Frankly, it was never the best experience from a end user point of view. Strawberry Perl made it a lot of easier, but still to this day it is still an incomplete solution.
Not about complaining... if you don't like a opensource project, don't use it. Or try to improve it yourself.
Here are some notes for those willing to do the later:
- Install Git for Windows. You will get some other nice programs as tar and gzip. You will need those and what the heck, everybody uses git nowadays.
- Configure the cpan program. You can use the default configuration offered and set some items later.
- Configure cpan to use the tar and gzip programs from step 1. In the case you don't remember, type o conf tar and o conf gzip and setup the complete path to those guys. If you were unwise and setup Git for Windows use the suggested path (C:\Program Files\Git), you will have to do some quoting and escaping the backslash (like "C:\\Program Files\\Git\\usr\\bin\\tar.exe").
- Configure cpan to use the gmake.exe program (don't really know why it wasn't configured by default, considering that gmake.exe is part of Strawberry Perl): o conf make C:\\Strawberry\\c\\bin\\gmake.exe
- Configure cmd.exe to use Unicode by default: fire up the command REG ADD HKCU\Console /v CodePage /t REG_DWORD /d 0xfde9 with administrator privileges in order to do that. It avoids you having warnings all over because of Unicode characters.
- Configure cpan to use a SQLite database (which speeds up the process): o conf use_sqlite 1
- Install YAML::XS, which is faster than YAML.
- Be smart and add C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin to your PATH variable.