Data::ShortNameProvider - Generate short names with style


Create a name provider:

    my $np = Data::ShortNameProvider->new(
        style           => 'Basic',       # default
        timestamp_epoch => 1400023019,    # defaults to time()
        max_name_length => 32,            # croak if a longer name is generated

        # style-specific arguments
        prefix  => 'dbit',
        version => 1,

Generate a shortname:

    $short_name = $np->generate_name('foo');   # returns "dbit1_140513__foo"

Parse a generated shortname:

    $hash = $np->parse_generated_name($short_name);

$hash contains something like:

    # depends on the style
        prefix          => 'dbit',
        version         => 1,
        timestamp       => '140513',
        timestamp_epoch => 1400023019,
        name            => 'foo',

or undef if $short_name could not be parsed as a short name generated with that style.

Check if a string is parsable:

    my @names = grep { $np->is_generated_name($_) } @names;


Create short names that encode a timestamp and a fixed label in a format that's unlikely to match normal names.

A typical use-case would be the creation of database table names or file names in situations where you need to minimize the risk of clashing with existing items.

The generated names can be detected and parsed to extract the timestamp and other components.



The fully-qualified name of the style class that actually generates the short names.

If the constructor argument does not contain the :: package separator, the style name is considered to be a short-cut and will be prefixed with Data::ShortNameProvider::Style:: to produce the fully-qualified style class name.


A maximum length constraint on the generated short names.

"generate_name" will die if the "short name" returned by the style is longer than max_name_length.

Setting max_name_length to 0 removes this constraint.


The instance of "style" to which most of the actual work is delegated.



    my $short_name = $dsnp->generate_name($name);

Delegated to the "provider" object, but enforces some additional restrictions ("max_name_length").


    my $hash = $dsnp->parse_generated_name($short_name);

Parses a name that was generated by the "provider" class, and returns its constituents as a hash reference.

Delegates to the "provider" object, and add the "style" and "max_name_length" keys, so that one is always be able to make a copy of the object by doing:

    my $clone = Data::ShortNameProvider->new($hash);


    if( $dsnp->is_generated_name( $name ) ) { ... }

Return a boolean indicating if the $name string could have been generated by this provider.

Delegated to the "provider" object.


This is a read-write accessor to the provider's timestamp_epoch attribute.

Delegated to the "provider" object.


This module is based on an idea and proposal by Tim Bunce, on the dbi-dev mailing-list.

The initial thread about Test::Database shortcomings:

Tim's proposal for a short name provider:

The first implementaion of the module was written during the first two days of the Perl QA Hackathon 2015 in Berlin (with Tim Bunce providing extensive feedback on IRC). Many thanks to TINITA for organizing this event!


Philippe Bruhat (BooK), <>.


Copyright 2014-2015 Philippe Bruhat (BooK), all rights reserved.


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