Author image Anonchique Aiteeshnique
and 1 contributors


OOP::Private - private and protected functions and methods.


    package Foo;
    use OOP::Private;

    sub new {
        my ($class, $self) = @_;
        bless $self, $class;

    sub callPublicMethod {
        my $self = shift;
        $self -> privateMethod;

    sub callPrivateMethod: Private {
        my $self = shift;
        printf "%s: $s\n", $$self{foo}, $$self{bar};



    use Foo;
    my $inst = new Foo { foo => "Foo", bar => "Bar" };
    $inst -> callPublicMethod;  # Outputs "Foo: Bar"
    $inst -> callPrivateMethod; # Croaks "Attempt to call private subroutine Foo::callPrivateMethod blabla"


This package defines two attributes - Private and Protected.

Private sub can't be accessed from anywhere except the package it's defined in.

Protected sub can be accessed from child classes. Depth of inheritance doesn't matter (UNIVERSAL::isa). This is the only difference. Everything else that is true for Private also applies to Protected.


Subs modified by this package are just a bit slower than pure ones. It's a matter of nanoseconds. Anyway, I was benchmarking this code more than a year before writing this pod and too lazy to do it again, so no benchmarks will be added soon.


Well, everything has drawbacks.

If some method inherited from parent relies on that parent's private methods, then child must not redefine those (private) methods.

Les't assume that we have the following parent package:

    package Parent;
    use OOP::Private;

    sub doPublicStuff { shift -> doPrivateStuff }
    sub doPrivateStuff: Private { 9999 }


And the following child:

    package Child;
    use base "Parent";

    sub doPrivateStuff: Private {
        # anything

In that case. Child -> new -> doPrivateStuff will throw the "Attempt to call private ... in" error.

Yes, you got it right. Parent's doPublicStuff doesn't use doPrivateStuff from its own package anymore - it tries to use child's one instead. But expectedly fails. If you don't mark child's method as Private, it won't fail, though child's method will still be used instead of the original one.

You can go further and also redefine doPublicStuff in the child package, in that case no errors will occur. Anyway, your package will not be able to call parent's doPublicStuff anymore. Neither will its inheriters.

Because of that, it's highly advised to use tools like this for defining children methods in large projects with complicated class hierarchy.


There's still a lot of ways to define private methods. Some of them below:


Can be combined with this module (as advised above, for example) or replace it entirely.


Super-Yoba OOP system targeted at Java coders I believe. Significantly slows your code down. Maybe appropriate for long-living async daemons, but definitely not recommended for scripts.

Alternative syntax for anonymous coderefs

Perl doesn't support lexical scoping for subs, sure, but what about scalars?

Did you know that coderefs can be called using the method notation?

    my $doStuff = sub {
        my $self = shift;

        do_something $self;

    my $obj = Class -> new;

    $obj -> $doStuff; # Actually, left-side operand doesn't even have to be a blessed reference. Even a string will do. Fukken amazing.

The only drawback in that case is that, if the code inside $doStuff fails, then package/line number report from die/croak output will most likely be useless. Also, you now have to prepend a method name with a dollar. But it's not a drawback. Seriously, show me anyone who doesn't love dollars.


Copyright © Anonchique Aiteeshnique <>


Artistic 2.0, see LICENSE