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maintains info about a physical person

User::Identity - maintains info about a physical person


User::Identity - maintains info about a physical person



   is an User::Identity::Item


 use User::Identity;

 my $me = User::Identity->new

  ( 'john'

  , firstname => 'John'

  , surname   => 'Doe'


 print $me->fullName  # prints "John Doe"

 print $me;           # same


The User::Identity object is created to maintain a set of informational objects which are related to one user. The User::Identity module tries to be smart providing defaults, conversions and often required combinations.

The identities are not implementing any kind of storage, and can therefore be created by any simple or complex Perl program. This way, it is more flexible than an XML file to store the data. For instance, you can decide to store the data with Data::Dumper, Storable, DBI, AddressBook or whatever. Extension to simplify this task are still to be developed.

If you need more kinds of user information, then please contact the module author.



When an User::Identity is used as string, it is automatically translated into the fullName() of the user involved.


 my $me = User::Identity->new(...)

 print $me;          # same as  print $me->fullName

 print "I am $me\n"; # also stringification



User::Identity->new([NAME], OPTIONS)

Create a new user identity, which will contain all data related to a single physical human being. Most user data can only be specified at object construction, because they should never change. A NAME may be specified as first argument, but also as option, one way or the other is required.

 Option     --Defined in     --Default

 birth                         undef

 charset                       $ENV{LC_CTYPE}

 courtesy                      undef

 description  User::Identity::Item  undef

 firstname                     undef

 formal_name                   undef

 full_name                     undef

 gender                        undef

 initials                      undef

 language                      'en'

 name         User::Identity::Item  <required>

 nickname                      undef

 parent       User::Identity::Item  undef

 prefix                        undef

 surname                       undef

 titles                        undef

. birth => DATE

. charset => STRING

. courtesy => STRING

. description => STRING

. firstname => STRING

. formal_name => STRING

. full_name => STRING

. gender => STRING

. initials => STRING

. language => STRING

. name => STRING

. nickname => STRING

. parent => OBJECT

. prefix => STRING

. surname => STRING

. titles => STRING



Calcuted from the datge of birth to the current moment, as integer. On the birthday, the number is incremented already.


Returns the date in standardized format: YYYYMMDD, easy to sort and select. This may return undef, even if the dateOfBirth() contains a value, simply because the format is not understood. Month or day may contain '00' to indicate that those values are not known.


The user's prefered character set, which defaults to the value of LC_CTYPE environment variable.


The courtesy is used to address people in a very formal way. Values are like ``Mr.'', ``Mrs.'', ``Sir'', ``Frau'', ``Heer'', ``de heer'', ``mevrouw''. This often provides a way to find the gender of someone addressed.


Returns the date of birth, as specified during instantiation.


See Attributes in the User::Identity::Item manpage


Returns the first name of the user. If it is not defined explicitly, it is derived from the nickname, and than capitalized if needed.


Returns a formal name for the user. If not defined as instantiation parameter (see new()), it is constructed from other available information, which may result in an incorrect or an incomplete name. The result is built from ``courtesy initials prefix surname title''.


If this is not specified as value during object construction, it is guessed based on other known values like ``firstname prefix surname''. If a surname is provided without firstname, the nickname is taken as firstname. When a firstname is provided without surname, the nickname is taken as surname. If both are not provided, then the nickname is used as fullname.


Returns the specified gender of the person, as specified during instantiation, which could be like 'Male', 'm', 'homme', 'man'. There is no smart behavior on this: the exact specified value is returned. Methods isMale(), isFemale(), and courtesy() are smart.


The initials, which may be derived from the first letters of the firstname.


See isMale(): return true if we are sure the user is a woman.


Returns true if we are sure that the user is male. This is specified as gender at instantiation, or derived from the courtesy value. Methods isMale and isFemale are not complementatory: they can both return false for the same user, in which case the gender is undertermined.


Can contain a list or a single language name, as defined by the RFC Examples are 'en', 'en-GB', 'nl-BE'. The default language is 'en' (English).


See Attributes in the User::Identity::Item manpage


Returns the user's nickname, which could be used as username, e-mail alias, or such. When no nickname was explicitly specified, the name is used.


The words which are between the firstname (or initials) and the surname.


Returns the surname of person, or undef if that is not known.


The titles, degrees in education or of other kind. If these are complex, you may need to specify the formal name of the users as well, because smart formatting probably failes.



See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage

$obj->addCollection(OBJECT | ([TYPE], OPTIONS))

See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage


See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage

$obj->find(COLLECTION, ROLE)

See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage


See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage


See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage



See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage


See Collections in the User::Identity::Item manpage


Error: $object is not a collection.

The first argument is an object, but not of a class which extends User::Identity::Collection.

Error: Cannot load collection module for $type ($class).

Either the specified $type does not exist, or that module named $class returns compilation errors. If the type as specified in the warning is not the name of a package, you specified a nickname which was not defined. Maybe you forgot the 'require' the package which defines the nickname.

Error: Creation of a collection via $class failed.

The $class did compile, but it was not possible to create an object of that class using the options you specified.

Error: Don't know what type of collection you want to add.

If you add a collection, it must either by a collection object or a list of options which can be used to create a collection object. In the latter case, the type of collection must be specified.

Warning: No collection $name

The collection with $name does not exist and can not be created.


This module is part of User-Identity distribution version 0.92, built on July 25, 2007. Website:


Copyrights 2003,2004,2007 by Mark Overmeer <>. For other contributors see Changes.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See