Jason Yates


CGI::Application::Plugin::ActionDispatch - Perl extension


  # In "WebApp.pm"...
  package WebApp;

  use base 'CGI::Application';
  use CGI::Application::Plugin::ActionDispatch;

  sub do_stuff : Path('do/stuff') { ... }
  sub do_more_stuff : Regex('^/do/more/stuff\/?$') { ... }
  sub do_something_else : Regex('do/something/else/(\w+)/(\d+)$') { ... }


CGI::Application::Plugin::ActionDispatch adds attribute based support for parsing the PATH_INFO of the incoming request. For those who are familiar with Catalyst. The interface works very similar.

This plugin is plug and play and shouldn't interrupt the default behavior of CGI::Application.


Be aware though, this plugin will not likely work with other modules that use attributes.

This module should work with mod_perl. It however has not be thoroughly tested as such. If you have used it with mod_perl please e-mail me with your experience.



If using capturing parentheses in a Regex action. The captured values are accessible using this method.

  sub addElement : Regex('add/(\d+)/(\d+)') {
    my $self = shift;
    my($column, $row) = $self->action_args();

The Path action will store everything after the matched path into the action args.

  # http://example.com/state/pa/philadelphia
  sub find_state_and_city : Path('state/') {
    my $self = shift;
    my($state, $city) = $self->action_args();
        # $state == pa, $city == philadelphia



Regex action is used for regular expression matching against PATH_INFO. If capturing parentheses are used; the matched parameters are accesssible using the action_args() method.


The Regex action either matches or it doesn't. There are no secrets to it.

It is important to note Regex action takes priority. It is assumed if a Path and Regex action both match. The Regex action will take priority, which may not always be the outcome of least suprise, for instance:

# http://example.com/music/the_clash sub clash : Path('/music/the_clash') {} # This is an exact match, BUT. sub the_class : Regex('/music/the_clash') {} # This takes priority. Beware.


The Path action is basically a shortcut for a commonly used Regex action.

  # http://example.com/products/movies/2
  sub show_product : Path('products/') {
    my $self = shift;
    my($category, $id) = $self->action_args();

Is basically the same thing as.

  sub show_product : Regex('^/products/(\w+)/(\d+)') {
    my $self = shift; 
    my($category, $id) = $self->action_args();

For those that care, the Path('products/') will be converted to the regular expression "^/products\/?(\/.*)$"; then split('/') is run on the captured value and stored in action_args().


This action will take the method name and run a match on that.

# http://example.com/foobar

sub foobar : Runmode {}


The default run mode if no match is found. Essentially the equivalent of the start_mode() method.

sub default_mode : Default {}


In CGI::Application module:

  package WebApp;
  use base 'CGI::Application';
  use CGI::Application::Plugin::ActionDispatch;
  use strict;

  sub setup {
    my $self = shift;
      basic_runmode => 'basic_runmode'

  # Regular runmodes should work.
  sub basic_runmode {
    my $self = shift

The product() runmode will match anything starting with "/products" in the PATH_INFO.

  # http://example.com/myapp.cgi/products/this/is/optional/and/stored/in/action_args/
  sub product : Path('products/') {  
    my $self = shift;
    my($category, $product) = $self->action_args();

The music() runmode will match anything starting with "/products/music" in the PATH_INFO. The product() runmode also matches "/products/music". However since this runmode matches closer it takes priority over product().

  # http://example.com/myapp.cgi/products/music/product/
  sub music : Path('products/music/') {
    my $self = shift; 
    my $product = $self->action_args();

This beatles() runmode will match ONLY "/product/music/beatles" or "/product/music/beatles/". Regex takes priority over Path so the previous runmodes which match this PATH_INFO are not run.

  # http://example.com/myapp.cgi/products/music/beatles/
  sub beatles : Regex('^/products/music/beatles\/?')  { 
    my $self = shift; 


CGI::Application, CGI::Application::Dispatch



Jason Yates, <jaywhy@gmail.com>


Copyright (C) 2006-2008 by Jason Yates

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.8.7 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.