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Anthony Brummett
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Command - base class for modules implementing the command pattern


  use TopLevelNamespace;

  class TopLevelNamespace::SomeObj::Command {
    is => 'Command',
    has => [
        someobj => { is => 'TopLevelNamespace::SomeObj', id_by => 'some_obj_id' },
        verbose => { is => 'Boolean', is_optional => 1 },

  sub execute {
      my $self = shift;
      if ($self->verbose) {
          print "Working on id ",$self->some_obj_id,"\n";
      my $result = $someobj->do_something();
      if ($self->verbose) {
          print "Result was $result\n";
      return $result;

  sub help_brief {
      return 'Call do_something on a SomeObj instance';
  sub help_synopsis {
      return 'cmd --some_obj_id 123 --verbose';
  sub help_detail {
      return 'This command performs a FooBarBaz transform on a SomObj object instance by calling its do_something method.';

  # Another part of the code
  my $cmd = TopLevelNamespace::SomeObj::Command->create(some_obj_id => $some_obj->id);


The Command module is a base class for creating other command modules implementing the Command Pattern. These modules can be easily reused in applications or loaded and executed dynamicaly in a command-line program.

Each Command subclass represents a reusable work unit. The bulk of the module's code will likely be in the execute() method. execute() will usually take only a single argument, an instance of the Command subclass.

Command-line use

Creating a top-level Command module called, say TopLevelNamespace::Command, and a script called tln_cmd that looks like:

  use TopLevelNamespace;

gives you an instant command-line tool as an interface to the hierarchy of command modules at TopLevelNamespace::Command.

For example:

  > tln_cmd foo bar --baz 1 --qux

will create an instance of TopLevelNamespace::Command::Foo::Bar (if that class exists) with params baz => 1 and qux => 1, assumming qux is a boolean property, call execute() on it, and translate the return value from execute() into the appropriate notion of a shell return value, meaning that if execute() returns true in the Perl sense, then the script returns 0 - true in the shell sense.

The infrastructure takes care of turning the command line parameters into parameters for create(). Params designated as is_optional are, of course, optional and non-optional parameters that are missing will generate an error.

--help is an implicit param applicable to all Command modules. It generates some hopefully useful text based on the documentation in the class definition (the 'doc' attributes you can attach to a class and properties), and the strings returned by help_detail(), help_brief() and help_synopsis().


This documentation needs to be fleshed out more. There's a lot of special things you can do with Command modules that isn't mentioned here yet.