Importer - Alternative but compatible interface to modules that export


    This module acts as a layer between Exporter and modules which consume
    exports. It is feature-compatible with Exporter, plus some much needed
    extras. You can use this to import symbols from any exporter that
    follows Exporters specification. The exporter modules themselves do not
    need to use or inherit from the Exporter module, they just need to set
    @EXPORT and/or other variables.


        # Import defaults
        use Importer 'Some::Module';
        # Import a list
        use Importer 'Another::Module' => qw/foo bar baz/;
        # Import a specific version:
        use Importer 'That::Module' => '1.00';
        # Require a sepcific version of Importer
        use Importer 0.001, 'Foo::Bar' => qw/a b c/;
        # Remove all subroutines imported by Importer
        no Importer;
        # Import symbols into variables
        my $croak = Importer->get_one(Carp => qw/croak/);
        $croak->("This will croak");
        my $CARP = Importer->get(Carp => qw/croak confess cluck/);
        $CARP->{croak}->("This will croak");
        $CARP->{cluck}->("This will cluck");
        $CARP->{confess}->("This will confess");


    There was recently a discussion on p5p about adding features to
    Exporter. This conversation raised some significant concerns, those are
    listed here, in addition to others.

    The burden is on export consumers to specify a version of Exporter

      Adding a feature to Exporter means that any consumer module that
      relies on the new features must depend on a specific version of
      Exporter. This seems somewhat backwards since Exporter is used by the
      module you are importing from. is really old/crazy code

      Not much more to say here. It is very old, it is very crazy, and if
      you break it you break EVERYTHING.

    Using a modules import() for exporting makes it hard to give it other

      It is not unusual for a module to want to export symbols and provide
      import behaviors. It is also not unusual for a consumer to only want
      1 or the other. Using this module you can import symbols without also
      getting the import() side effects.

      In addition, moving forward, modules can specify exports and have a
      custom import() without conflating the two. A module can tell you to
      use Importer to get the symbols, and to use the module directly for
      behaviors. A module could also use Importer within its own import()
      method without the need to subclass Exporter, or bring in its
      import() method.

    There are other exporter modules on cpan

      This module normally assumes an exporter uses Exporter, so it looks
      for the variables and methods Exporter expects. However, other
      exporters on cpan can override this using the IMPORTER_MENU() hook.


    This module aims for 100% compatibility with every feature of Exporter,
    plus added features such as import renaming.

    If you find something that works differently, or not at all when
    compared to Exporter please report it as a bug, unless it is noted as
    an intentional feature (like import renaming).



    $IMPORTER_VERSION (optional)

      If you provide a numeric argument as the first argument it will be
      treated as a version number. Importer will do a version check to make
      sure it is at least at the requested version.

    $FROM_MODULE (required)

      This is the only required argument. This is the name of the module to
      import symbols from.

    $FROM_MODULE_VERSION (optional)

      Any numeric argument following the $FROM_MODULE will be treated as a
      version check against $FROM_MODULE.

    \&SET_SYMBOL (optional)

      Normally Importer will put the exports into your namespace. This is
      usually done via a more complex form of *name = $ref. If you do NOT
      want this to happen then you can provide a custom sub to handle the

      This is an example that uses this feature to put all the exports into
      a lexical hash instead of modifying the namespace (This is how the
      get() method is implemented).

          my %CARP;
          use Importer Carp => sub {
              my ($name, $ref) = @_;
              $CARP{$name} = $ref;
          $CARP{cluck}->("This will cluck");
          $CARP{croak}->("This will croak");

      The first two arguments to the custom sub are the name (no sigil),
      and the reference. The additional arguments are key/value pairs:

          sub set_symbol {
              my ($name, $ref, %info) = @_;


	Package the symbol comes from.


	Package to which the symbol should be added.


	The sigil that should be used.


	Extra details.


	The original symbol name (with sigil) from the original package.

