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Author image Chad Granum


Import::Box - Box up imports into an object or unified function.


This package lets you box up imported functions in either a unified function, or an object. This allows you access to functions you would normally import, but now you can do so without cluttering your namespace.

This module can be helpful in situations where you need to use exported functions from different modules where the functions have identical names. For instance Moose exports meta(), Test2::Tools::Compare also exports meta(), in such a simple case you can just rename the import, but in cases where there are many conflicts this can get tedious.



You can process imports when you use Import::Box, this will give you a function that gives you access to the functions.

    use Import::Box -as => 'dd', 'Data::Dumper' => ['Dumper'];

    # Dumper $thing1 and $thing2, dd() itself is not dumped
    print dd->Dumper($thing1, $thing2);

    # Tell dd to call Dumper() on $thing1 and $thing2, dd() itself is not dumped
    dd Dumper => ($thing, $thing2);


You can completely avoid any subs being imported into your namespace and go the completely OO route:

    use Import::Box;

    my $dd = Import::Box->new('Data::Dumper' => ['Dumper']);

    # Dump $thing1 and $thing2. $dd is not dumped
    print $dd->Dumper($thing1, $thing2);

    # Indirect object notation also works (but please do not do this)
    Dumper $dd($thing1, $thing2)


Subclassing is a way to create shortcuts for common boxing patterns.

    package T2;
    use parent 'Import::Box';

    sub __DEFAULT_AS { 't2' }
    sub __DEFAULT_NS { 'Test2::Tools' }

The subclass above creates a shortcut for importing Test2::Tools::* packages:

    use T2 'Basic', 'Compare' => [qw/is/];

    # The 't2' function was specified for us, no need for '-as' in the
    # arguments above.

    t2 ok => (1, "everything is ok");

    t2->is('a', 'a', "these letters are both identical");



$name = $class->__DEFAULT_AS()

This lets you specify a default argument for -as, that is the name of the sub that gives you access to your imports.

$prefix = $class->__DEFAULT_NS()

This lets you specify a prefix to add to any module argument. The default can be bypassed using the '+' prefix in your import:

    use T2 '+Not::In::Test2::Tools::Tool';


These are all valid when importing Import::Box. Arguments prefixed with a dash (-) are not allowed when calling import() as an instance method.

-as => $NAME

Specify a function name that will be added to your namespace. You may import multiple times with the same '-as' value to append new imports to an existing box.

    use Import::Box -as => 'foo', 'Data::Dumper';
    use Import::Box -as => 'foo', 'Scalar::Util';

-from => $PACKAGE

This lets you import a box function from another package:

    package Other::Package;
    use Import::Box -as => 'foo', 'Data::Dumper';

    package main;

    # This will bring in 'foo' from Other::Package.
    use Import::Box -as => 'foo', -from => 'Other::Package';

In this case '-as' specifies BOTH what the sub will be called, and which sub to get from Other::Package.

-no_scope => $BOOL

This can be used to prevent compile-time effects from your imports, for instance:

    use Import::Box 'strict';
    # Strict is turned on

With the arg:

    use Import::Box -no_scope => 1, 'strict';
    # strict settings are not changed

It is worth noting that the same thing can be achieved this way:

    { use Import::Box 'strict'; }
    # strict settings not changed

Any argument not prefixed with a dash will be considered a module name. A module name can optionally be followed by an arrayref of import arguments. If no arrayref is specified then the default import will happen.

You may specify any number of modules for import:

    use Import::Box(
        'Carp' => [ qw/croak confess/ ],

or OO via new()

    my $foo = Import::Box->new(
        'Carp' => [ qw/croak confess/ ],

or via ->import on an instance or box function:



$box = Import::Box->new($MODULE1, $MODULE2 => \@import_args)

This will create a completely new box with the specified imports.

$box = Import::Box->box($MODULE)

This will box up an existing namespace. This will not load the specified module, you must load it yourself with require if necessary.

    require Data::Dumper;
    my $box = Import::Box->box('Data::Dumper);

Note: Normally a box is made by importing the modules into a generated package name, when you use this constructor you do not create a new package, instead the box directly touches the symbol table for the specified package.

The following would import all the subs from Carp into the Data::Dumper namespace, you probably do not want this!


PREDEFINED METHODS (you cannot access imports under these names)

import($MODULE1, $MODULE2 => \@import_args)

import() is always going to be the Import::Box import method, it will never delegate to the imported packages.


isa() will never be delegated.


can() will never be delegated. When called on a class this will return methods that exist on Import::Box or your subclass. When called on an instance this will only return subs that have been imported.


DESTROY() is a magic special case, never delegated.


AUTOLOAD() is used internally as an implementation detail, never delegated.


The source code repository for Import::Box can be found at http://github.com/exodist/Import-Box.


Chad Granum <exodist@cpan.org>


Copyright 2016 Chad Granum <exodist7@gmail.com>.

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

See http://dev.perl.org/licenses/