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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for exporter (redhat section 3pm)

Exporter(3pm)			 Perl Programmers Reference Guide		    Exporter(3pm)

NAME
       Exporter - Implements default import method for modules

SYNOPSIS
       In module YourModule.pm:

	 package YourModule;
	 require Exporter;
	 @ISA = qw(Exporter);
	 @EXPORT_OK = qw(munge frobnicate);  # symbols to export on request

       In other files which wish to use YourModule:

	 use ModuleName qw(frobnicate);      # import listed symbols
	 frobnicate ($left, $right)	     # calls YourModule::frobnicate

DESCRIPTION
       The Exporter module implements an "import" method which allows a module to export func-
       tions and variables to its users' namespaces. Many modules use Exporter rather than imple-
       menting their own "import" method because Exporter provides a highly flexible interface,
       with an implementation optimised for the common case.

       Perl automatically calls the "import" method when processing a "use" statement for a mod-
       ule. Modules and "use" are documented in perlfunc and perlmod. Understanding the concept
       of modules and how the "use" statement operates is important to understanding the
       Exporter.

       How to Export

       The arrays @EXPORT and @EXPORT_OK in a module hold lists of symbols that are going to be
       exported into the users name space by default, or which they can request to be exported,
       respectively.  The symbols can represent functions, scalars, arrays, hashes, or typeglobs.
       The symbols must be given by full name with the exception that the ampersand in front of a
       function is optional, e.g.

	   @EXPORT    = qw(afunc $scalar @array);   # afunc is a function
	   @EXPORT_OK = qw(&bfunc %hash *typeglob); # explicit prefix on &bfunc

       If you are only exporting function names it is recommended to omit the ampersand, as the
       implementation is faster this way.

       Selecting 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 symbol names to reduce the
       risk of name clashes.

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

       (It is actually possible to get private functions by saying:

	 my $subref = sub { ... };
	 $subref->(@args);	      # Call it as a function
	 $obj->$subref(@args);	      # Use it as a method

       However if you use them for methods it is up to you to figure out how to make inheritance
       work.)

       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.
       For function and method names use barewords in preference to names prefixed with amper-
       sands for the export lists.

       Other module design guidelines can be found in perlmod.

       How to Import

       In other files which wish to use your module there are three basic ways for them to load
       your module and import its symbols:

       "use ModuleName;"
	   This imports all the symbols from ModuleName's @EXPORT into the namespace of the "use"
	   statement.

       "use ModuleName ();"
	   This causes perl to load your module but does not import any symbols.

       "use ModuleName qw(...);"
	   This imports only the symbols listed by the caller into their namespace.  All listed
	   symbols must be in your @EXPORT or @EXPORT_OK, else an error occurs. The advanced
	   export features of Exporter are accessed like this, but with list entries that are
	   syntactically distinct from symbol names.

       Unless you want to use its advanced features, this is probably all you need to know to use
       Exporter.

Advanced features
       Specialised Import Lists

       If the first entry in an import list begins with !, : or / then the list is treated as a
       series of specifications which either add to or delete from the list of names to import.
       They are processed left to right. Specifications are in the form:

	   [!]name	   This name only
	   [!]:DEFAULT	   All names in @EXPORT
	   [!]:tag	   All names in $EXPORT_TAGS{tag} anonymous list
	   [!]/pattern/    All names in @EXPORT and @EXPORT_OK which match

       A leading ! indicates that matching names should be deleted from the list of names to
       import.	If the first specification is a deletion it is treated as though preceded by
       :DEFAULT. If you just want to import extra names in addition to the default set you will
       still need to include :DEFAULT explicitly.

       e.g., Module.pm defines:

	   @EXPORT	= qw(A1 A2 A3 A4 A5);
	   @EXPORT_OK	= qw(B1 B2 B3 B4 B5);
	   %EXPORT_TAGS = (T1 => [qw(A1 A2 B1 B2)], T2 => [qw(A1 A2 B3 B4)]);

	   Note that you cannot use tags in @EXPORT or @EXPORT_OK.
	   Names in EXPORT_TAGS must also appear in @EXPORT or @EXPORT_OK.

       An application using Module can say something like:

	   use Module qw(:DEFAULT :T2 !B3 A3);

       Other examples include:

	   use Socket qw(!/^[AP]F_/ !SOMAXCONN !SOL_SOCKET);
	   use POSIX  qw(:errno_h :termios_h !TCSADRAIN !/^EXIT/);

       Remember that most patterns (using //) will need to be anchored with a leading ^, e.g.,
       "/^EXIT/" rather than "/EXIT/".

       You can say "BEGIN { $Exporter::Verbose=1 }" to see how the specifications are being pro-
       cessed and what is actually being imported into modules.

       Exporting without using Exporter's import method

       Exporter has a special method, 'export_to_level' which is used in situations where you
       can't directly call Exporter's import method. The export_to_level method looks like:

	   MyPackage->export_to_level($where_to_export, $package, @what_to_export);

       where $where_to_export is an integer telling how far up the calling stack to export your
       symbols, and @what_to_export is an array telling what symbols *to* export (usually this is
       @_).  The $package argument is currently unused.