    @SYMBOLS (optional)

      Symbols you wish to import. If no symbols are specified then the
      defaults will be used. You may also specify tags using the ':'



    You can define/import subsets of symbols using predefined tags.

        use Importer 'Some::Thing' => ':tag';

    Importer will automatically populate the :DEFAULT tag for you. Importer
    will also give you an :ALL tag with ALL exports so long as the exporter
    does not define a :ALL tag already.


    You can import all symbols that match a pattern. The pattern can be
    supplied a string starting and ending with '/', or you can provide a
    qr/../ reference.

        use Importer 'Some::Thing' => '/oo/';
        use Importer 'Some::Thing' => qr/oo/;


    You can exclude symbols by prefixing them with '!'.

        use Importer 'Some::Thing'
            '!foo',         # Exclude one specific symbol
            '!/pattern/',   # Exclude all matching symbols
            '!' => qr/oo/,  # Exclude all that match the following arg
            '!:tag';        # Exclude all in tag


    This is a new feature, Exporter does not support this on its own.

    You can rename symbols at import time using a specification hash
    following the import name:

        use Importer 'Some::Thing' => (
            foo => { -as => 'my_foo' },

    You can also add a prefix and/or postfix:

        use Importer 'Some::Thing' => (
            foo => { -prefix => 'my_' },

    Using this syntax to set prefix and/or postfix also works on tags and
    patterns that are specified for import, in which case the
    prefix/postfix is applied to all symbols from the tag/patterm.


    This lets you provide an alternative to the *name = $ref export
    assignment. See the list of parameters to import()




    See "%EXPORT_ANON".


    See "%EXPORT_GEN".


        no Importer;    # Remove all subs brought in with Importer
        no Importer qw/foo bar/;    # Remove only the specified subs

    Only subs can be unimported.

    You can only unimport subs imported using Importer.



    This is used exactly the way Exporter uses it.

    List of symbols to export. Sigil is optional for subs. Symbols listed
    here are exported by default. If possible you should put symbols in
    @EXPORT_OK instead.

        our @EXPORT = qw/foo bar &baz $BAT/;


    This is used exactly the way Exporter uses it.

    List of symbols that can be imported. Sigil is optional for subs.
    Symbols listed here are not exported by default. This is preferred over

        our @EXPORT_OK = qw/foo bar &baz $BAT/;


    This module supports tags exactly the way Exporter does.

        use Importer 'Some::Thing'  => ':DEFAULT';
        use Importer 'Other::Thing' => ':some_tag';

    Tags can be specified this way:

        our %EXPORT_TAGS = (
            oos => [qw/foo boo zoo/],
            ees => [qw/fee bee zee/],


    This is used exactly the way Exporter uses it.

    Use this to list subs that are not available on all platforms. If
    someone tries to import one of these, Importer will hit your
    $from->export_fail(@items) callback to try to resolve the issue. See
    Exporter for documentation of this feature.

        our @EXPORT_FAIL = qw/maybe_bad/;


    This is new to this module, Exporter does not support it.

    This allows you to export symbols that are not actually in your package
    symbol table. The keys should be the symbol names, the values are the
    references for the symbols.

        our %EXPORT_ANON = (
            '&foo' => sub { 'foo' }
            '$foo' => \$foo,


    This is new to this module, Exporter does not support it.

    This allows you to export symbols that are generated on export. The key
    should be the name of a symbol. The value should be a coderef that
    produces a reference that will be exported.

    When the generators are called they will receive 2 arguments, the
    package the symbol is being exported into, and the symbol being
    imported (name may or may not include sigil for subs).

        our %EXPORT_GEN = (
            '&foo' => sub {
                my $from_package = shift;
                my ($into_package, $symbol_name) = @_;
                return sub { ... };


    This is new to this module. Exporter does not support it.

    This allows you to define custom actions to run AFTER an export has
    been injected into the consumers namespace. This is a good place to
    enable parser hooks like with Devel::Declare. These will NOT be run if
    a consumer uses a custom assignment callback.

        our %EXPORT_MAGIC = (
            foo => sub {
                my $from = shift;    # Should be the package doing the exporting
                my %args = @_;
                my $into      = $args{into};         # Package symbol was exported into
                my $orig_name = $args{orig_name};    # Original name of the export (in the exporter)
                my $new_name  = $args{new_name};     # Name the symbol was imported as
                my $ref       = $args{ref};          # The reference to the symbol
                ...; # whatever you want, return is ignored.



