Dist::Zilla and custom Makefiles

I’m trying to configure a module to release to CPAN, the repository for the Perl programming language (hi Tiobe). In trying to be up to date about things I asked on reddit what would be a good build tool to use. The majority of votes were for Dist::Zilla, so I thought I’d look into it.

It seems relatively simple for most modules, but my module uses XS and needs to link to libssl. To do this I needed to pass INC and LIB params in the Makefile.PL, but you can’t do that with Dist::Zilla‘s default Makefile plugin.

There are some options for having custom Makefile.PL‘s. I tried MakeMaker::Custom, but that required an entire Makefile.PL template just for 2 extra lines. Instead I opted for MakeMaker::Awesome, but that requires a module to be placed in “inc”…

Still, in both cases there is one minor issue that took a little while to solve, conflicting builds of Makefile.Pl by MakeMaker and MakeMaker::Custom. This is answered in the documentation, but only when you know what to look for.

Essentially the issue is this. You are probably going to have dist.ini include:

[@Basic]

The @ indicates a plugin bundle, thus it loads Dist::Zilla::PluginBundle::Basic. That loads [MakeMaker] and that conflicts with [MakeMaker::*].

The solution to handling this is the plugin bundle

[@Filter]

This is a fake bundle which wraps around another plugin bundle and removes from it any plugins that you don’t want to load. Thus you can still load @Basic, but not load MakeMaker simply by adding this:

[@Filter]
-bundle = @Basic
-remove = MakeMaker

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