaker::Awesome.WriteMakefile_arg[0] = (clean => { FILES => 't/generated/*' })

The default installer is [MakeMaker], which works with no extra configuration for most cases. The installer option can be used to replace it with one of the following supported installers, which can then be configured in the same way as shown in "CONFIGURING".

[MakeMaker::Awesome] is useful if you need to customize the generated Makefile.PL.

[ModuleBuildTiny] will generate a simple Build.PL using Module::Build::Tiny, but this may not work correctly with old versions of the CPAN.pm installer or if you use features incompatible with Module::Build::Tiny.

[ModuleBuildTiny::Fallback] generates a more complex Build.PL that uses Module::Build::Tiny by default, but falls back to Module::Build on old versions of the CPAN.pm installer that don't understand configure dependencies.

When using a Module::Build::Tiny-based installer, the [ExecDir] plugin will be set to mark the script/ directory for executables instead of the default bin/.


The [@Starter] plugin bundle supports the following revisions.

Revision 1

Revision 1 is the default and is equivalent to using the following plugins:

  directory = t
  directory = xt
  directory = inc
  directory = share
  directory = eg
  directory = examples
  xt_mode = 1

This revision differs from [@Basic] as follows:

Revision 2

Revision 2 is similar to Revision 1, with these differences:

  • Sets the option "inherit_version" in [MetaProvides::Package] to 0 by default, so that provides metadata will use individual module versions if they differ from the distribution version.

  • [Pod2Readme] is used instead of [ReadmeAnyFromPod] to generate the plaintext README, as it is a simpler plugin for this purpose. It takes the same filename and source_filename options, but does not allow further configuration, and does not automatically use a .pod file as the source.

  • The "installer" option is now supported to change the installer plugin.


By using the PluginRemover or Config::Slicer role options, the [@Starter] bundle's included plugins can be customized as desired. Here are some examples:


If the distribution is using git source control, it is often helpful to replace the default [GatherDir] plugin with [Git::GatherDir].

  -remove = GatherDir

The included [GatherDir] plugin can alternatively be configured directly. (See "CONFIGURATION SYNTAX" in Config::MVP::Slicer for an explanation of the subscripts for slicing array attributes.)

  GatherDir.include_dotfiles = 1
  GatherDir.exclude_filename[0] = foo_bar.txt
  GatherDir.prune_directory[] = ^temp


The [Pod2Readme] or [ReadmeAnyFromPod] plugin (depending on bundle revision) generates a plaintext README from the POD text in the distribution's "main_module" in Dist::Zilla by default, but can be configured to look elsewhere. The standard README should always be plaintext, but in order to generate a non-plaintext README in addition, [ReadmeAnyFromPod] can simply be used separately. Note that POD-format READMEs should not be included in the distribution build because they will get indexed and installed due to an oddity in CPAN installation tools.

  revision = 2
  Pod2Readme.source_filename = bin/foobar
  [ReadmeAnyFromPod / Markdown_Readme]
  type = markdown
  filename = README.md
  [ReadmeAnyFromPod / Pod_Readme]
  type = pod
  location = root ; do not include pod readmes in the build!


Some distributions use the script/ directory instead of bin/ (the [ExecDir] default) for executable scripts.

  ExecDir.dir = script


The distribution may include additional files or directories that should not have their contents indexed as CPAN modules. (See "CONFIGURATION SYNTAX" in Config::MVP::Slicer for an explanation of the subscripts for slicing array attributes.)

  MetaNoIndex.file[0] = eggs/FooBar.pm
  MetaNoIndex.directory[a] = eggs
  MetaNoIndex.directory[b] = bacon


The [MetaProvides::Package] plugin will use the distribution's version (as set in dist.ini or by a plugin) as the version of each module when populating the provides metadata by default. If the distribution does not have uniform module versions, the plugin can be configured to reflect each module's hardcoded version where available, by setting the inherit_version option to 0 (the default in bundle "Revision 2").

  MetaProvides::Package.inherit_version = 0 ; default in revision 2

With this option set to 0, it will use the main distribution version as a fallback for any module where a version is not found. This can also be overridden, so that if no version is found for a module, no version will be specified for it in metadata, by setting inherit_missing to 0 as well.

  MetaProvides::Package.inherit_version = 0
  MetaProvides::Package.inherit_missing = 0


This bundle includes a basic set of plugins for releasing a distribution, but there are many more common non-intrusive tasks that Dist::Zilla can help with simply by using additional plugins in the dist.ini.


To automatically set the distribution name from the current directory, use [NameFromDirectory].

To extract the license and copyright information from the main module, and optionally set the author as well, use [LicenseFromModule].


A common approach to maintaining versions in Dist::Zilla-managed distributions is to automatically extract the distribution's version from the main module, maintain uniform module versions, and bump the version during or after each release. To extract the main module version, use [RewriteVersion] (which also rewrites your module versions to match the main module version when building) or [VersionFromMainModule]. To automatically increment module versions in the repository after each release, use [BumpVersionAfterRelease]. Alternatively, you can use [ReversionOnRelease] to automatically increment your versions in the release build, then copy the updated modules back to the repository with [CopyFilesFromRelease]. Don't mix these two version increment methods!


To automatically add the new release version to the distribution changelog, use [NextRelease]. To ensure the release has changelog entries, use [CheckChangesHasContent].


To better integrate with a git workflow, use the plugins from [@Git]. To automatically add contributors to metadata from git commits, use [Git::Contributors].


To automatically set resource metadata from an associated GitHub repository, use [GithubMeta]. To set resource metadata manually, use [MetaResources].


To automatically set distribution prereqs from a cpanfile, use [Prereqs::FromCPANfile]. To specify prereqs manually, use [Prereqs].


Report any issues on the public bugtracker.


Dan Book <dbook@cpan.org>


This software is Copyright (c) 2016 by Dan Book.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The Artistic License 2.0 (GPL Compatible)


Dist::Zilla, Dist::Zilla::PluginBundle::Basic, Dist::Milla, Dist::Zilla::MintingProfile::Starter