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perlmodlib
constructing new Perl modules and finding existing ones

perlmodlib - constructing new Perl modules and finding existing ones



NAME

perlmodlib - constructing new Perl modules and finding existing ones


DESCRIPTION


THE PERL MODULE LIBRARY

Many modules are included the Perl distribution. These are described below, and all end in .pm. You may discover compiled library file (usually ending in .so) or small pieces of modules to be autoloaded (ending in .al); these were automatically generated by the installation process. You may also discover files in the library directory that end in either .pl or .ph. These are old libraries supplied so that old programs that use them still run. The .pl files will all eventually be converted into standard modules, and the .ph files made by h2ph will probably end up as extension modules made by h2xs. (Some .ph values may already be available through the POSIX, Errno, or Fcntl modules.) The pl2pm file in the distribution may help in your conversion, but it's just a mechanical process and therefore far from bulletproof.

Pragmatic Modules

They work somewhat like compiler directives (pragmata) in that they tend to affect the compilation of your program, and thus will usually work well only when used within a use, or no. Most of these are lexically scoped, so an inner BLOCK may countermand them by saying:


    no integer;

    no strict 'refs';

    no warnings;

which lasts until the end of that BLOCK.

Some pragmas are lexically scoped--typically those that affect the $^H hints variable. Others affect the current package instead, like use vars and use subs, which allow you to predeclare a variables or subroutines within a particular file rather than just a block. Such declarations are effective for the entire file for which they were declared. You cannot rescind them with no vars or no subs.

The following pragmas are defined (and have their own documentation).

attributes
Get/set subroutine or variable attributes

attrs
Set/get attributes of a subroutine (deprecated)

autouse
Postpone load of modules until a function is used

base
Establish IS-A relationship with base class at compile time

bigint
Transparent big integer support for Perl

bignum
Transparent BigNumber support for Perl

bigrat
Transparent BigNumber/BigRational support for Perl

blib
Use MakeMaker's uninstalled version of a package

bytes
Force byte semantics rather than character semantics

charnames
Define character names for \N{named} string literal escapes

constant
Declare constants

diagnostics
Perl compiler pragma to force verbose warning diagnostics

encoding
Allows you to write your script in non-ascii or non-utf8

fields
Compile-time class fields

filetest
Control the filetest permission operators

if
use a Perl module if a condition holds

integer
Use integer arithmetic instead of floating point

less
Request less of something from the compiler

locale
Use and avoid POSIX locales for built-in operations

open
Set default PerlIO layers for input and output

ops
Restrict unsafe operations when compiling

overload
Package for overloading perl operations

re
Alter regular expression behaviour

sigtrap
Enable simple signal handling

sort
Control sort() behaviour

strict
Restrict unsafe constructs

subs
Predeclare sub names

threads
Perl extension allowing use of interpreter based threads from perl

utf8
Enable/disable UTF-8 (or UTF-EBCDIC) in source code

vars
Predeclare global variable names (obsolete)

vmsish
Control VMS-specific language features

warnings
Control optional warnings

warnings::register
Warnings import function

Standard Modules

Standard, bundled modules are all expected to behave in a well-defined manner with respect to namespace pollution because they use the Exporter module. See their own documentation for details.

AnyDBM_File
Provide framework for multiple DBMs

Attribute::Handlers
Simpler definition of attribute handlers

AutoLoader
Load subroutines only on demand

AutoSplit
Split a package for autoloading

B
The Perl Compiler

B::Asmdata
Autogenerated data about Perl ops, used to generate bytecode

B::Assembler
Assemble Perl bytecode

B::Bblock
Walk basic blocks

B::Bytecode
Perl compiler's bytecode backend

B::C
Perl compiler's C backend

B::CC
Perl compiler's optimized C translation backend

B::Concise
Walk Perl syntax tree, printing concise info about ops

B::Debug
Walk Perl syntax tree, printing debug info about ops

B::Deparse
Perl compiler backend to produce perl code

B::Disassembler
Disassemble Perl bytecode

B::Lint
Perl lint

B::Showlex
Show lexical variables used in functions or files

B::Stackobj
Helper module for CC backend

B::Stash
Show what stashes are loaded

B::Terse
Walk Perl syntax tree, printing terse info about ops

B::Xref
Generates cross reference reports for Perl programs

Benchmark
Benchmark running times of Perl code

ByteLoader
Load byte compiled perl code

CGI
Simple Common Gateway Interface Class

CGI::Apache
Backward compatibility module for CGI.pm

CGI::Carp
CGI routines for writing to the HTTPD (or other) error log

CGI::Cookie
Interface to Netscape Cookies

CGI::Fast
CGI Interface for Fast CGI

CGI::Pretty
Module to produce nicely formatted HTML code

CGI::Push
Simple Interface to Server Push

CGI::Switch
Backward compatibility module for defunct CGI::Switch

CGI::Util
Internal utilities used by CGI module

CPAN
Query, download and build perl modules from CPAN sites

CPAN::FirstTime
Utility for CPAN::Config file Initialization

CPAN::Nox
Wrapper around CPAN.pm without using any XS module

Carp
Warn of errors (from perspective of caller)

Carp::Heavy
No user serviceable parts inside

Class::ISA
Report the search path for a class's ISA tree

Class::Struct
Declare struct-like datatypes as Perl classes

Config
Access Perl configuration information

Cwd
Get pathname of current working directory

DB
Programmatic interface to the Perl debugging API (draft, subject to

DB_File
Perl5 access to Berkeley DB version 1.x

Devel::SelfStubber
Generate stubs for a SelfLoading module

Digest
Modules that calculate message digests

DirHandle
Supply object methods for directory handles

Dumpvalue
Provides screen dump of Perl data.

Encode
Character encodings

English
Use nice English (or awk) names for ugly punctuation variables

Env
Perl module that imports environment variables as scalars or arrays

Errno
System errno constants

Exporter
Implements default import method for modules

Exporter::Heavy
Exporter guts

ExtUtils::Command
Utilities to replace common UNIX commands in Makefiles etc.

