13.1 Starting with h2xs

A distribution contains the module (or collection of related modules), plus all the support files required to document, test, ship, and install the module. While you could potentially construct all these files by hand, it's much simpler to use a tool that comes with Perl, awkwardly called h2xs[1]

[1] The name h2xs has an interesting pedigree. Back in the early days of Perl 5, Larry invented the XS language to describe the glue code that Perl needs to talk to C-language functions and libraries. Originally, this code was written entirely by hand, but the h2xs tool was written to scan simple C-include header files (ending in .h) and generate most of the XS directly. Hence, h "2" (to) XS. Over time, more functions were added, including generating template files for the rest of the distribution. Now here we are, about to describe how to use h2xs for things that aren't either h or xs. Amazing.

The h2xs tool creates a series of template files that serve as a starting point for the distribution files. You simply need to say h2xs -XAn, followed by the name of the modulein this case, Island::Plotting::Maps.[2] Here's what the output looks like:[3]

[2] If there's more than one module in the distribution, it should be the name of the most important module. Others can be added later.

[3] The exact behavior and output of h2xs may vary depending upon your version of Perl.

$ h2xs -XAn Island::Plotting::Maps
Defaulting to backwards compatibility with perl 5.8.0
If you intend this module to be compatible with earlier perl versions, please
specify a minimum perl version with the -b option.

Writing Island/Plotting/Maps/Maps.pm
Writing Island/Plotting/Maps/Makefile.PL
Writing Island/Plotting/Maps/README
Writing Island/Plotting/Maps/t/1.t
Writing Island/Plotting/Maps/Changes
Writing Island/Plotting/Maps/MANIFEST