External libraries wrapped up for your viewing pleasure!

The intent of the Alien namespace is to provide a mechanism for specifying, installing and using non-native dependencies on CPAN. Frequently this is a C library used by XS (see perlxs) or FFI (see FFI::Platypus), but it could be anything non-Perl usable from Perl. Typical characteristics of an Alien distribution include: * Probe for or install library during the build process Usually this means that Module::Build or ExtUtils::MakeMaker will be extended to probe for an existing system library that meets the criteria of the Alien module. If it cannot be found the library is downloaded from the Internet and installed into a share directory (See File::ShareDir::Dist). Usually, though not necessarily, this is a C library. It could be anything though, some JavaScript, Java '.class' files. Anything imaginable. * The module itself provides attributes needed to use the library This means that if you are writing 'Alien::Foo' it will provide class or member functions that will provide the necessary information for using the library that was probed for or installed during the previous step. If, for example, 'Alien::Foo' were providing a dependency on the C library 'libfoo', then you might provide 'Alien::Foo->cflags' and 'Alien::Foo->libs' class methods to return the compiler and library flags required for using the library. These are guidelines, and this module does not provide an implementation or a framework, because of the diverse nature of non-Perl dependencies on CPAN. The more common cases are handled by the Alien::Base + Alien::Build system, which is recommended if you want to avoid reinventing the wheel. See the SEE ALSO section below for helpful resources.

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