ExtUtils::Command::MM
Commands for the MM's to use in Makefiles

ExtUtils::Constant
Generate XS code to import C header constants

ExtUtils::Embed
Utilities for embedding Perl in C/C++ applications

ExtUtils::Install
Install files from here to there

ExtUtils::Installed
Inventory management of installed modules

ExtUtils::Liblist
Determine libraries to use and how to use them

ExtUtils::MM
OS adjusted ExtUtils::MakeMaker subclass

ExtUtils::MM_Any
Platform agnostic MM methods

ExtUtils::MM_BeOS
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_Cygwin
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_DOS
DOS specific subclass of ExtUtils::MM_Unix

ExtUtils::MM_MacOS
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_NW5
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_OS2
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_UWIN
U/WIN specific subclass of ExtUtils::MM_Unix

ExtUtils::MM_Unix
Methods used by ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_VMS
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_Win32
Methods to override UN*X behaviour in ExtUtils::MakeMaker

ExtUtils::MM_Win95
Method to customize MakeMaker for Win9X

ExtUtils::MY
ExtUtils::MakeMaker subclass for customization

ExtUtils::MakeMaker
Create an extension Makefile

ExtUtils::Manifest
Utilities to write and check a MANIFEST file

ExtUtils::Mkbootstrap
Make a bootstrap file for use by DynaLoader

ExtUtils::Mksymlists
Write linker options files for dynamic extension

ExtUtils::Packlist
Manage .packlist files

ExtUtils::testlib
Add blib/* directories to @INC

Fatal
Replace functions with equivalents which succeed or die

Fcntl
Load the C Fcntl.h defines

File::Basename
Split a pathname into pieces

File::CheckTree
Run many filetest checks on a tree

File::Compare
Compare files or filehandles

File::Copy
Copy files or filehandles

File::DosGlob
DOS like globbing and then some

File::Find
Traverse a directory tree.

File::Path
Create or remove directory trees

File::Spec
Portably perform operations on file names

File::Spec::Cygwin
Methods for Cygwin file specs

File::Spec::Epoc
Methods for Epoc file specs

File::Spec::Functions
Portably perform operations on file names

File::Spec::Mac
File::Spec for Mac OS (Classic)

File::Spec::OS2
Methods for OS/2 file specs

File::Spec::Unix
File::Spec for Unix, base for other File::Spec modules

File::Spec::VMS
Methods for VMS file specs

File::Spec::Win32
Methods for Win32 file specs

File::Temp
Return name and handle of a temporary file safely

File::stat
By-name interface to Perl's built-in stat() functions

FileCache
Keep more files open than the system permits

FileHandle
Supply object methods for filehandles

Filter::Simple
Simplified source filtering

FindBin
Locate directory of original perl script

Getopt::Long
Extended processing of command line options

Getopt::Std
Process single-character switches with switch clustering

Hash::Util
A selection of general-utility hash subroutines

I18N::Collate
Compare 8-bit scalar data according to the current locale

I18N::LangTags
Functions for dealing with RFC3066-style language tags

I18N::LangTags::List
Tags and names for human languages

IO
Load various IO modules

IPC::Open2
Open a process for both reading and writing

IPC::Open3
Open a process for reading, writing, and error handling

Locale::Constants
Constants for Locale codes

Locale::Country
ISO codes for country identification (ISO 3166)

Locale::Currency
ISO three letter codes for currency identification (ISO 4217)

Locale::Language
ISO two letter codes for language identification (ISO 639)

Locale::Maketext
Framework for localization

Locale::Maketext::TPJ13
Article about software localization

Locale::Script
ISO codes for script identification (ISO 15924)

Math::BigFloat
Arbitrary size floating point math package

Math::BigInt
Arbitrary size integer math package

Math::BigInt::Calc
Pure Perl module to support Math::BigInt

Math::BigRat
Arbitrarily big rationals

Math::Complex
Complex numbers and associated mathematical functions

Math::Trig
Trigonometric functions

Memoize
Make functions faster by trading space for time

Memoize::AnyDBM_File
Glue to provide EXISTS for AnyDBM_File for Storable use

Memoize::Expire
Plug-in module for automatic expiration of memoized values

Memoize::ExpireFile
Test for Memoize expiration semantics

Memoize::ExpireTest
Test for Memoize expiration semantics

Memoize::NDBM_File
Glue to provide EXISTS for NDBM_File for Storable use

Memoize::SDBM_File
Glue to provide EXISTS for SDBM_File for Storable use

Memoize::Storable
Store Memoized data in Storable database

NDBM_File
Tied access to ndbm files

NEXT
Provide a pseudo-class NEXT that allows method redispatch

Net::Cmd
Network Command class (as used by FTP, SMTP etc)

Net::Config
Local configuration data for libnet

Net::Domain
Attempt to evaluate the current host's internet name and domain

Net::FTP
FTP Client class

Net::NNTP
NNTP Client class

Net::Netrc
OO interface to users netrc file

Net::POP3
Post Office Protocol 3 Client class (RFC1939)

Net::Ping
Check a remote host for reachability

Net::SMTP
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Client

Net::Time
Time and daytime network client interface

Net::hostent
By-name interface to Perl's built-in gethost*() functions

Net::libnetFAQ
Libnet Frequently Asked Questions

Net::netent
By-name interface to Perl's built-in getnet*() functions

Net::protoent
By-name interface to Perl's built-in getproto*() functions

Net::servent
By-name interface to Perl's built-in getserv*() functions

O
Generic interface to Perl Compiler backends

ODBM_File
Tied access to odbm files

Opcode
Disable named opcodes when compiling perl code

POSIX
Perl interface to IEEE Std 1003.1

PerlIO
On demand loader for PerlIO layers and root of PerlIO::* name space

PerlIO::via::QuotedPrint
PerlIO layer for quoted-printable strings

Pod::Checker
Check pod documents for syntax errors

Pod::Find
Find POD documents in directory trees

Pod::Functions
Group Perl's functions a la perlfunc.pod

Pod::Html
Module to convert pod files to HTML

Pod::InputObjects
Objects representing POD input paragraphs, commands, etc.

