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Package::Anon - Anonymous packages


  my $stash = Package::Anon->new;
  $stash->add_method(get_answer => sub { 42 });

  my $obj = $stash->bless({});

  $obj->get_answer; # 42


This module allows for anonymous packages that are independent of the main namespace and only available through an object instance, not by name.

  # Declare an anonymous package using new()
  my $stash = Package::Anon->new;

  # Add behavior to the package
  $stash->add_method('get_answer', sub{ return 42; });

  # Create an instance of the anonymous package
  my $instance = $stash->bless({});

  # Call the method
  $instance->get_answer(); # returns 42

In $my_object->do_stuff() Perl uses a the name of the class $my_object is blessed into to resolve the function do_stuff().

Packages created using Package::Anon exist outside of the main:: namespace and cannot be referenced by name. These packages are defined within stashes that are only accessible through a reference rather than using a name.

Previous attempts to allow for anonymous packages in Perl use workarounds that still ultimately result in references by named packages. Because Package::Anon allows method dispatching without a name lookup, packages are truly anonymous.


new ($name?)

  my $stash = Package::Anon->new;

  my $stash = Package::Anon->new('Foo');

Create a new anonymous package. The optional $name argument sets the stash's name. This name only serves as an aid for debugging. The stash is not reachable from the global symbol table by the given name.

$name defaults to __ANON__.

bless ($reference)

  my $instance = $stash->bless({});

Bless a $reference into the anonymous package.

add_method ($name, $code)

  $stash->add_method(foo => sub { return 42; });

Register a new method in the anonymous package. add_method() is provided as a convenience method for adding code symbols to slots in the anonymous stash. For additional symbol table manipulation, see "SYMBOL TABLE MANIPULATION".

blessed ($obj)

  my $stash = Package::Anon->blessed($obj);

Returns a Package::Anon instance for the package the given $obj is blessed into, or undef if $obj isn't an object.

install_glob ($name)

  my $gv = $stash->install_glob('foo');

Create a glob with the given $name and install it under that $name within the $stash. The returned glob can be used to install symbols into the $stash. See "SYMBOL TABLE MANIPULATION" for examples.


These methods interact with the symbol table in ways that could cause unexpected results in your programs. Please use them with caution.

create_glob ($name)

  my $gv = $stash->create_glob('foo');

Creates a new glob with the name $name, pointing to $stash as its stash. The created glob is not installed into the $stash.

This method implements functionality similar to Symbol::gensym, but allows you to specify the name of the glob.


This module is intended to create anonymous packages with behavior, not data members. Support for data members has been documented because the Glob API supports the addition of data types besides coderefs. Please use this module with caution when creating data members in your anonymous packages.

  add_method('get_answer', sub {return 42});

is the same as:

  my $gv = install_glob('get_answer');
  *$gv = sub { return 42 };

For other data types:

  *$gv = \$foo # scalar
  *$gv = \@foo # array
  *$gv = \%foo # hash

Currently, Package::Anon instances are blessed stash references, so the following is possible:

  $stash->{$symbol_name} = *$gv;

However, the exact details of how to get a hold of the actual stash reference might change in the future.


  • Florian Ragwitz <>

  • Ricardo Signes <>

  • Jesse Luehrs <>

  • Augustina Blair <>


This software is copyright (c) 2012 by Florian Ragwitz.

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