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Template::Plugin(3)	       User Contributed Perl Documentation	      Template::Plugin(3)

NAME
       Template::Plugin - Base class for Template Toolkit plugins

SYNOPSIS
	   package MyOrg::Template::Plugin::MyPlugin;
	   use base qw( Template::Plugin );
	   use Template::Plugin;
	   use MyModule;

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

DESCRIPTION
       A "plugin" for the Template Toolkit is simply a Perl module which exists in a known
       package location (e.g. "Template::Plugin::*") and conforms to a regular standard, allowing
       it to be loaded and used automatically.

       The "Template::Plugin" module defines a base class from which other plugin modules can be
       derived.  A plugin does not have to be derived from Template::Plugin but should at least
       conform to its object-oriented interface.

       It is recommended that you create plugins in your own package namespace to avoid conflict
       with toolkit plugins.  e.g.

	   package MyOrg::Template::Plugin::FooBar;

       Use the PLUGIN_BASE option to specify the namespace that you use. e.g.

	   use Template;
	   my $template = Template->new({
	       PLUGIN_BASE => 'MyOrg::Template::Plugin',
	   });

METHODS
       The following methods form the basic interface between the Template Toolkit and plugin
       modules.

   load($context)
       This method is called by the Template Toolkit when the plugin module is first loaded.  It
       is called as a package method and thus implicitly receives the package name as the first
       parameter.  A reference to the Template::Context object loading the plugin is also passed.
       The default behaviour for the "load()" method is to simply return the class name.  The
       calling context then uses this class name to call the "new()" package method.

	   package MyPlugin;

	   sub load {		    # called as MyPlugin->load($context)
	       my ($class, $context) = @_;
	       return $class;	    # returns 'MyPlugin'
	   }

   new($context, @params)
       This method is called to instantiate a new plugin object for the "USE" directive. It is
       called as a package method against the class name returned by load(). A reference to the
       Template::Context object creating the plugin is passed, along with any additional
       parameters specified in the "USE" directive.

	   sub new {		    # called as MyPlugin->new($context)
	       my ($class, $context, @params) = @_;
	       bless {
		   _CONTEXT => $context,
	       }, $class;	    # returns blessed MyPlugin object
	   }

   error($error)
       This method, inherited from the Template::Base module, is used for reporting and returning
       errors.	 It can be called as a package method to set/return the $ERROR package variable,
       or as an object method to set/return the object "_ERROR" member.  When called with an
       argument, it sets the relevant variable and returns "undef."  When called without an
       argument, it returns the value of the variable.

	   package MyPlugin;
	   use base 'Template::Plugin';

	   sub new {
	       my ($class, $context, $dsn) = @_;

	       return $class->error('No data source specified')
		   unless $dsn;

	       bless {
		   _DSN => $dsn,
	       }, $class;
	   }

	   package main;

	   my $something = MyPlugin->new()
	       || die MyPlugin->error(), "\n";

	   $something->do_something()
	       || die $something->error(), "\n";

DEEPER MAGIC
       The Template::Context object that handles the loading and use of plugins calls the new()
       and error() methods against the package name returned by the load() method. In pseudo-code
       terms looks something like this:

	   $class  = MyPlugin->load($context);	     # returns 'MyPlugin'

	   $object = $class->new($context, @params)  # MyPlugin->new(...)
	       || die $class->error();		     # MyPlugin->error()

       The load() method may alterately return a blessed reference to an object instance.  In
       this case, new() and error() are then called as object methods against that prototype
       instance.

	   package YourPlugin;

	   sub load {
	       my ($class, $context) = @_;
	       bless {
		   _CONTEXT => $context,
	       }, $class;
	   }

	   sub new {
	       my ($self, $context, @params) = @_;
	       return $self;
	   }

       In this example, we have implemented a 'Singleton' plugin.  One object gets created when
       load() is called and this simply returns itself for each call to new().

       Another implementation might require individual objects to be created for every call to
       new(), but with each object sharing a reference to some other object to maintain cached
       data, database handles, etc.  This pseudo-code example demonstrates the principle.

	   package MyServer;

	   sub load {
	       my ($class, $context) = @_;
	       bless {
		   _CONTEXT => $context,
		   _CACHE   => { },
	       }, $class;
	   }

	   sub new {
	       my ($self, $context, @params) = @_;
	       MyClient->new($self, @params);
	   }

	   sub add_to_cache   { ... }

	   sub get_from_cache { ... }

	   package MyClient;

	   sub new {
	       my ($class, $server, $blah) = @_;
	       bless {
		   _SERVER => $server,
		   _BLAH   => $blah,
	       }, $class;
	   }

	   sub get {
	       my $self = shift;
	       $self->{ _SERVER }->get_from_cache(@_);
	   }

	   sub put {
	       my $self = shift;
	       $self->{ _SERVER }->add_to_cache(@_);
	   }

       When the plugin is loaded, a "MyServer" instance is created. The new() method is called
       against this object which instantiates and returns a "MyClient" object, primed to
       communicate with the creating "MyServer".

AUTHOR
       Andy Wardley <abw@wardley.org> <http://wardley.org/>

COPYRIGHT
       Copyright (C) 1996-2007 Andy Wardley.  All Rights Reserved.

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

SEE ALSO
       Template, Template::Plugins, Template::Context

perl v5.16.3				    2011-12-20			      Template::Plugin(3)
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