Pod::LaTeX
Convert Pod data to formatted Latex

Pod::Man
Convert POD data to formatted *roff input

Pod::ParseLink
Parse an L<> formatting code in POD text

Pod::ParseUtils
Helpers for POD parsing and conversion

Pod::Parser
Base class for creating POD filters and translators

Pod::Plainer
Perl extension for converting Pod to old style Pod.

Pod::Select
Extract selected sections of POD from input

Pod::Text
Convert POD data to formatted ASCII text

Pod::Text::Color
Convert POD data to formatted color ASCII text

Pod::Text::Overstrike
Convert POD data to formatted overstrike text

Pod::Text::Termcap
Convert POD data to ASCII text with format escapes

Pod::Usage
Print a usage message from embedded pod documentation

SDBM_File
Tied access to sdbm files

Safe
Compile and execute code in restricted compartments

Search::Dict
Search for key in dictionary file

SelectSaver
Save and restore selected file handle

SelfLoader
Load functions only on demand

Shell
Run shell commands transparently within perl

Socket
Load the C socket.h defines and structure manipulators

Storable
Persistence for Perl data structures

Switch
A switch statement for Perl

Symbol
Manipulate Perl symbols and their names

Term::ANSIColor
Color screen output using ANSI escape sequences

Term::Cap
Perl termcap interface

Term::Complete
Perl word completion module

Term::ReadLine
Perl interface to various readline packages. If

Test
Provides a simple framework for writing test scripts

Test::Builder
Backend for building test libraries

Test::Harness
Run perl standard test scripts with statistics

Test::Harness::Assert
Simple assert

Test::Harness::Iterator
Internal Test::Harness Iterator

Test::Harness::Straps
Detailed analysis of test results

Test::More
Yet another framework for writing test scripts

Test::Simple
Basic utilities for writing tests.

Test::Tutorial
A tutorial about writing really basic tests

Text::Abbrev
Create an abbreviation table from a list

Text::Balanced
Extract delimited text sequences from strings.

Text::ParseWords
Parse text into an array of tokens or array of arrays

Text::Soundex
Implementation of the Soundex Algorithm as Described by Knuth

Text::Tabs
Expand and unexpand tabs per the unix expand(1) and unexpand(1)

Text::Wrap
Line wrapping to form simple paragraphs

Thread
Manipulate threads in Perl (for old code only)

Thread::Queue
Thread-safe queues

Thread::Semaphore
Thread-safe semaphores

Tie::Array
Base class for tied arrays

Tie::File
Access the lines of a disk file via a Perl array

Tie::Handle
Base class definitions for tied handles

Tie::Hash
Base class definitions for tied hashes

Tie::Memoize
Add data to hash when needed

Tie::RefHash
Use references as hash keys

Tie::Scalar
Base class definitions for tied scalars

Tie::SubstrHash
Fixed-table-size, fixed-key-length hashing

Time::Local
Efficiently compute time from local and GMT time

Time::gmtime
By-name interface to Perl's built-in gmtime() function

Time::localtime
By-name interface to Perl's built-in localtime() function

Time::tm
Internal object used by Time::gmtime and Time::localtime

UNIVERSAL
Base class for ALL classes (blessed references)

Unicode::Collate
Unicode Collation Algorithm

Unicode::UCD
Unicode character database

User::grent
By-name interface to Perl's built-in getgr*() functions

User::pwent
By-name interface to Perl's built-in getpw*() functions

Win32
Interfaces to some Win32 API Functions

To find out all modules installed on your system, including those without documentation or outside the standard release, just do this:


    % find `perl -e 'print "@INC"'` -name '*.pm' -print

They should all have their own documentation installed and accessible via your system man(1) command. If you do not have a find program, you can use the Perl find2perl program instead, which generates Perl code as output you can run through perl. If you have a man program but it doesn't find your modules, you'll have to fix your manpath. See perl for details. If you have no system man command, you might try the perldoc program.

Extension Modules

Extension modules are written in C (or a mix of Perl and C). They are usually dynamically loaded into Perl if and when you need them, but may also be linked in statically. Supported extension modules include Socket, Fcntl, and POSIX.

Many popular C extension modules do not come bundled (at least, not completely) due to their sizes, volatility, or simply lack of time for adequate testing and configuration across the multitude of platforms on which Perl was beta-tested. You are encouraged to look for them on CPAN (described below), or using web search engines like Alta Vista or Deja News.


CPAN

CPAN stands for Comprehensive Perl Archive Network; it's a globally replicated trove of Perl materials, including documentation, style guides, tricks and traps, alternate ports to non-Unix systems and occasional binary distributions for these. Search engines for CPAN can be found at http://www.cpan.org/

Most importantly, CPAN includes around a thousand unbundled modules, some of which require a C compiler to build. Major categories of modules are:

  • Language Extensions and Documentation Tools

  • Development Support

  • Operating System Interfaces

  • Networking, Device Control (modems) and InterProcess Communication

  • Data Types and Data Type Utilities

  • Database Interfaces

  • User Interfaces

  • Interfaces to / Emulations of Other Programming Languages

  • File Names, File Systems and File Locking (see also File Handles)

  • String Processing, Language Text Processing, Parsing, and Searching

  • Option, Argument, Parameter, and Configuration File Processing

  • Internationalization and Locale

  • Authentication, Security, and Encryption

  • World Wide Web, HTML, HTTP, CGI, MIME

  • Server and Daemon Utilities

  • Archiving and Compression

  • Images, Pixmap and Bitmap Manipulation, Drawing, and Graphing

  • Mail and Usenet News

  • Control Flow Utilities (callbacks and exceptions etc)

  • File Handle and Input/Output Stream Utilities

  • Miscellaneous Modules

The list of the registered CPAN sites as of this writing follows. Please note that the sorting order is alphabetical on fields:

Continent | |-->Country | |-->[state/province] | |-->ftp | |-->[http]

and thus the North American servers happen to be listed between the European and the South American sites.

