and 139 contributors

NAME

Moose::Cookbook::Roles::Comparable_CodeReuse - Using roles for code reuse

version 2.2011

SYNOPSIS

package Eq;
use Moose::Role;

requires 'equal_to';

sub not_equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
not \$self->equal_to(\$other);
}

package Comparable;
use Moose::Role;

with 'Eq';

requires 'compare';

sub equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->compare(\$other) == 0;
}

sub greater_than {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->compare(\$other) == 1;
}

sub less_than {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->compare(\$other) == -1;
}

sub greater_than_or_equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->greater_than(\$other) || \$self->equal_to(\$other);
}

sub less_than_or_equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->less_than(\$other) || \$self->equal_to(\$other);
}

package Printable;
use Moose::Role;

requires 'to_string';

package US::Currency;
use Moose;

with 'Comparable', 'Printable';

has 'amount' => ( is => 'rw', isa => 'Num', default => 0 );

sub compare {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->amount <=> \$other->amount;
}

sub to_string {
my \$self = shift;
sprintf '\$%0.2f USD' => \$self->amount;
}

DESCRIPTION

Roles have two primary purposes: as interfaces, and as a means of code reuse. This recipe demonstrates the latter, with roles that define comparison and display code for objects.

Let's start with Eq. First, note that we've replaced use Moose with use Moose::Role. We also have a new sugar function, requires:

requires 'equal_to';

This says that any class which consumes this role must provide an equal_to method. It can provide this method directly, or by consuming some other role.

The Eq role defines its not_equal_to method in terms of the required equal_to method. This lets us minimize the methods that consuming classes must provide.

The next role, Comparable, builds on the Eq role. We include Eq in Comparable using with, another new sugar function:

with 'Eq';

The with function takes a list of roles to consume. In our example, the Comparable role provides the equal_to method required by Eq. However, it could opt not to, in which case a class that consumed Comparable would have to provide its own equal_to. In other words, a role can consume another role without providing any required methods.

The Comparable role requires a method, compare:

requires 'compare';

The Comparable role also provides a number of other methods, all of which ultimately rely on compare.

sub equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->compare(\$other) == 0;
}

sub greater_than {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->compare(\$other) == 1;
}

sub less_than {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->compare(\$other) == -1;
}

sub greater_than_or_equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->greater_than(\$other) || \$self->equal_to(\$other);
}

sub less_than_or_equal_to {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->less_than(\$other) || \$self->equal_to(\$other);
}

Finally, we define the Printable role. This role exists solely to provide an interface. It has no methods, just a list of required methods. In this case, it just requires a to_string method.

An interface role is useful because it defines both a method and a name. We know that any class which does this role has a to_string method, but we can also assume that this method has the semantics we want. Presumably, in real code we would define those semantics in the documentation for the Printable role. (1)

Finally, we have the US::Currency class which consumes both the Comparable and Printable roles.

with 'Comparable', 'Printable';

It also defines a regular Moose attribute, amount:

has 'amount' => ( is => 'rw', isa => 'Num', default => 0 );

Finally we see the implementation of the methods required by our roles. We have a compare method:

sub compare {
my ( \$self, \$other ) = @_;
\$self->amount <=> \$other->amount;
}

By consuming the Comparable role and defining this method, we gain the following methods for free: equal_to, greater_than, less_than, greater_than_or_equal_to and less_than_or_equal_to.

Then we have our to_string method:

sub to_string {
my \$self = shift;
sprintf '\$%0.2f USD' => \$self->amount;
}

CONCLUSION

Roles can be very powerful. They are a great way of encapsulating reusable behavior, as well as communicating (semantic and interface) information about the methods our classes provide.

FOOTNOTES

(1)

Consider two classes, Runner and Process, both of which define a run method. If we just require that an object implements a run method, we still aren't saying anything about what that method actually does. If we require an object that implements the Executable role, we're saying something about semantics.

AUTHORS

• Stevan Little <stevan.little@iinteractive.com>

• Dave Rolsky <autarch@urth.org>

• Jesse Luehrs <doy@tozt.net>

• Shawn M Moore <code@sartak.org>

• יובל קוג'מן (Yuval Kogman) <nothingmuch@woobling.org>

• Karen Etheridge <ether@cpan.org>

• Florian Ragwitz <rafl@debian.org>

• Hans Dieter Pearcey <hdp@weftsoar.net>

• Chris Prather <chris@prather.org>

• Matt S Trout <mst@shadowcat.co.uk>