Perl::SAX - Generate SAX events for perl source code (incomplete)


With the completion of PPI and the potential creation of a viable refactoring Perl editor, there has been renewed interest in parsing perl source code and "Doing Stuff" with it.

It was felt (actually, it was demanded) that there should be some sort of event mechanism that could go through a chunk of perl source code and emit events that would be handled by a variety of methods.

Rather than invent my own, it was much easier to hijack SAX for this purpose.

Perl::SAX is the result of this need. Starting with a single object of any type descended from PPI::Node, Perl::SAX will generate a stream of SAX events.

For the sake of compatibility with SAX as a whole, and in the spirit of not dictating the default behaviour based on any one use of this event stream, the stream of events will be such that it can be passed to XML::SAX::Writer and a "PerlML" file will be spat out.

This provides the highest level of detail, and allows for a variety of different potential uses, relating to both the actual and lexical content inside of perl source code.

Perl::SAX is just a SAX Driver

Please note that Perl::SAX is only a SAX Driver. It cannot be used as a SAX Filter or some other form of SAX Handler, and will die fatally if you try, as soon as it recieves a start_document event.

To restart Perl::SAX only creates events, it cannot consume them.

Current State of Completion

This basic first working version is being uploaded to support the creation of an Acme::Bleach rip-off using PerlML.


new [ Handler => $Handler | Output => $WriterConsumer ]

The new constructor creates a new Perl SAX Driver instance.

If passed no arguments, it creates a new default XML::SAX::Writer object, which by default will write the resulting PerlML file to STDOUT.

If passed an Output => $Consumer argument, this value will be passed along to the XML::SAX::Writer constructor. Any value that is legal for the Output parameter to XML::SAX::Writer is also legal here.

If passed a Handler => $Handler argument, $Handler will be used as the SAX Handler directly. Any value provided via Output in this case will be ignored.

Returns a new Perl::SAX object, or undef if you pass an illegal Output value, and the XML::SAX::Writer cannot be created.


Design and create the PerlML Schema

Make any changes needed to conform to it

Write a bunch of tests


Because the development of the PerlML Schema (and thus this module) has not been completed yet, please do not report bugs other than those that are installation-related.

Bugs should be reported via the CPAN bug tracker at

For other issues, or commercial enhancement or support, contact the author.


Adam Kennedy <>



Thank you to Phase N ( for permitting the Open Sourcing and release of this distribution.

Copyright 2004 - 2008 Adam Kennedy.

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

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.