You should try to choose one close to you.

Africa

South Africa

                      ftp://ftp.is.co.za/programming/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.mweb.co.za/pub/mirrors/cpan/

                      ftp://ftp.saix.net/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.sun.ac.za/CPAN/CPAN/

Asia

China

                      ftp://freesoft.cei.gov.cn/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      http://www2.linuxforum.net/mirror/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.shellhung.org/

                      ftp://ftp.shellhung.org/pub/CPAN
India

                      http://cpan.in.freeos.com

                      ftp://cpan.in.freeos.com/pub/CPAN/
Indonesia

                      http://cpan.itb.web.id/

                      ftp://mirrors.piksi.itb.ac.id/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.cbn.net.id/

                      ftp://ftp.cbn.net.id/mirror/CPAN

                      http://CPAN.mweb.co.id/

                      ftp://ftp.mweb.co.id/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/
Israel

                      http://www.iglu.org.il:/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.iglu.org.il/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.lerner.co.il/

                      http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/pub/software/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/pub/software/perl/CPAN/
Japan

                      ftp://ftp.u-aizu.ac.jp/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.kddlabs.co.jp/CPAN/

                      http://mirror.nucba.ac.jp/mirror/Perl/

                      ftp://mirror.nucba.ac.jp/mirror/Perl/

                      ftp://ftp.meisei-u.ac.jp/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.ayamura.org/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub/lang/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.dti.ad.jp/pub/lang/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.ring.gr.jp/pub/lang/perl/CPAN/
Korea

                      http://mirror.Mazic.org/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://mirror.Mazic.org/pub/CPAN
Philippines

                      http://www.adzu.edu.ph/CPAN
Russian Federation

                      http://cpan.tomsk.ru

                      ftp://cpan.tomsk.ru/pub/CPAN
Saudi Arabia

                      ftp://ftp.isu.net.sa/pub/CPAN/
Singapore

                      http://cpan.hjc.edu.sg

                      http://mirror.averse.net/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://mirror.averse.net/pub/CPAN
South Korea

                      http://CPAN.bora.net/

                      ftp://ftp.bora.net/pub/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.kornet.net/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.kornet.net/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.nuri.net/pub/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.xgate.co.kr/cpan/

                      ftp://ftp.xgate.co.kr/pub/mirror/CPAN
Taiwan

                      ftp://ftp.nctu.edu.tw/UNIX/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.ee.ncku.edu.tw/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp1.sinica.edu.tw/pub1/perl/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.tku.edu.tw/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.tku.edu.tw/pub/CPAN/
Thailand

                      ftp://ftp.loxinfo.co.th/pub/cpan/

                      ftp://ftp.cs.riubon.ac.th/pub/mirrors/CPAN/

Central America

Costa Rica

                      ftp://ftp.linux.co.cr/mirrors/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.ucr.ac.cr/Unix/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.ucr.ac.cr/pub/Unix/CPAN/

Europe

Austria

                      ftp://ftp.tuwien.ac.at/pub/CPAN/
Belgium

                      http://ftp.easynet.be/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.easynet.be/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.skynet.be

                      ftp://ftp.skynet.be/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.kulnet.kuleuven.ac.be/pub/mirror/CPAN/
Bulgaria

                      http://cpan.lirex.net/

                      ftp://ftp.lirex.net/pub/mirrors/CPAN
Croatia

                      http://ftp.linux.hr/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.linux.hr/pub/CPAN/
Czech Republic

                      http://ftp.fi.muni.cz/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.fi.muni.cz/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://sunsite.mff.cuni.cz/MIRRORS/ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/
Denmark

                      http://mirrors.sunsite.dk/cpan/

                      ftp://sunsite.dk/mirrors/cpan/

                      http://cpan.cybercity.dk

                      http://www.cpan.dk/CPAN/

                      ftp://www.cpan.dk/ftp.cpan.org/CPAN/
Estonia

                      ftp://ftp.ut.ee/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/
Finland

                      ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.kpnqwest.fi/
France

                      http://ftp.u-paris10.fr/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.u-paris10.fr/perl/CPAN

                      http://cpan.mirrors.easynet.fr/

                      ftp://cpan.mirrors.easynet.fr/pub/ftp.cpan.org/

                      ftp://ftp.club-internet.fr/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      http://fr.cpan.org/

                      ftp://ftp.lip6.fr/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.oleane.net/pub/mirrors/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.pasteur.fr/pub/computing/CPAN/

                      http://mir2.ovh.net/ftp.cpan.org

                      ftp://mir1.ovh.net/ftp.cpan.org

                      http://ftp.u-strasbg.fr/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.u-strasbg.fr/CPAN

                      http://cpan.cict.fr/

                      ftp://cpan.cict.fr/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.uvsq.fr/pub/perl/CPAN/
Germany

                      ftp://ftp.rz.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.freenet.de/pub/ftp.cpan.org/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.uni-erlangen.de/pub/source/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp-stud.fht-esslingen.de/pub/Mirrors/CPAN

                      http://pandemonium.tiscali.de/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://pandemonium.tiscali.de/pub/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.uni-hamburg.de/pub/soft/lang/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.leo.org/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.noris.de/

                      ftp://cpan.noris.de/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.mpi-sb.mpg.de/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.gmd.de/mirrors/CPAN/
Greece

                      ftp://ftp.acn.gr/pub/lang/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.forthnet.gr/pub/languages/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.ntua.gr/pub/lang/perl/
Hungary

                      http://cpan.artifact.hu/

                      ftp://cpan.artifact.hu/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.kfki.hu/packages/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.kfki.hu/pub/packages/perl/CPAN/
Iceland

                      http://ftp.rhnet.is/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.rhnet.is/pub/CPAN/
Ireland

