Pod::Autopod - Generates pod documentation by analysing perl modules.


 use Pod::Autopod;

 new Pod::Autopod(readfile=>'', writefile=>'');

 # reading and writing but with pod

 my $ap = new Pod::Autopod(readfile=>'');
 print $ap->getPod();

 # reading and and prints the generated pod. 

 my $ap = new Pod::Autopod();
 print $ap->getPod();

 # asumes perl code in $mycoce and prints out the pod.
 # also writes to the file out.pod


This Module is designed to generate pod documentation of a perl class by analysing its code. The idea is to have something similar like javadoc. So it uses also comments written directly obove the method definitions. It is designed to asumes a pm file which represents a class.

Of course it can not understand every kind of syntax, parameters, etc. But the plan is to improve this library in the future to understand more and more automatically.

Please note, there is also an "autopod" command line util in this package.







5.006 Pod::Abstract uses features of 5.6


To add a documentation about a method, write it with a classical remark char "#" before the sub{} definition:

 # This method is doing foo.
 #  print $self->foo();
 # It is not doing bar, only foo.
 sub foo{

A gap before sub{} is allowed.

In further versions of autopod, here new features will appear.

To define parameters and return values you can use a boundle of keywords. So far parameters and return values can not realy be autodetected, so manual way is necessary, but it is designed to type it rapidly.

 sub foo{ # void ($text)

The example above produces the following method description:


The object "$self" is the default and automatially used when a constructor was found ("new") or the class inherits with ISA or "use base". You can change this by the parameter "selfstring" in the autopod constructor.

The example looks simple, but the engine does more than you think. Please have a look here:

 sub foo{ # void (scalar text)

That procudes the same output! It means the dollar sign of the first example is a symbol which means "scalar".

 sub foo{ # ($)



As you see, that was the quickest way to write the definition. The keywork "void" is default.

The following keywords or characters are allowed:

 array       @
 arrayref   \@
 hash        %
 hashref    \%
 method      &
 scalar      $
 scalarref  \$
 void       only as return value

Now a more complex example:

 sub foo{# $state ($firstname,$lastname,\%persondata)


 my $state = $self->foo($firstname, $lastname, \%persondata);

or write it in java style:

 sub foo{# scalar state (scalar firstname,scalar lastname,hashref persondata)

Multiple return values may be displayed as following:

 sub foo{# $a,$b ($text)


 my ($a, $b) = $self->foo($text);

If you want to use key values pairs as in a hash, you may describe it like:

 sub foo{# void (firstname=>$scalar,lastname=>scalar)

The second "scalar" above is without a "$", that is no mistake, both works.

There is also a way to expain that a value A OR B is expected. See here:

 sub foo{# $lista|\$refb (\@list|$text,$flag)


  my $lista | \$refb = $self->foo(\@list | $text, $flag);

Of course, that is not an official perl syntax with the or "|", but it shows you that is expected.

In the First Part obove all method descriptions, you can add general informations, which are per default displayed under the head item "DESCRIPTION". But also own items can be used by underlining a text with "=" chars like:

 # =====
 # Read here howto do it.   

Some of these title keywords are allways places in a special order, which you can not change. For example LICENSE is allways near the end.

Added some hacks to teach this tool also some doxygen parametes. For example:

 # @brief  kept as simple text
 # @param  text to be added
 # @return string with some text
 sub foo{
   return "abc".shift;


  my $string = $self->foo($text);



 my $object = $self->new($filename => $scalar, alsohiddenmethods => $scalar, selfstring => $scalar);


The keyvalues are not mandatory.

selfstring may hold something like '$self' as alternative to '$self', which is default.

alsohiddenmethods gets a boolean flag to show also methods which starts with "_".



Builds the pod. Called automatically when imporing a perl code.



This method is doing foo.

 print $self->foo();

It is not doing bar, only foo.


 my $scalar = $self->getBorderString();

Returns the border string which delimit the perl code and pod inside a pm file.


 my $text = $self->getPerlCode();

Returns perl code which was set before.


 my $text = $self->getPod();

Returns the pod formated text.s


 $self->readDirectory($directory, updateonly => $scalar, pod => $scalar, verbose => $scalar);

scans a directoy recoursively for pm files and may generate pod of them.

You can also set the flag updateonly to build new pod only for files you already build a pod (inside the file) in the past. Alternatively you can write the magic word AUTOPODME somewhere in the pm file what signals that this pm file wants to be pod'ed by autopod.

The flag pod let will build a separate file. If poddir set, the generated pod file will be saved to a deparate directory. With verbose it prints the list of written files.



Reading a Perl class file and loads it to memory.



This class may scan the perl code. But it is called automatically when importing a perl code.



Set an alternative border string. If you change this, you have to do it again when updating the pod.


 $self->setPerlCode($text | \@array, $file);

Expects Perl code as arrayref or text (scalar).

When used, it automatically runs scanArray(). This now passes the filename to be used in case we are podding a .pl or .cgi file. NW



writes a pod file

If the file has a pm or pl or cgi extension, it writes the perl code and the pod If the file has a pod extension or any, it only writes the pod.


Andreas Hernitscheck ahernit(AT)


You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the conditions of LGPL.

By the way, the source code is quite bad. So feel free to replace this idea with something better Perl OO code.