       For example, suppose that you have a module, A, which already has an import function:

	   package A;

	   @ISA = qw(Exporter);
	   @EXPORT_OK = qw ($b);

	   sub import
	   {
	       $A::b = 1;     # not a very useful import method
	   }

       and you want to Export symbol $A::b back to the module that called package A. Since
       Exporter relies on the import method to work, via inheritance, as it stands
       Exporter::import() will never get called.  Instead, say the following:

	   package A;
	   @ISA = qw(Exporter);
	   @EXPORT_OK = qw ($b);

	   sub import
	   {
	       $A::b = 1;
	       A->export_to_level(1, @_);
	   }

       This will export the symbols one level 'above' the current package - ie: to the program or
       module that used package A.

       Note: Be careful not to modify '@_' at all before you call export_to_level - or people
       using your package will get very unexplained results!

       Module Version Checking

       The Exporter module will convert an attempt to import a number from a module into a call
       to $module_name->require_version($value). This can be used to validate that the version of
       the module being used is greater than or equal to the required version.

       The Exporter module supplies a default require_version method which checks the value of
       $VERSION in the exporting module.

       Since the default require_version method treats the $VERSION number as a simple numeric
       value it will regard version 1.10 as lower than 1.9. For this reason it is strongly recom-
       mended that you use numbers with at least two decimal places, e.g., 1.09.

       Managing Unknown Symbols

       In some situations you may want to prevent certain symbols from being exported. Typically
       this applies to extensions which have functions or constants that may not exist on some
       systems.

       The names of any symbols that cannot be exported should be listed in the @EXPORT_FAIL
       array.

       If a module attempts to import any of these symbols the Exporter will give the module an
       opportunity to handle the situation before generating an error. The Exporter will call an
       export_fail method with a list of the failed symbols:

	 @failed_symbols = $module_name->export_fail(@failed_symbols);

       If the export_fail method returns an empty list then no error is recorded and all the
       requested symbols are exported. If the returned list is not empty then an error is gener-
       ated for each symbol and the export fails. The Exporter provides a default export_fail
       method which simply returns the list unchanged.

       Uses for the export_fail method include giving better error messages for some symbols and
       performing lazy architectural checks (put more symbols into @EXPORT_FAIL by default and
       then take them out if someone actually tries to use them and an expensive check shows that
       they are usable on that platform).

       Tag Handling Utility Functions

       Since the symbols listed within %EXPORT_TAGS must also appear in either @EXPORT or
       @EXPORT_OK, two utility functions are provided which allow you to easily add tagged sets
       of symbols to @EXPORT or @EXPORT_OK:

	 %EXPORT_TAGS = (foo => [qw(aa bb cc)], bar => [qw(aa cc dd)]);

	 Exporter::export_tags('foo');	   # add aa, bb and cc to @EXPORT
	 Exporter::export_ok_tags('bar');  # add aa, cc and dd to @EXPORT_OK

       Any names which are not tags are added to @EXPORT or @EXPORT_OK unchanged but will trigger
       a warning (with "-w") to avoid misspelt tags names being silently added to @EXPORT or
       @EXPORT_OK. Future versions may make this a fatal error.

       Generating combined tags

       If several symbol categories exist in %EXPORT_TAGS, it's usually useful to create the
       utility ":all" to simplify "use" statements.

       The simplest way to do this is:

	 %EXPORT_TAGS = (foo => [qw(aa bb cc)], bar => [qw(aa cc dd)]);

	 # add all the other ":class" tags to the ":all" class,
	 # deleting duplicates
	 {
	   my %seen;

	   push @{$EXPORT_TAGS{all}},
	     grep {!$seen{$_}++} @{$EXPORT_TAGS{$_}} foreach keys %EXPORT_TAGS;
	 }

       CGI.pm creates an ":all" tag which contains some (but not really all) of its categories.
       That could be done with one small change:

	 # add some of the other ":class" tags to the ":all" class,
	 # deleting duplicates
	 {
	   my %seen;

	   push @{$EXPORT_TAGS{all}},
	     grep {!$seen{$_}++} @{$EXPORT_TAGS{$_}}
	       foreach qw/html2 html3 netscape form cgi internal/;
	 }

       Note that the tag names in %EXPORT_TAGS don't have the leading ':'.

       "AUTOLOAD"ed Constants

       Many modules make use of "AUTOLOAD"ing for constant subroutines to avoid having to compile
       and waste memory on rarely used values (see perlsub for details on constant subroutines).
       Calls to such constant subroutines are not optimized away at compile time because they
       can't be checked at compile time for constancy.

       Even if a prototype is available at compile time, the body of the subroutine is not (it
       hasn't been "AUTOLOAD"ed yet). perl needs to examine both the "()" prototype and the body
       of a subroutine at compile time to detect that it can safely replace calls to that subrou-
       tine with the constant value.

       A workaround for this is to call the constants once in a "BEGIN" block:

	  package My ;

	  use Socket ;

	  foo( SO_LINGER );	## SO_LINGER NOT optimized away; called at runtime
	  BEGIN { SO_LINGER }
	  foo( SO_LINGER );	## SO_LINGER optimized away at compile time.

       This forces the "AUTOLOAD" for "SO_LINGER" to take place before SO_LINGER is encountered
       later in "My" package.

       If you are writing a package that "AUTOLOAD"s, consider forcing an "AUTOLOAD" for any con-
       stants explicitly imported by other packages or which are usually used when your package
       is "use"d.

perl v5.8.0				    2002-06-01				    Exporter(3pm)


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