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David Golden


ToolSet - Load your commonly-used modules in a single import


This documentation describes version 1.00.


Creating a ToolSet:

     # My/Tools.pm
     package My::Tools;
     use base 'ToolSet'; 
     ToolSet->use_pragma( 'strict' );
     ToolSet->use_pragma( 'warnings' );
     ToolSet->use_pragma( qw/feature say switch/ ); # perl 5.10
     # define exports from other modules
         'Carp'          => undef,       # get the defaults
         'Scalar::Util'  => 'refaddr',   # or a specific list
     # define exports from this module
     our @EXPORT = qw( shout );
     sub shout { print uc shift };
     1; # modules must return true

Using a ToolSet:

     # my_script.pl
     use My::Tools;
     # strict is on
     # warnings are on
     # Carp and refaddr are imported
     carp "We can carp!";
     print refaddr [];
     shout "We can shout, too!";


ToolSet provides a mechanism for creating logical bundles of modules that can be treated as a single, reusable toolset that is imported as one. Unlike CPAN bundles, which specify modules to be installed together, a toolset specifies modules to be imported together into other code.

ToolSet is designed to be a superclass -- subclasses will specify specific modules to bundle. ToolSet supports custom import lists for each included module and even supports compile-time pragmas like strict, warnings and feature.

A ToolSet module does not physically bundle the component modules, but rather specifies lists of modules to be used together and import specifications for each. By adding the component modules to a prerequisites list in a Makefile.PL or Build.PL for a ToolSet subclass, an entire dependency chain can be managed as a single unit across scripts or distributions that use the subclass.


Setting up

     use base 'ToolSet';

ToolSet must be used as a base class.


     our @EXPORT = qw( shout };
     sub shout { print uc shift }

Functions defined in the ToolSet subclass can be automatically exported during use() by listing them in an @EXPORT array.


         'Carp' => undef,                    
         'Scalar::Util' => 'refaddr',

Specifies packages and arguments to import via use(). An argument of undef or the empty string calls use() with default imports. Arguments should be provided either as a whitespace delimited string or in an anonymous array. An empty anonymous array will be treated like passing the empty list as an argument to use(). Here are examples of how how specifications will be provided to use():

     'Carp' => undef                 # use Carp; 
     'Carp' => q{}                   # use Carp;
     'Carp' => 'carp croak'          # use Carp qw( carp croak );
     'Carp' => [ '!carp', 'croak' ]  # use Carp qw( !carp croak );
     'Carp' => []                    # use Carp (); 

Elements in an array are passed to use() as a white-space separated list, so elements may not themselves contain spaces or unexpected results will occur.

As of version 1.00, modules may be repeated multiple times. This is useful with modules like autouse.

       autouse => [ 'Carp' => qw(carp croak) ],
       autouse => [ 'Scalar::Util' => qw(refaddr blessed) ],


   ToolSet->use_pragma( 'strict' );         # use strict;
   ToolSet->use_pragma( 'feature', ':5.10' ); # use feature ':5.10';

Specifies a compile-time pragma to enable and optional arguments to that pragma. This must only be used with pragmas that act via the magic $^H or %^H variables. It must not be used with modules that have other side-effects during import() such as exporting functions.


   ToolSet->no_pragma( 'indirect' ); # no indirect;

Like use_pragma, but disables a pragma instead.

If a pragma is specified in both a use_pragma and no_pragma statement, the use_pragma will be executed first. This allow turning on a pragma with default settings and then disabling some of them.

   ToolSet->use_pragma( 'strict' );
   ToolSet->no_pragma ( 'strict', 'refs' ); 

set_feature (DEPRECATED)

See use_pragma instead.

set_strict (DEPRECATED)

See use_pragma instead.

set_warnings (DEPRECATED)

See use_pragma instead.


ToolSet will report an error for a module that cannot be found just like an ordinary call to use() or require().

Additional error messages include:

  • "Invalid import specification for MODULE" -- an incorrect type was provided for the list to be imported (e.g. a hash reference)

  • "Can't import missing subroutine NAME" -- the named subroutine is listed in @EXPORT, but is not defined in the ToolSet subclass


ToolSet requires no configuration files or environment variables.


ToolSet requires at least Perl 5.6. ToolSet subclasses will, of course, be dependent on any modules they load.


Similar functionality is provided by the Toolkit module, though that module requires defining the bundle via text files found within directories in PERL5LIB and uses source filtering to insert their contents as files are compiled.


Please report any bugs or feature using the CPAN Request Tracker. Bugs can be submitted through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org/Dist/Display.html?Queue=ToolSet

When submitting a bug or request, please include a test-file or a patch to an existing test-file that illustrates the bug or desired feature.


David A. Golden (DAGOLDEN)


Copyright (c) 2005-2008 by David A. Golden. All rights reserved.

Licensed under Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"). You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. A copy of the License was distributed with this file or you may obtain a copy of the License from http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Files produced as output though the use of this software, shall not be considered Derivative Works, but shall be considered the original work of the Licensor.

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.