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Moose::Cookbook::Basics::Person_BUILDARGSAndBUILD - Using BUILDARGS and BUILD to hook into object construction


version 2.2207


  package Person;

  has 'ssn' => (
      is        => 'ro',
      isa       => 'Str',
      predicate => 'has_ssn',

  has 'country_of_residence' => (
      is      => 'ro',
      isa     => 'Str',
      default => 'usa'

  has 'first_name' => (
      is  => 'ro',
      isa => 'Str',

  has 'last_name' => (
      is  => 'ro',
      isa => 'Str',

  around BUILDARGS => sub {
      my $orig = shift;
      my $class = shift;

      if ( @_ == 1 && ! ref $_[0] ) {
          return $class->$orig(ssn => $_[0]);
      else {
          return $class->$orig(@_);

  sub BUILD {
      my $self = shift;

      if ( $self->country_of_residence eq 'usa' ) {
          die 'Cannot create a Person who lives in the USA without an ssn.'
              unless $self->has_ssn;


This recipe demonstrates the use of BUILDARGS and BUILD. By defining these methods, we can hook into the object construction process without overriding new.

The BUILDARGS method is called before an object has been created. It is called as a class method, and receives all of the parameters passed to the new method. It is expected to do something with these arguments and return a hash reference. The keys of the hash must be attribute init_args.

The primary purpose of BUILDARGS is to allow a class to accept something other than named arguments. In the case of our Person class, we are allowing it to be called with a single argument, a social security number:

  my $person = Person->new('123-45-6789');

The key part of our BUILDARGS is this conditional:

      if ( @_ == 1 && ! ref $_[0] ) {
          return $class->$orig(ssn => $_[0]);

By default, Moose constructors accept a list of key-value pairs, or a hash reference. We need to make sure that $_[0] is not a reference before assuming it is a social security number.

We call the original BUILDARGS method to handle all the other cases. You should always do this in your own BUILDARGS methods, since Moose::Object provides its own BUILDARGS method that handles hash references and a list of key-value pairs.

The BUILD method is called after the object is constructed, but before it is returned to the caller. The BUILD method provides an opportunity to check the object state as a whole. This is a good place to put logic that cannot be expressed as a type constraint on a single attribute.

In the Person class, we need to check the relationship between two attributes, ssn and country_of_residence. We throw an exception if the object is not logically consistent.


This recipe is made significantly simpler because all of the attributes are read-only. If the country_of_residence attribute were settable, we would need to check that a Person had an ssn if the new country was usa. This could be done with a before modifier.


We have repeatedly discouraged overriding new in Moose classes. This recipe shows how you can use BUILDARGS and BUILD to hook into object construction without overriding new.

The BUILDARGS method lets us expand on Moose's built-in parameter handling for constructors. The BUILD method lets us implement logical constraints across the whole object after it is created.


  • Stevan Little <>

  • Dave Rolsky <>

  • Jesse Luehrs <>

  • Shawn M Moore <>

  • יובל קוג'מן (Yuval Kogman) <>

  • Karen Etheridge <>

  • Florian Ragwitz <>

  • Hans Dieter Pearcey <>

  • Chris Prather <>

  • Matt S Trout <>


This software is copyright (c) 2006 by Infinity Interactive, Inc.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.