Feature::Compat::Class - make class syntax available


   use Feature::Compat::Class;

   class Point {
      field $x :param = 0;
      field $y :param = 0;

      method move_to ($new_x, $new_y) {
         $x = $new_x;
         $y = $new_y;

      method describe {
         say "A point at ($x, $y)";

   Point->new(x => 5, y => 10)->describe;


This module provides the new class keyword and related others (method, field and ADJUST) in a forward-compatible way.

Perl added such syntax at version 5.38.0, which is enabled by

   use feature 'class';

On that version of perl or later, this module simply enables the core feature equivalent of using it directly. On such perls, this module will install with no non-core dependencies, and requires no C compiler.

On older versions of perl before such syntax is availble in core, it is currently provided instead using the Object::Pad module, imported with a special set of options to configure it to only recognise the same syntax as the core perl feature, thus ensuring any code using it will still continue to function on that newer perl.

This module is a work-in-progress, because the underlying feature 'class' is too. Many of the limitations and inabilities listed below are a result of the early-access nature of this branch, and are expected to be lifted as work progresses towards a more featureful and complete implementation.


The keywords provided by this module offer a subset of the abilities of those provided by Object::Pad, restricted to specifically only what is commonly supported by the core syntax as well. In general, the reader should first consult the documentation for the corresponding Object::Pad keyword, but the following notes may be of interest:


   class NAME { ... }
   class NAME VERSION { ... }

   class NAME; ...
   class NAME VERSION; ...

See also "class" in Object::Pad.

There is no ability to declare any roles with :does. The legacy subkeywords for these are equally not supported.

The :repr attribute is also not supported; the default representation type will always be selected.

The :strict(params) attribute is not available, but all constructed classes will behave as if the attribute had been declared. Every generated constructor will check its parameters for key names left unhandled by ADJUST blocks, and throw an exception if any remain.

The following class attributes are supported:




Since version 0.02.

Declares a superclass that this class extends. At most one superclass is supported.

If the package providing the superclass does not exist, an attempt is made to load it by code equivalent to

   require CLASS ();

and thus it must either already exist, or be locatable via the usual @INC mechanisms.

An optional version check can also be supplied; it performs the equivalent of

   BaseClass->VERSION( $ver )

Note that class blocks do not implicitly enable the strict and warnings pragmata; either when using the core feature or Object::Pad. This is to avoid surprises when eventually switching to purely using the core perl feature, which will not do that. Remember however that a use VERSION of a version v5.36 or above will enable both these pragmata anyway, so that will be sufficient.


   method NAME { ... }
   method NAME;

See also "method" in Object::Pad.

Attributes are not supported, other than the usual ones provided by perl itself. Of these, only :lvalue is particularly useful.

Lexical methods are not supported.


   field $NAME;
   field @NAME;
   field %NAME;

   field $NAME = EXPR;

   field $NAME :ATTRS... = EXPR;

See also "field" in Object::Pad.

Most field attributes are not supported. In particular, rather than using the accessor-generator attributes you will have to create accessor methods yourself; such as

   field $var;
   method var { return $var; }
   method set_var ($new_var) { $var = $new_var; }

Since version 0.04 fields of any type may take initialising expressions. Initialiser blocks are not supported.

   field $five = 5;

The following field attributes are supported:


   field $var :param;

   field $var :param(name)

Since version 0.04.

Declares that the constructor will take a named parameter to set the value for this field in a new instance.

   field $var :param = EXPR;

Without a defaulting expression, the parameter is mandatory. When combined with a defaulting expression, the parameter is optional and the default will only apply if the named parameter was not passed to the constructor.

   field $var :param //= EXPR;
   field $var :param ||= EXPR;

With both the :param attribute and a defaulting expression, the operator can also be written as //= or ||=. In this case, the defaulting expression will be used even if the caller passed an undefined value (for //=) or a false value (for ||=). This simplifies many situations where undef would not be a valid value for a field parameter.

   class C {
      field $timeout :param //= 20;

   C->new( timeout => $args{timeout} );
   # default applies if %args has no 'timeout' key, or if its value is undef


   ADJUST { ... }

See also "ADJUST" in Object::Pad.

Attributes are not supported; in particular the :params attribute of Object::Pad v0.70.

Other Keywords

The following other keywords provided by Object::Pad are not supported here at all:






This module may use either Object::Pad or the perl core class feature to implement its syntax. While the two behave very similarly and both conform to the description given above, the following differences should be noted.

Fields in later field expressions

The core perl class feature makes every field variable visible to the initialising expression of later fields. For example,

   field $one = 1;
   field $two = $one + 1;

This is not currently supported by Object::Pad. As a result, it is possible to write code that works fine with the core perl feature but older perls cannot support by using Object::Pad.


Paul Evans <>