    Importer->import($from, $version)

    Importer->import($from, @imports)

    Importer->import($from, $from_version, @imports)

    Importer->import($importer_version, $from, ...)

      This is the magic behind use Importer ....

    Importer->import_into($from, $into, @imports)

    Importer->import_into($from, $level, @imports)

      You can use this to import symbols from $from into $into. $into may
      either be a package name, or a caller level to get the name from.



      This is the magic behind no Importer ....

    Importer->unimport_from($from, @sub_names)

    Importer->unimport_from($level, @sub_names)

      This lets you remove imported symbols from $from. $from my be a
      package name, or a caller level.

    my $exports = Importer->get($from, @imports)

      This returns hashref of { $name => $ref } for all the specified

      $from should be the package from which to get the exports.

    my @export_refs = Importer->get_list($from, @imports)

      This returns a list of references for each import specified. Only the
      export references are returned, the names are not.

      $from should be the package from which to get the exports.

    $export_ref = Importer->get_one($from, $import)

      This returns a single reference to a single export. If you provide
      multiple imports then only the LAST one will be used.

      $from should be the package from which to get the exports.


    If you want your module to work with Importer, but you use something
    other than Exporter to define your exports, you can make it work be
    defining the IMPORTER_MENU method in your package. As well other
    exporters can be updated to support Importer by putting this sub in
    your package. IMPORTER_MENU() must be defined in your package, not a
    base class!

        sub IMPORTER_MENU {
            my $class = shift;
            my ($into, $caller) = @_;
            return (
                export       => \@EXPORT,          # Default exports
                export_ok    => \@EXPORT_OK,       # Other allowed exports
                export_tags  => \%EXPORT_TAGS,     # Define tags
                export_fail  => \@EXPORT_FAIL,     # For subs that may not always be available
                export_anon  => \%EXPORT_ANON,     # Anonymous symbols to export
                export_magic => \%EXPORT_MAGIC,    # Magic to apply after a symbol is exported
                generate   => \&GENERATE,          # Sub to generate dynamic exports
                                                   # OR
                export_gen => \%EXPORT_GEN,        # Hash of builders, key is symbol
                                                   # name, value is sub that generates
                                                   # the symbol ref.
        sub GENERATE {
            my ($symbol) = @_;
            return $ref;

    All exports must be listed in either @EXPORT or @EXPORT_OK, or be keys
    in %EXPORT_GEN or %EXPORT_ANON to be allowed. 'export_tags',
    'export_fail', 'export_anon', 'export_gen', and 'generate' are
    optional. You cannot combine 'generate' and 'export_gen'.

    Note: If your GENERATE sub needs the $class, $into, or $caller then
    your IMPORTER_MENU() method will need to build an anonymous sub that
    closes over them:

        sub IMPORTER_MENU {
            my $class = shift;
            my ($into, $caller) = @_;
            return (
                generate => sub { $class->GENERATE($into, $caller, @_) },

OO Interface

        use Importer;
        my $imp = Importer->new(from => 'Some::Exporter');
        $imp->do_import('Another::Destination', @symbols);

    Or, maybe more useful:

        my $imp = Importer->new(from => 'Carp');
        my $croak = $imp->get_one('croak');
        $croak->("This will croak");


    $imp = Importer->new(from => 'Some::Exporter')

    $imp = Importer->new(from => 'Some::Exporter', caller => [$package,
    $file, $line])

      This is how you create a new Importer instance. from =>
      'Some::Exporter' is the only required argument. You may also specify
      the caller => [...] arrayref, which will be used only for error
      reporting. If you do not specify a caller then Importer will attempt
      to find the caller dynamically every time it needs it (this is slow
      and expensive, but necessary if you intend to re-use the object.)



