++ed by:
1 non-PAUSE user
Author image Brad Haywood


Sub::Mage - Multi-Use utility for manipulating subroutines, classes and more.


What this module attempts to do is make a developers life easier by allowing them to manage and manipulate subroutines and modules. You can override a subroutine, then restore it as it was originally, create after, before and around hook modifiers, delete subroutines, or even tag every subroutine in a class to let you know when each one is being run, which is great for debugging. Unfortunately, thanks to late-night RPGs, a lot of coffee, and an over-active imagination, the namespace Sub::Mage was chosen. Sorry.


    # Simple usage

    use Sub::Mage;

    sub greet { print "Hello, World!"; }
    greet();            # prints Hello, World!

    override 'greet' => sub {
        print "Goodbye, World!";

    greet();            # now prints Goodbye, World!
    restore 'greet';    # restores it back to its original state

Changing a class method (Remote control), by example

    # Foo.pm

    use Sub::Mage;

    sub hello {
        my $self = shift;

        $self->{name} = "World";

    # test.pl

    use Foo;

    my $foo = Foo->new;

    Foo->override( 'hello' => sub {
        my $self = shift;

        $self->{name} = "Town";

    print "Hello, " . $foo->hello . "!\n"; # prints Hello, Town!


    print "Hello, " . $foo->hello . "!\n"; # prints Hello, World!



If for some reason you want some kind of debugging going on when you override, restore, create or create hook modifiers, then this will enable it for you. It can get verbose, so use it only when you need to.

    use Sub::Mage ':Debug';

    create 'this_sub' => sub { }; # notifies you with [debug] that a subroutine was createed


Turns Sub::Mage into a minimal class builder, giving you access to special class-only methods. They are explained in the methods section.

    use Sub::Mage ':Class';

    has 'x' => ();
    chainable 'this' => ( class => 'ThisClass' );



Overrides a subroutine with the one specified. On its own will override the one in the current script, but if you call it from a class, and that class is visible, then it will alter the subroutine in that class instead. Overriding a subroutine inherits everything the old one had, including $self in class methods.

    override 'subname' => sub {
        # do stuff here

    # class method
    FooClass->override( 'subname' => sub {
        my $self = shift;

        # do stuff


Deletes an entire subroutine from the current package, or a remote one. Please be aware this is non-reversable. There is no recycle bin for subroutines unfortunately. Not yet, anyway.

    package MyBin;

    sub test { print "Huzzah!" }
    __PACKAGE__->test; # prints Huzzah!
    withdraw 'test'

    __PACKAGE__->test; # fails, because there's no subroutine named 'test'

    use AnotherPackage;
    AnotherPackage->withdraw('test'); # removes the 'test' method from 'AnotherPackage'


Restores a subroutine to its original state.

    override 'foo' => sub { };

    restore 'foo'; # and we're back in the room


Adds an after hook modifier to the subroutine. Anything in the after subroutine is called directly after the original sub. Hook modifiers can also be restored.

    sub greet { print "Hello, "; }
    after 'greet' => sub { print "World!"; };

    greet(); # prints Hello, World!


Very similar to after, but calls the before subroutine, yes that's right, before the original one.

    sub bye { print "Bye!"; }

    before 'bye' => sub { print "Good "; };

    bye(); # prints Good Bye!

Fancy calling before on multiple subroutines? Sure. Just add them to an array.

    sub like {
        my ($self, $what) = @_;
        print "I like $what\n";
    sub dislike {
        my ($self, $what) = @_;
        print "I dislike $what\n";

    before [qw( like dislike )] => sub {
        my ($self, $name) = @_;

        print "I'm going to like or dislike $name\n";


Around gives the user a bit more control over the subroutine. When you create an around method the first argument will be the old method, the second is $self and the third is any arguments passed to the original subroutine. In a away this allows you to control the flow of the entire subroutine.

    sub greet {
        my ($self, $name) = @_;

        print "Hello, $name!\n";

    # only call greet if any arguments were passed to Class->greet()
    around 'greet' => sub {
        my $method = shift;
        my $self = shift;

            if @_;


Creates a new subroutine into the current script or a class. It will not allow you to override a subroutine.

    create 'test' => sub { print "In test\n"; }

    Foo->create( hello => sub {
        my ($self, $name) = @_;

        print "Hello, $name!\n";


Very verbose: Adds a before hook modifier to every subroutine in the package to let you know when a sub is being called. Great for debugging if you're not sure a method is being ran.


    # define a normal sub
    sub test { return "World"; }

    say "Hello, " . test(); # prints Hello, World but also lets you know 'test' in 'package' was called.


Clones a subroutine from one class to another. Probably rarely used, but the feature is there if you need it.

    use ThisPackage;
    use ThatPackage;

    clone 'subname' => ( from => 'ThisPackage', to => 'ThatPackage' );

    ThatPackage->subname; # duplicate of ThisPackage->subname


To use extends you need to have :Class imported. This will extend the given class thereby inheriting it into the current class.

    package Foo;

    sub baz { }


    package Fooness;

    use Sub::Mage ':Class';
    extends 'Foo';

    override 'baz' => sub { say "Hello!" };


The above would not have worked if we had not have extended 'Foo'. This is because when we inheritted it, we also got access to its baz method.


