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Adam Kennedy
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NAME

PPI::Element - The abstract Element class, a base for all source objects

INHERITANCE

  PPI::Base
  isa PPI::Element

DESCRIPTION

The abstract PPI::Element serves as a base class for all source-related objects, from a single whitespace token to an entire document. It provides a basic set of methods to provide a common interface and basic implementations.

METHODS

significant

Because we treat whitespace and other non-code items as Tokens (in order to be able to "round trip" the PPI::Document back to a file) the significant method allows us to distinguish between tokens that form a part of the code, and tokens that arn't significant, such as whitespace, POD, or the portion of a file after (and including) the __END__ token.

tokens

The tokens method returns a list of PPI::Token objects for the Element, essentially getting back that part of the document as if it had not been lexed.

This also means there are no Statements and no Structures in the list, just the Token classes.

content

For any PPI::Element, the content method will reconstitute the raw source code for it as a single string. This method is also the method used for overloading stringification. When an Element is used in a double-quoted string for example, this is the method that is called.

Returns the code as a string, or undef on error.

parent

Elements themselves are not intended to contain other Elements, that is left to the PPI::Node abstract class, a subclass of PPI::Element. However, all Elements can be contained within a parent Node.

If an Element is within a parent Node, the parent method returns the Node.

statement

For a PPI::Element that is contained (at some depth) within a PPI::Statment, the statement method will return the first parent Statement object lexically 'above' the Element.

Returns a PPI::Statement object, which may be the same Element if the Element is itself a PPI::Statement object. Returns false if the Element is not within a Statement and is not itself a Statement.

top

For a PPI::Element that is contained within a PDOM tree, the top method will return the top-level Node in the tree. Most of the time this should be a PPI::Document object, however this will not always be so. For example, if a subroutine has been removed from its Document, to be moved to another Document.

Returns the top-most PDOM object, which may be the same Element, if it is not within any parent PDOM object.

For an Element that is contained within a PPI::Document object, the document method will return the top-level Document for the Element.

Returns the PPI::Document for this Element, or false if the Element is not contained within a Document.

next_sibling

All PPI::Node objects (specifically, our parent Node) contain a number of PPI::Element objects. The next_sibling method returns the PPI::Element immediately after the current one, or false if there is no next sibling.

snext_sibling

As per the other 's' methods, the snext_sibling method returns the next significant sibling of the PPI::Element object.

Returns a PPI::Element object, or false if there is no 'next' significant sibling.

previous_sibling

All PPI::Node objects (specifically, our parent Node) contain a number of PPI::Element objects. The previous_sibling method returns the Element immediately before the current one, or false if there is no 'previous' PPI::Element object.

sprevious_sibling

As per the other 's' methods, the sprevious_sibling method returns the previous significant sibling of the PPI::Element object.

Returns a PPI::Element object, or false if there is no 'previous' significant sibling.

first_token

As a support method for higher-order algorithms that deal specifically with tokens and actual Perl content, the first_token method finds the first PPI::Token object within or equal to this one.

That is, if called on a PPI::Node subclass, it will descend until it finds a PPI::Token. If called on a PPI::Token object, it will return the same object.

Returns a PPI::Token object, or dies on error (which should be extremely rare and only occur if an illegal empty PPI::Statement exists below the current Element somewhere.

last_token

As a support method for higher-order algorithms that deal specifically with tokens and actual Perl content, the last_token method finds the last PPI::Token object within or equal to this one.

That is, if called on a PPI::Node subclass, it will descend until it finds a PPI::Token. If called on a PPI::Token object, it will return the itself.

Returns a PPI::Token object, or dies on error (which should be extremely rare and only occur if an illegal empty PPI::Statement exists below the current Element somewhere.

next_token

As a support method for higher-order algorithms that deal specifically with tokens and actual Perl content, the next_token method finds the PPI::Token object that is immediately after the current Element, even if it is not within the same parent PPI::Node as the one for which the method is being called.

Note that this is not defined as a PPI::Token-specific method, because it can be useful to find the next token that is after, say, a PPI::Statement, although obviously it would be useless to want the next token after a PPI::Document.

Returns a PPI::Token object, or false if there are no more token after the Element.

previous_token

As a support method for higher-order algorithms that deal specifically with tokens and actual Perl content, the previous_token method finds the PPI::Token object that is immediately before the current Element, even if it is not within the same parent PPI::Node as this one.

Note that this is not defined as a PPI::Token-only method, because it can be useful to find the token is before, say, a PPI::Statement, although obviously it would be useless to want the next token before a PPI::Document

Returns a PPI::Token object, or false if there are no more tokens before the Element.

clone

As per the Clone module, the clone method makes a perfect copy of an Element object. In the generic case, the implementation is done using the Clone module's mechanism itself. In higher-order cases, such as for Nodes, there is more work involved to keep the parent-child links intact.

insert_before @Elements

The insert_before method allows you to insert lexical perl content, in the form of PPI::Element objects, before the calling Element. You need to be very careful when modifying perl code, as it's easy to break things.

This method is not yet implemented, mainly due to the difficulty in making it Do What You Mean.

insert_after @Elements

The insert_after method allows you to insert lexical perl content, in the form of PPI::Element objects, after the calling Element. You need to be very careful when modifying perl code, as it's easy to break things.

This method is not yet implemented, mainly due to the difficulty in making it Do What You Mean.

remove

For a given PPI::Element, the remove method will remove it from its parent intact, along with all of its children.

Returns the Element itself as a convenience, or undef if an error occurs while trying to remove the Element.

delete

For a given Element, the remove method will remove it from its parent, immediately deleting the Element and all of its children (if it has any).

Returns true if the Element was successfully deleted, or undef if an error occurs while trying to remove the Element.

replace $Element

Although some higher level class support more exotic forms of replace, at the basic level the replace method takes a single Element as an argument and replaces the current Element with it.

To prevent accidental damage to code, in this initial implementation the replacement element MUST be of exactly the same class as the one being replaced.

location

If the Element exists within a PPI::Document that has indexed the Element locations using PPI::Document::index_locations, the location method will return the location of the first character of the Element within the Document.

Returns the location as a reference to a two-element array in the form [ $line, $col ]. The values are in a human format, with the first character of the file located at [ 1, 1 ]. Returns undef on error, or if the PPI::Document object has not been indexed.

TO DO

It would be nice if location could be used in an ad-hoc manner. That is, if called on an Element within a Document that has not been indexed, it will do a one-off calculation to find the location. It might be very painful if someone started using it a lot, without remembering to index the document, but it would be handy for things that are only likely to use it once, such as error handlers.

SUPPORT

See the support section in the main PPI Manual

AUTHOR

Adam Kennedy (Maintainer), http://ali.as/, cpan@ali.as

Thank you to Phase N (http://phase-n.com/) for permitting the open sourcing and release of this distribution.

COPYRIGHT

Copyright (c) 2004 Adam Kennedy. All rights reserved. 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.

1 POD Error

The following errors were encountered while parsing the POD:

Around line 178:

=cut found outside a pod block. Skipping to next block.