                      http://cpan.indigo.ie/

                      ftp://cpan.indigo.ie/pub/CPAN/

                      http://sunsite.compapp.dcu.ie/pub/perl/

                      ftp://sunsite.compapp.dcu.ie/pub/perl/
Italy

                      http://cpan.nettuno.it/

                      http://gusp.dyndns.org/CPAN/

                      ftp://gusp.dyndns.org/pub/CPAN

                      http://softcity.iol.it/cpan

                      ftp://softcity.iol.it/pub/cpan

                      ftp://ftp.unina.it/pub/Other/CPAN/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.unipi.it/pub/mirror/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://cis.uniRoma2.it/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.edisontel.it/pub/CPAN_Mirror/

                      ftp://ftp.flashnet.it/pub/CPAN/
Latvia

                      http://kvin.lv/pub/CPAN/
Lithuania

                      ftp://ftp.unix.lt/pub/CPAN/
Netherlands

                      ftp://download.xs4all.nl/pub/mirror/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.nl.uu.net/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.cybercomm.nl/

                      ftp://mirror.cybercomm.nl/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.cpan.nl/pub/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.easynet.nl/mirror/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.easynet.nl/mirror/CPAN

                      http://archive.cs.uu.nl/mirror/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.cs.uu.nl/mirror/CPAN/
Norway

                      ftp://ftp.uninett.no/pub/languages/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.uit.no/pub/languages/perl/cpan/
Poland

                      ftp://ftp.pk.edu.pl/pub/lang/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.mega.net.pl/pub/mirrors/ftp.perl.com/

                      ftp://ftp.man.torun.pl/pub/doc/CPAN/

                      ftp://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/pub/CPAN/
Portugal

                      ftp://ftp.ua.pt/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://perl.di.uminho.pt/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.dei.uc.pt/

                      ftp://ftp.dei.uc.pt/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.ist.utl.pt/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.ip.pt/

                      ftp://cpan.ip.pt/pub/cpan/

                      ftp://ftp.netc.pt/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.up.pt/pub/CPAN
Romania

                      ftp://ftp.kappa.ro/pub/mirrors/ftp.perl.org/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.dntis.ro/pub/cpan/

                      ftp://ftp.dnttm.ro/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.lasting.ro/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.timisoara.roedu.net/mirrors/CPAN/
Russia

                      ftp://ftp.chg.ru/pub/lang/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.rinet.ru/

                      ftp://cpan.rinet.ru/pub/mirror/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.aha.ru/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.sai.msu.ru/

                      ftp://ftp.sai.msu.su/pub/lang/perl/CPAN/
Slovakia

                      http://ftp.cvt.stuba.sk/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.cvt.stuba.sk/pub/CPAN/
Slovenia

                      ftp://ftp.arnes.si/software/perl/CPAN/
Spain

                      http://cpan.imasd.elmundo.es/

                      ftp://ftp.rediris.es/mirror/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.etse.urv.es/pub/perl/
Sweden

                      http://ftp.du.se/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.du.se/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.dataphone.se/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.sunet.se/pub/lang/perl/CPAN/
Switzerland

                      ftp://ftp.danyk.ch/CPAN/

                      ftp://sunsite.cnlab-switch.ch/mirror/CPAN/
Turkey

                      http://ftp.ulak.net.tr/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.ulak.net.tr/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://sunsite.bilkent.edu.tr/pub/languages/CPAN/
Ukraine

                      http://cpan.org.ua/

                      ftp://cpan.org.ua/

                      ftp://ftp.perl.org.ua/pub/CPAN/
United Kingdom

                      http://www.mirror.ac.uk/sites/ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.mirror.ac.uk/sites/ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.teleglobe.net/

                      ftp://cpan.teleglobe.net/pub/CPAN

                      http://cpan.crazygreek.co.uk

                      ftp://ftp.demon.co.uk/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.m.flirble.org/

                      ftp://ftp.flirble.org/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.plig.org/pub/CPAN/

                      http://mirror.uklinux.net/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.uklinux.net/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.mirrors.clockerz.net/

                      ftp://ftp.clockerz.net/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://usit.shef.ac.uk/pub/packages/CPAN/

North America

Alberta

                      http://sunsite.ualberta.ca/pub/Mirror/CPAN/

                      ftp://sunsite.ualberta.ca/pub/Mirror/CPAN/
Manitoba

                      http://theoryx5.uwinnipeg.ca/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://theoryx5.uwinnipeg.ca/pub/CPAN/
Nova Scotia

                      ftp://cpan.chebucto.ns.ca/pub/CPAN/
Ontario

                      ftp://ftp.crc.ca/pub/CPAN/
Quebec

                      http://cpan.mirror.smartworker.org/
Mexico

                      http://cpan.azc.uam.mx

                      ftp://cpan.azc.uam.mx/mirrors/CPAN

                      http://cpan.unam.mx/

                      ftp://cpan.unam.mx/pub/CPAN

                      http://www.msg.com.mx/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.msg.com.mx/pub/CPAN/

United States

Alabama

                      http://mirror.hiwaay.net/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.hiwaay.net/CPAN/
California

                      http://cpan.develooper.com/

                      http://www.cpan.org/

                      ftp://cpan.valueclick.com/pub/CPAN/

                      http://mirrors.gossamer-threads.com/CPAN

                      ftp://cpan.nas.nasa.gov/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      http://mirrors.kernel.org/cpan/

