Previewing POD before shipping

Reading time: 2 minutes

I always find typos after I ship to CPAN.

There is something about reading my docs in nicely-formatted HTML on a web site that makes my mistakes jump out at me. And then I feel stupid for not having caught it earlier.

I used to use the pod renderer to preview my POD, but I stopped after a while, probably when I stopped using for everything else as well.

What I really wanted was something local, quick and pretty. So I ripped off a bit of what MetaCPAN was doing to render POD and came up with my own utility program: podpreview.

$ podpreview path/to/

That renders the POD from the file into HTML with an embedded stylesheet, saves it in a temporary file and opens up that file in my browser. There I can happily proofread and find my typos before shipping.

If you’d like to try it out and adapt it to your own style, here it is:

#!/usr/bin/env perl
use v5.10;
use strict;
use warnings;
use Browser::Open qw/open_browser/;
use Path::Tiny;
use Pod::Simple::XHTML;

my $file = shift @ARGV
  or die "Usage: $0 <file>";
$file = path($file);

my $psx = Pod::Simple::XHTML->new;
$psx->output_string( \my $html );
$psx->html_header( my_header() );
$psx->html_footer( my_footer() );
$psx->parse_string_document( $file->slurp_utf8 );

my $temp = path( $ENV{TMPDIR}, 'podpreview', $file->relative . '.html' );

sub my_css {
    return <<'CSS';
body { background: snow; font-family: sans-serif; }
div#main { width: 70%; margin: 5% auto; }
h1 { font-size: 1.5em; margin: .83em 0 }
h2 { font-size: 1.17em; margin: 1em 0 }
h3 { margin: 1.33em 0 }
h4 { font-size: .83em; line-height: 1.17em; margin: 1.67em 0 }
h5 { font-size: .67em; margin: 2.33em 0 }
h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 { font-weight: bolder; color: #36c }
a:link { color: #36c }
code { font-size: 1.2em }

sub my_header {
    my $css = my_css();
    return <<"HEADER";
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<div id="main">

sub my_footer {
    return <<'FOOTER';

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