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CPAN, the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, is an archive of over 121,000 modules of software written in the Perl programming language, as well as documentation for them. It has a presence on the World Wide Web at www.cpan.org and is mirrored worldwide at more than 200 locations. CPAN can denote either the archive network itself, or the Perl program that acts as an interface to the network and as an automated software installer. Most software on CPAN is free and open source software. CPAN was conceived in 1993, and the first web-accessible mirror was launched in January 1997.
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