relative - Load modules with relative names


Version 0.04


    package BigApp::Report;

    use relative qw(Create Publish);
    # loads BigApp::Report::Create, BigApp::Report::Publish

    use relative qw(..::Utils);
    # loads BigApp::Utils

    use relative -to => "Enterprise::Framework" => qw(Base Factory);
    # loads Enterprise::Framework::Base, Enterprise::Framework::Factory


This module allows you to load modules using only parts of their name, relatively to the current module or to a given module. Module names are by default searched below the current module, but can be searched upper in the hierarchy using the ..:: syntax.

In order to further loosen the namespace coupling, import returns the full names of the loaded modules, making object-oriented code easier to write:

    use relative;

    my ($Maker, $Publisher) = import relative qw(Create Publish);
    my $report    = $Maker->new;
    my $publisher = $Publisher->new;

    my ($Base, $Factory) = import relative -to => "Enterprise::Framework"
                                => qw(Base Factory);
    my $thing = $Factory->new;

This can also be written using aliases:

    use relative -aliased => qw(Create Publish);
    my $report    = Create->new;
    my $publisher = Publisher->new;

    use relative -to => "Enterprise::Framework", -aliased => qw(Base Factory);
    my $thing = Factory->new;


Import options can be given as an hashref or an arrayref as the first argument:

    # options as a hashref
    import relative { param => value, ... },  qw(Name ...);

    # options as an arrayref
    import relative [ param => value, ... ],  qw(Name ...);

In order to simplyfing syntax, options can also be given as dash-prefixed params:

    import relative -param => value, qw(name ...);

Available options:

  • to can be used to indicate another hierarchy to search modules inside.


        # in a hashref:
        import relative { to => "Some::Other::Namespace" }, qw(Other Modules);
        # as dash-param:
        import relative -to => "Some::Other::Namespace", qw(Other Modules);
  • aliased will create constants, named with the last component of each loaded module, returning its corresponding full name. Yes, this feature is very similar to what aliased does as it was added per Ovid request :-)


        # in a hashref:
        import relative { aliased => 1 }, qw(Whack Zlonk);
        my $frob = Whack->fizzle;
        # as dash-param:
        import relative -aliased, qw(Whack Zlonk);
        my $frob = Whack->fizzle;

import will die as soon as a module can't be loaded.

import returns the full names of the loaded modules when called in list context, or the last one when called in scalar context.


Sébastien Aperghis-Tramoni, <sebastien at>


Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-relative at, or through the web interface at I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc relative

You can also look for information at:


Thanks to Aristotle Pagaltzis, Andy Armstrong, Ken Williams and Curtis Poe for their suggestions and ideas.


Copyright 2007 Sébastien Aperghis-Tramoni, all rights reserved.

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