Steve Bertrand


Plugin::Simple - Load plugins from files or modules.

Coverage Status


    use Plugin::Simple;

    # load a plugin module from a file

    @plugins = plugins('/path/to/');

    # load all modules under '__PACKAGE__::Plugin' namespace

    my @plugins = plugins(); # call in scalar context to retrieve the first one

    # load all plugins under a specific namespace (note the trailing ::)

    @plugins = plugins('Any::Namespace::');

    # load/return only the plugins that can perform specific functions

    @plugins = plugins(can => ['foo', 'bar']); # foo and bar

    # instead of importing 'plugins()', change the name:

    use Plugin::Simple sub_name => 'foo';
    @plugins = foo(...);

    # set a default fallback plugin if searching turns up nothing

    use Plugin::Simple default => 'My::Module::Plugin::DefaultPlugin'

    # do something with the plugins

    for my $plugin (@plugins){

    # works in OO modules too simply by using it

    my @plugins = $self->plugins();


There are many plugin modules available on the CPAN, but I wrote this one just for fun. It's very simple, extremely lightweight, and is extremely minimalistic in what it does.

It searches for modules in installed packages or non-installed files, and loads them (without string eval). You can optionally have us return only the plugins that can() perform a specific task.


By default, we force plugins() into your namespace. To change this name:

    use Plugin::Simple sub_name => 'other_name';

If searching fails, you can ensure a default known plugin gets loaded:

    use Plugin::Simple default => 'My::Plugin';

To use both options, simply separate them with a comma.


None. We simply install a plugins() function within the namespace of the package that used us.


This example simply uses a single plugin module with a plugin_function() function. In the script, we load this file, and check to ensure the plugin does in fact have that sub available.

We then call the plugins in a loop (even though in this case there's only one), and send in an argument for the plugin to do work on.


    use warnings;
    use strict;

    use lib '.';

    use Plugin::Simple;

    my @plugins = plugins(
        can => ['plugin_function']

    my $plugin_arg = 'Hello!';

    for my $plugin (@plugins){

Plugin Module

    package TestPlugin;

    sub plugin_function {
        shift; # throw away class/obj
        my ($str) = @_;
        print "in " . __PACKAGE__ . ", arg is: $str\n";



    in TestPlugin, arg is: Hello!


Steve Bertrand, <steveb at>



There are far too many plugin import modules on the CPAN to mention here.


Copyright 2016,2017,2018 Steve Bertrand.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License.

See for more information.