                      ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/pub/CPAN

                      http://cpan.digisle.net/

                      ftp://cpan.digisle.net/pub/CPAN

                      http://www.perl.com/CPAN/

                      http://download.sourceforge.net/mirrors/CPAN/
Colorado

                      ftp://ftp.cs.colorado.edu/pub/perl/CPAN/
Delaware

                      http://ftp.lug.udel.edu/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://ftp.lug.udel.edu/pub/CPAN
District of Columbia

                      ftp://ftp.dc.aleron.net/pub/CPAN/
Florida

                      ftp://ftp.cise.ufl.edu/pub/mirrors/CPAN/

                      http://mirror.csit.fsu.edu/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.csit.fsu.edu/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.mirrors.nks.net/
Illinois

                      http://uiarchive.uiuc.edu/mirrors/ftp/cpan.cse.msu.edu/

                      ftp://uiarchive.uiuc.edu/mirrors/ftp/cpan.cse.msu.edu/
Indiana

                      ftp://ftp.uwsg.iu.edu/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.netnitco.net/

                      ftp://cpan.netnitco.net/pub/mirrors/CPAN/

                      http://archive.progeny.com/CPAN/

                      ftp://archive.progeny.com/CPAN/

                      ftp://cpan.in-span.net/

                      http://csociety-ftp.ecn.purdue.edu/pub/CPAN

                      ftp://csociety-ftp.ecn.purdue.edu/pub/CPAN
Kentucky

                      http://cpan.uky.edu/

                      ftp://cpan.uky.edu/pub/CPAN/
Massachusetts

                      ftp://ftp.ccs.neu.edu/net/mirrors/ftp.funet.fi/pub/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.mirrors.netnumina.com/

                      ftp://mirrors.netnumina.com/cpan/
Michigan

                      ftp://cpan.cse.msu.edu/
New Jersey

                      ftp://ftp.cpanel.net/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.teleglobe.net/

                      ftp://cpan.teleglobe.net/pub/CPAN
New York

                      ftp://ftp.exobit.org/pub/perl/CPAN

                      http://cpan.belfry.net/

                      http://cpan.thepirtgroup.com/

                      ftp://cpan.thepirtgroup.com/

                      ftp://ftp.stealth.net/pub/CPAN/

                      http://www.rge.com/pub/languages/perl/

                      ftp://ftp.rge.com/pub/languages/perl/

                      ftp://mirrors.cloud9.net/pub/mirrors/CPAN/
North Carolina

                      ftp://ftp.duke.edu/pub/perl/
Ohio

                      ftp://ftp.loaded.net/pub/CPAN/
Oklahoma

                      ftp://ftp.ou.edu/mirrors/CPAN/
Oregon

                      ftp://ftp.orst.edu/pub/CPAN
Pennsylvania

                      http://ftp.epix.net/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.epix.net/pub/languages/perl/

                      http://mirrors.phenominet.com/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirrors.phenominet.com/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.pair.com/

                      ftp://cpan.pair.com/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://carroll.cac.psu.edu/pub/CPAN/
Tennessee

                      ftp://ftp.sunsite.utk.edu/pub/CPAN/
Texas

                      http://ftp.sedl.org/pub/mirrors/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.telentente.com/pub/CPAN
Utah

                      ftp://mirror.xmission.com/CPAN/
Virginia

                      http://mirrors.rcn.net/pub/lang/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirrors.rcn.net/pub/lang/CPAN/

                      http://perl.secsup.org/

                      ftp://perl.secsup.org/pub/perl/

                      http://mirrors.phihost.com/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirrors.phihost.com/CPAN/

                      ftp://ruff.cs.jmu.edu/pub/CPAN/

                      http://perl.Liquidation.com/CPAN/
ashington

                      http://cpan.llarian.net/

                      ftp://cpan.llarian.net/pub/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.mirrorcentral.com/

                      ftp://ftp.mirrorcentral.com/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp-mirror.internap.com/pub/CPAN/
Wisconsin

                      http://mirror.sit.wisc.edu/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.sit.wisc.edu/pub/CPAN/

Oceania

Australia

                      http://ftp.planetmirror.com/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.planetmirror.com/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp://cpan.topend.com.au/pub/CPAN/
New Zealand

                      ftp://ftp.auckland.ac.nz/pub/perl/CPAN/

                      http://cpan.soa.co.nz/CPAN/

South America

Argentina

                      ftp://mirrors.bannerlandia.com.ar/mirrors/CPAN/

                      http://ftp.fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar/pub/CPAN/
Brazil

                      ftp://cpan.pop-mg.com.br/pub/CPAN/

                      ftp://ftp.matrix.com.br/pub/perl/CPAN/
Chile

                      http://cpan.netglobalis.net/

                      ftp://cpan.netglobalis.net/pub/CPAN/

RSYNC Mirrors


                      ftp.fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar::CPAN

                      cpan.mirror.smartworker.org::CPAN

                      theoryx5.uwinnipeg.ca::CPAN

                      ftp.shellhung.org::CPAN

                      ftp.funet.fi::CPAN

                      ftp.u-paris10.fr::CPAN

                      mir1.ovh.net::CPAN

                      ftp.gwdg.de::FTP/languages/perl/CPAN/

                      ftp.leo.org::CPAN

                      CPAN.piksi.itb.ac.id::CPAN

                      ftp.cbn.net.id::CPAN

                      ftp.iglu.org.il::CPAN

                      gusp.dyndns.org::cpan

                      ftp.kddlabs.co.jp::cpan

                      ftp.ayamura.org::pub/CPAN/

                      mirror.averse.net::cpan

                      cpan.teleglobe.net::CPAN

                      ftp.sedl.org::cpan

                      archive.progeny.com::CPAN

                      cpan.teleglobe.net::CPAN

                      ftp.lug.udel.edu::cpan

                      mirrors.kernel.org::mirrors/CPAN

                      mirrors.phenominet.com::CPAN

                      mirror.csit.fsu.edu::CPAN

                      csociety-ftp.ecn.purdue.edu::CPAN

For an up-to-date listing of CPAN sites, see http://www.cpan.org/SITES or ftp://www.cpan.org/SITES .


Modules: Creation, Use, and Abuse

(The following section is borrowed directly from Tim Bunce's modules file, available at your nearest CPAN site.)

Perl implements a class using a package, but the presence of a package doesn't imply the presence of a class. A package is just a namespace. A class is a package that provides subroutines that can be used as methods. A method is just a subroutine that expects, as its first argument, either the name of a package (for ``static'' methods), or a reference to something (for ``virtual'' methods).

