For 32-bit Windows the recommended C compiler is either Visual C 6.0 with the bundled nmake utility, or the Min GW version of GCC for Windows together with the dmake utility. They will however link against a different C runtime library, which in rare cases can cause some compatibility issues.
The CPAN shell will automatically download and install Min GW and dmake on first use if you don't have Visual C or Min GW already installed and on your PATH: If you want to use the Min GW compiler to build modules manually from the commandline, then you can install Min GW yourself using PPM: For 64-bit Perl on 64-bit Windows currently the only supported compiler is the Visual C compiler included in the Windows Server 2003 SP1 Platform SDK (aka the April 2005 edition).
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 (somewhat like a package manager).
Most software on CPAN is free and open source software.
They can release new versions of the module, and accept patches from the community to the module as their time permits.
CPAN has no revision control system, although the source for the modules is often stored on Git Hub.
Sometimes a maintainer will be appointed to an abandoned module.
On Linux the GCC compiler and the GNU make utility are typically already installed.
On Mac OS X both GCC and GNU make are part of Apple's Xcode developer tools, which can be installed from the OS X installation DVD, or downloaded from the Apple Developer Tools website.
Use the Set script to set the PATH, LIB, and INCLUDE environment variables to the correct value for building Active Perl extensions with this command: The easiest way to install additional modules into Active Perl is by using PPM, the Perl Package Manager.
But on each platform there is also a free native C compiler available that can be used to build modules locally if that turns out to be necessary.