Exporting subroutines is not generally needed or a good idea, so Sub::Mage will only allow you to export one subroutine at a time. Once you export the subroutine you can call it into the given package without referencing the class of the subroutines package.

    package Foo;
    use Sub::Mage;
    exports 'boo' => ( into => [qw/ThisClass ThatClass/] );
    exports 'spoons' => ( into => 'MyClass' );

    sub spoons { print "Spoons!\n"; }
    sub boo { print "boo!!!\n"; }
    sub test { print "A test\n"; }

    package ThisClass;

    use Foo;

    boo(); # instead of Foo->boo;
    test(); # this will fail because it was not exported


A pretty useless function, but it may be used to silently error, or create custom errors for failed subroutines. Similar to $class->can($method), but with some extra sugar.

    package Foo;

    use Sub::Mage;

    sub test { }
    package MyApp;

    use Sub::Mage qw/:5.010/;
    use Foo;
    my $success = sub {
        my ($class, $name) = @_;
        say "$class\::$name checked out OK";  
        after $class => sub {
            say "Successfully ran $name in $class";

    Foo->have( 'test' => ( then => $success ) );

On success the above will run whatever is in then. But what about errors? If this fails it will not do anything - sometimes you just want silent deaths, right? You can create custom error handlers by using or. This parameter may take a coderef or a string.

    package Foo;
    use Sub::Mage;

    sub knife { }
    package MyApp;

    use Sub::Mage qw/:5.010/;

    use Foo;

    my $error = sub {
        my ($class, $name) = @_;

        say "Oh dear! $class failed because no method $name exists";
        # do some other funky stuff if you wish

    Foo->have( 'spoon' => ( then => $success, or => $error ) );

Or you may wish for something really simply.

    Foo->have( 'spoon' => ( then => $success, or => 'There is no spoon') );

This one will simply throw a warning with warn so to still execute any following code you may have.


Simply creates an accessor for the current class. You will need to first import :Class when using Sub::Mage before you can use accessor. When you create an accessor it adds the subroutine for you with the specified default value. The parameter in the subroutine will cause its default value to change to whatever that is.

    package FooClass;

    use Sub::Mage qw/:Class/;

    accessor 'name' => 'World'; # creates the subroutine 'name'


    package main;

    use FooClass;

    my $foo = FooClass->new;
    print "Hello, " . $foo->name; # prints Hello, World

    print "Seeya, " . $foo->name; # prints Seeya, Foo


Another :Class only method is chainable. It doesn't really do anything you can't do yourself, but I find it helps to keep a visual of your chains at the top of your code so you can see in plain sight where they are leading you. Let's look at an example. As of 0.015 you can now bless a different reference other than $self. Whatever you bless will be $self-{option}>.

    # test.pl

    use Greeter;
    my $foo = Greeter->new;
    print "Hello, " . $foo->greet('World')->hello;

    # Greeter.pm
    package Greeter;

    use Greet::Class;
    use Sub::Mage qw/:Class/;

    chainable 'greet' => ( class => 'Greet::Class' );

    sub greet {
        my ($self, $name) = @_;
        $self->{_name} = $name;

    # Greet/Class.pm
    package Greet;
    sub hello {
        my $self = shift;

        return $self->{_name};

If you don't want to bless the entire $self, use bless.

    chainable 'greet' => ( bless => '_source', class => 'Greet::Class' );

    sub greet {
        my $self = shift;

        $self->{_source} = {
            _name => $self->{_name},


Create a more advanced accessor similar to Moose (but not as cool). It currently supports is and default. Don't forget to import :Class

    package Foo;

    use Sub::Mage ':Class';

    has name => ( is => 'rw' );
    has x => ( is => 'ro', default => 7 );
    print __PACKAGE__->x; # 7
    __PACKAGE__->x(5); # BAD! It's Read-Only!!
    __PACKAGE__->name('World'); # set and return 'World'


Runs multiple subroutines in a class, with arguments if necessary. This function takes two arrayrefs, the first being the subroutines you want to run, and the last is the arguments to pass to each subroutine.

    # MyApp.pm
    package MyApp;
    use Sub::Mage;

    sub greet {
        my ($self, $name) = @_;
        print "Hello, $name!\n";

    sub bye {
        my ($self, $name, $where) = @_;
        print "Bye, $name. I'm going $where\n";

    # run.pl
    use MyApp;
        [qw/greet bye/],
        [qw/World home/]

    # Hello, World!
    # Bye, World. I'm going home


Same sort of principle as sub_alert but a little more flexible. You can "tag" a subroutine, or multiple subroutines using an arrayref and give them a custom message when ran. If you group multiple subs they will have the same message. Great for debugging.

    use Sub::Mage;
    tag 'test' => 'Test was run!'

    sub test { print "World"; }
    test; # outputs 'Test was run!' then 'World'

You can call it from a remote package, too.

    # Foo.pm
    package Foo;
    use Sub::Mage;
    sub hello { print "hi"; }
    sub bye   { print "goodbye"; }

    # goose.pl
    use Foo;

    Foo->tag( [qw(hello goodbye)], 'Tagged subroutines called' );


If you tag multiple subroutines, to avoid confusion Sub::Mage will output the name of the subroutine in brackets at the end of the message.


Basically just sub import. I wanted to keep the initialisation of a module and the destruction of it same-ish.

    constructor sub {
        my ($class, $args) = @_;
        print "$class has loaded\n";


Same as constructor, but is run when the module has finished.

    destructor sub {
        my $self = shift;
        print "Module finished: $self->{some_var}\n";


Fetches an array of available subroutines in the current package.

    foreach my $sub (sublist) {
        print "Running $sub\n";
        eval $sub;

    my @subs = sublist;
    print "Found " . scalar(@subs) . " subroutines\n";


Brad Haywood <brad@geeksware.net>


You may distribute this code under the same terms as Perl itself.