A module is a file that (by convention) provides a class of the same name (sans the .pm), plus an import method in that class that can be called to fetch exported symbols. This module may implement some of its methods by loading dynamic C or C++ objects, but that should be totally transparent to the user of the module. Likewise, the module might set up an AUTOLOAD function to slurp in subroutine definitions on demand, but this is also transparent. Only the .pm file is required to exist. See perlsub, perltoot, and AutoLoader for details about the AUTOLOAD mechanism.

Guidelines for Module Creation

  • Do similar modules already exist in some form?

    If so, please try to reuse the existing modules either in whole or by inheriting useful features into a new class. If this is not practical try to get together with the module authors to work on extending or enhancing the functionality of the existing modules. A perfect example is the plethora of packages in perl4 for dealing with command line options.

    If you are writing a module to expand an already existing set of modules, please coordinate with the author of the package. It helps if you follow the same naming scheme and module interaction scheme as the original author.

  • Try to design the new module to be easy to extend and reuse.

    Try to use warnings; (or use warnings qw(...);). Remember that you can add no warnings qw(...); to individual blocks of code that need less warnings.

    Use blessed references. Use the two argument form of bless to bless into the class name given as the first parameter of the constructor, e.g.,:

    
     sub new {
    
         my $class = shift;
    
         return bless {}, $class;
    
     }

    or even this if you'd like it to be used as either a static or a virtual method.

    
     sub new {
    
         my $self  = shift;
    
         my $class = ref($self) || $self;
    
         return bless {}, $class;
    
     }

    Pass arrays as references so more parameters can be added later (it's also faster). Convert functions into methods where appropriate. Split large methods into smaller more flexible ones. Inherit methods from other modules if appropriate.

    Avoid class name tests like: die "Invalid" unless ref $ref eq 'FOO'. Generally you can delete the eq 'FOO' part with no harm at all. Let the objects look after themselves! Generally, avoid hard-wired class names as far as possible.

    Avoid $r->Class::func() where using @ISA=qw(... Class ...) and $r->func() would work (see perlbot for more details).

    Use autosplit so little used or newly added functions won't be a burden to programs that don't use them. Add test functions to the module after __END__ either using AutoSplit or by saying:

    
     eval join('',<main::DATA>) || die $@ unless caller();

    Does your module pass the 'empty subclass' test? If you say @SUBCLASS::ISA = qw(YOURCLASS); your applications should be able to use SUBCLASS in exactly the same way as YOURCLASS. For example, does your application still work if you change: $obj = new YOURCLASS; into: $obj = new SUBCLASS; ?

    Avoid keeping any state information in your packages. It makes it difficult for multiple other packages to use yours. Keep state information in objects.

    Always use -w.

    Try to use strict; (or use strict qw(...);). Remember that you can add no strict qw(...); to individual blocks of code that need less strictness.

    Always use -w.

    Follow the guidelines in the perlstyle(1) manual.

    Always use -w.

  • Some simple style guidelines

    The perlstyle manual supplied with Perl has many helpful points.

    Coding style is a matter of personal taste. Many people evolve their style over several years as they learn what helps them write and maintain good code. Here's one set of assorted suggestions that seem to be widely used by experienced developers:

    Use underscores to separate words. It is generally easier to read $var_names_like_this than $VarNamesLikeThis, especially for non-native speakers of English. It's also a simple rule that works consistently with VAR_NAMES_LIKE_THIS.

    Package/Module names are an exception to this rule. Perl informally reserves lowercase module names for 'pragma' modules like integer and strict. Other modules normally begin with a capital letter and use mixed case with no underscores (need to be short and portable).

    You may find it helpful to use letter case to indicate the scope or nature of a variable. For example:

    
     $ALL_CAPS_HERE   constants only (beware clashes with Perl vars)
    
     $Some_Caps_Here  package-wide global/static
    
     $no_caps_here    function scope my() or local() variables

    Function and method names seem to work best as all lowercase. e.g., $obj->as_string().

    You can use a leading underscore to indicate that a variable or function should not be used outside the package that defined it.

  • Select what to export.

    Do NOT export method names!

    Do NOT export anything else by default without a good reason!

    Exports pollute the namespace of the module user. If you must export try to use @EXPORT_OK in preference to @EXPORT and avoid short or common names to reduce the risk of name clashes.

    Generally anything not exported is still accessible from outside the module using the ModuleName::item_name (or $blessed_ref->method) syntax. By convention you can use a leading underscore on names to indicate informally that they are 'internal' and not for public use.

    (It is actually possible to get private functions by saying: my $subref = sub { ... }; &$subref;. But there's no way to call that directly as a method, because a method must have a name in the symbol table.)

    As a general rule, if the module is trying to be object oriented then export nothing. If it's just a collection of functions then @EXPORT_OK anything but use @EXPORT with caution.

  • Select a name for the module.

    This name should be as descriptive, accurate, and complete as possible. Avoid any risk of ambiguity. Always try to use two or more whole words. Generally the name should reflect what is special about what the module does rather than how it does it. Please use nested module names to group informally or categorize a module. There should be a very good reason for a module not to have a nested name. Module names should begin with a capital letter.

    Having 57 modules all called Sort will not make life easy for anyone (though having 23 called Sort::Quick is only marginally better :-). Imagine someone trying to install your module alongside many others. If in any doubt ask for suggestions in comp.lang.perl.misc.

    If you are developing a suite of related modules/classes it's good practice to use nested classes with a common prefix as this will avoid namespace clashes. For example: Xyz::Control, Xyz::View, Xyz::Model etc. Use the modules in this list as a naming guide.

    If adding a new module to a set, follow the original author's standards for naming modules and the interface to methods in those modules.

    If developing modules for private internal or project specific use, that will never be released to the public, then you should ensure that their names will not clash with any future public module. You can do this either by using the reserved Local::* category or by using a category name that includes an underscore like Foo_Corp::*.

    To be portable each component of a module name should be limited to 11 characters. If it might be used on MS-DOS then try to ensure each is unique in the first 8 characters. Nested modules make this easier.

