The London Perl and Raku Workshop takes place on 26th Oct 2024. If your company depends on Perl, please consider sponsoring and/or attending.


Class::Light - Provides cascading object initialization and autovivified accessors and mutators


                package SubClass;
                use base qw(Class::Light);

                sub _init {
                        my $self = shift;
                        my $data = shift;
                        $self->{'data'} = $data;

                package main;
                my $obj = SubClass->new("epiphany");

                # Will print the string epiphany on stdout
                if ($obj->getData eq $obj->get_data) {
                        print $obj->get_Data;

                print $obj->getData;


Subclasses are not to define a class method named "new", instead they should define the private instance method named "_init" which does object initialization. new will invoke _init from each superclass in the object's class hierarchy including of course the object's class itself. _init should not bless or return $self as this is handled by new.

Installs default accessor and mutator methods for public instance members. Public members are those hash keys that don't start with an underscore.

Accessor and mutator methods can be invoked as:

$obj->getAttribute or $obj->get_attribute or $obj->get_Attribute

All forms of invocation will search for the member named "attribute" in the object and, if found, AUTOLOAD will install a method of the corresponding name in the package that $obj's class belongs to. Note that this imposes the restriction on inheriting classes that if they want automatically defined accessor and mutator methods for their public members, those members' identifiers must start with a lowercase letter. Also note that access to private members will not be given to AUTOLOAD, so for example a method invocation such as $obj->get__attribute will not install and execute an accessor for the private member "_attribute". If a method already exists for one of the three forms shown above then that method is executed. For example, if a user invokes a non-existant $obj->get_foo but $obj->getFoo does exist, then $obj->getFoo is invoked.


There are no public methods except for new and those autovivified. All sorts of bells and whistles could have been added such as logging, error storage, etc. However the goal of Class::Light is to provide simple (and useful) object initialization and method autovivification. If you want to add logging or other features simply create a sublcass of Class::Light and add your features.


Christopher Davaz


Version 0.01003 (Apr 25 2009)


perlobj perltoot


Copyright (c) 2008 Christopher Davaz. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.