    $imp->do_import($into, @symbols)

      This will import from the objects from package into the $into
      package. You can provide a list of @symbols, or you can leave it
      empty for the defaults.



      This will remove imported symbols from the objects from package. If
      you specify a list of @symbols then only the specified symbols will
      be removed, otherwise all symbols imported using Importer will be

      Note: Please be aware of the difference between do_import() and
      do_unimport(). For import 'from' us used as the origin, in unimport
      it is used as the target. This means you cannot re-use an instance to
      import and then unimport.

    ($into, $versions, $exclude, $symbols, $set) =

    ($into, $versions, $exclude, $symbols, $set) =
    $imp->parse_args('Dest::Package', @symbols)

      This parses arguments. The first argument must be the destination
      package. Other arguments can be a mix of symbol names, tags,
      patterns, version numbers, and exclusions.

    $caller_ref = $imp->get_caller()

      This will find the caller. This is mainly used for error reporting.
      IF the object was constructed with a caller then that is what is
      returned, otherwise this will scan the stack looking for the first
      call that does not originate from a package that ISA Importer.


      Warn at the callers level.


      Die at the callers level.

    $from_package = $imp->from()

      Get the from package that was specified at construction.

    $file = $imp->from_file()

      Get the filename for the from package.


      This will load the from package if it has not been loaded already.
      This uses some magic to ensure errors in the load process are
      reported to the caller.

    $menu_hr = $imp->menu($into)

      Get the export menu built from, or provided by the from package. This
      is cached after the first time it is called. Use $imp->reload_menu()
      to refresh it.

      The menu structure looks like this:

          $menu = {
              # every valid export has a key in the lookup hashref, value is always
              # 1, key always includes the sigil
              lookup => {'&symbol_a' => 1, '$symbol_b' => 1, ...},
              # most exports are listed here, symbol name with sigil is key, value is
              # a reference to the symbol. If a symbol is missing it may be generated.
              exports => {'&symbol_a' => \&symbol_a, '$symbol_b' => \$symbol_b, ...},
              # Hashref of tags, tag name (without ':' prefix) is key, value is an
              # arrayref of symbol names, subs may have a sigil, but are not required
              # to.
              tags => { DEFAULT => [...], foo => [...], ... },
              # Magic to apply
              magic => { foo => sub { ... }, ... },
              # This is a hashref just like 'lookup'. Keys are symbols which may not
              # always be available. If there are no symbols in this category then
              # the value of the 'fail' key will be undef instead of a hashref.
              fail => { '&iffy_symbol' => 1, '\&only_on_linux' => 1 },
              # OR fail => undef,
              # If present, this subroutine knows how to generate references for the
              # symbols listed in 'lookup', but missing from 'exports'. References
              # this returns are NEVER cached.
              generate => sub { my $sym_name = shift; ...; return $symbol_ref },


      This will reload the export menu from the from package.

    my $exports = $imp->get(@imports)

      This returns hashref of { $name => $ref } for all the specified

    my @export_refs = $imp->get_list(@imports)

      This returns a list of references for each import specified. Only the
      export references are returned, the names are not.

    $export_ref = $imp->get_one($import)

      This returns a single reference to a single export. If you provide
      multiple imports then only the LAST one will be used.


    These can be imported:

        use Importer 'Importer' => qw/import optimal_import/;

    $bool = optimal_import($from, $into, \@caller, @imports)

      This function will attempt to import @imports from the $from package
      into the $into package. @caller needs to have a package name,
      filename, and line number. If this function fails then no exporting
      will actually happen.

      If the import is successful this will return true.

      If the import is unsuccessful this will return false, and no
      modifications to the symbol table will occur.


      If you write class intended to be used with Importer, but also need
      to provide a legacy import() method for direct consumers of your
      class, you can import this import() method.

          package My::Exporter;
          # This will give you 'import()' much like 'use base "Exporter";'
          use Importer 'Importer' => qw/import/;


    The source code repository for Importer can be found at


    Chad Granum <>


    Chad Granum <>


    Copyright 2015 Chad Granum <>.

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the same terms as Perl itself.