  • Have you got it right?

    How do you know that you've made the right decisions? Have you picked an interface design that will cause problems later? Have you picked the most appropriate name? Do you have any questions?

    The best way to know for sure, and pick up many helpful suggestions, is to ask someone who knows. Comp.lang.perl.misc is read by just about all the people who develop modules and it's the best place to ask.

    All you need to do is post a short summary of the module, its purpose and interfaces. A few lines on each of the main methods is probably enough. (If you post the whole module it might be ignored by busy people - generally the very people you want to read it!)

    Don't worry about posting if you can't say when the module will be ready - just say so in the message. It might be worth inviting others to help you, they may be able to complete it for you!

  • README and other Additional Files.

    It's well known that software developers usually fully document the software they write. If, however, the world is in urgent need of your software and there is not enough time to write the full documentation please at least provide a README file containing:

    • A description of the module/package/extension etc.

    • A copyright notice - see below.

    • Prerequisites - what else you may need to have.

    • How to build it - possible changes to Makefile.PL etc.

    • How to install it.

    • Recent changes in this release, especially incompatibilities

    • Changes / enhancements you plan to make in the future.

    If the README file seems to be getting too large you may wish to split out some of the sections into separate files: INSTALL, Copying, ToDo etc.

    • Adding a Copyright Notice.

      How you choose to license your work is a personal decision. The general mechanism is to assert your Copyright and then make a declaration of how others may copy/use/modify your work.

      Perl, for example, is supplied with two types of licence: The GNU GPL and The Artistic Licence (see the files README, Copying, and Artistic). Larry has good reasons for NOT just using the GNU GPL.

      My personal recommendation, out of respect for Larry, Perl, and the Perl community at large is to state something simply like:

      
       Copyright (c) 1995 Your Name. All rights reserved.
      
       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
      
       modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

      This statement should at least appear in the README file. You may also wish to include it in a Copying file and your source files. Remember to include the other words in addition to the Copyright.

    • Give the module a version/issue/release number.

      To be fully compatible with the Exporter and MakeMaker modules you should store your module's version number in a non-my package variable called $VERSION. This should be a floating point number with at least two digits after the decimal (i.e., hundredths, e.g, $VERSION = "0.01"). Don't use a ``1.3.2'' style version. See Exporter for details.

      It may be handy to add a function or method to retrieve the number. Use the number in announcements and archive file names when releasing the module (ModuleName-1.02.tar.Z). See perldoc ExtUtils::MakeMaker.pm for details.

    • How to release and distribute a module.

      It's good idea to post an announcement of the availability of your module (or the module itself if small) to the comp.lang.perl.announce Usenet newsgroup. This will at least ensure very wide once-off distribution.

      If possible, register the module with CPAN. You should include details of its location in your announcement.

      Some notes about ftp archives: Please use a long descriptive file name that includes the version number. Most incoming directories will not be readable/listable, i.e., you won't be able to see your file after uploading it. Remember to send your email notification message as soon as possible after uploading else your file may get deleted automatically. Allow time for the file to be processed and/or check the file has been processed before announcing its location.

      FTP Archives for Perl Modules:

      Follow the instructions and links on:

      
         http://www.cpan.org/modules/00modlist.long.html
      
         http://www.cpan.org/modules/04pause.html

      or upload to one of these sites:

      
         https://pause.kbx.de/pause/
      
         http://pause.perl.org/pause/

      and notify <modules@perl.org>.

      By using the WWW interface you can ask the Upload Server to mirror your modules from your ftp or WWW site into your own directory on CPAN!

      Please remember to send me an updated entry for the Module list!

    • Take care when changing a released module.

      Always strive to remain compatible with previous released versions. Otherwise try to add a mechanism to revert to the old behavior if people rely on it. Document incompatible changes.

Guidelines for Converting Perl 4 Library Scripts into Modules

  • There is no requirement to convert anything.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Perl 4 library scripts should continue to work with no problems. You may need to make some minor changes (like escaping non-array @'s in double quoted strings) but there is no need to convert a .pl file into a Module for just that.

  • Consider the implications.

    All Perl applications that make use of the script will need to be changed (slightly) if the script is converted into a module. Is it worth it unless you plan to make other changes at the same time?

  • Make the most of the opportunity.

    If you are going to convert the script to a module you can use the opportunity to redesign the interface. The guidelines for module creation above include many of the issues you should consider.

  • The pl2pm utility will get you started.

    This utility will read *.pl files (given as parameters) and write corresponding *.pm files. The pl2pm utilities does the following:

    • Adds the standard Module prologue lines

    • Converts package specifiers from ' to ::

    • Converts die(...) to croak(...)

    • Several other minor changes

    Being a mechanical process pl2pm is not bullet proof. The converted code will need careful checking, especially any package statements. Don't delete the original .pl file till the new .pm one works!

Guidelines for Reusing Application Code

  • Complete applications rarely belong in the Perl Module Library.

  • Many applications contain some Perl code that could be reused.

    Help save the world! Share your code in a form that makes it easy to reuse.

  • Break-out the reusable code into one or more separate module files.

  • Take the opportunity to reconsider and redesign the interfaces.

  • In some cases the 'application' can then be reduced to a small

    fragment of code built on top of the reusable modules. In these cases the application could invoked as:

    
         % perl -e 'use Module::Name; method(@ARGV)' ...
    
    or
    
         % perl -mModule::Name ...    (in perl5.002 or higher)


NOTE

Perl does not enforce private and public parts of its modules as you may have been used to in other languages like C++, Ada, or Modula-17. Perl doesn't have an infatuation with enforced privacy. It would prefer that you stayed out of its living room because you weren't invited, not because it has a shotgun.

The module and its user have a contract, part of which is common law, and part of which is ``written''. Part of the common law contract is that a module doesn't pollute any namespace it wasn't asked to. The written contract for the module (A.K.A. documentation) may make other provisions. But then you know when you use RedefineTheWorld that you're redefining the world and willing to take the consequences.

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