O'Reilly logo

Programming Perl, 3rd Edition by Jon Orwant, Tom Christiansen, Larry Wall

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Creating Modules

Earlier, we said that there are two ways for a module to make its interface available to your program: by exporting symbols or by allowing method calls. We'll show you an example of the first style here; the second style is for object-oriented modules and is described in the next chapter. (Object-oriented modules should export nothing, since the whole idea of methods is that Perl finds them for you automatically, based on the type of the object.)

To construct a module called Bestiary, create a file called Bestiary.pm that looks like this:

package      Bestiary;
require      Exporter;

our @ISA       = qw(Exporter);
our @EXPORT    = qw(camel);    # Symbols to be exported by default
our @EXPORT_OK = qw($weight);  # Symbols to be exported on request
our $VERSION   = 1.00;         # Version number

### Include your variables and functions here

sub camel { print "One-hump dromedary" }

$weight = 1024;

1;

A program can now say use Bestiary to be able to access the camel function (but not the $weight variable), and use Bestiary qw(camel $weight) to access both the function and the variable.

You can also create modules that dynamically load code written in C. See Chapter 21, for details.

Module Privacy and the Exporter

Perl does not automatically patrol private/public borders within its modules--unlike languages such as C++, Java, and Ada, Perl isn't obsessed with enforced privacy. A Perl module would prefer that you stay out of its living room because you weren't invited, not because it has a shotgun.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required