SelfLoader - load functions only on demand

        package FOOBAR;
        use SelfLoader;

        ... (initializing code)

        sub {....

    This module tells its users that functions in the FOOBAR package are to
    be autoloaded from after the "__DATA__" token. See also "Autoloading" in

  The __DATA__ token
    The "__DATA__" token tells the perl compiler that the perl code for
    compilation is finished. Everything after the "__DATA__" token is
    available for reading via the filehandle FOOBAR::DATA, where FOOBAR is
    the name of the current package when the "__DATA__" token is reached.
    This works just the same as "__END__" does in package 'main', but for
    other modules data after "__END__" is not automatically retrievable,
    whereas data after "__DATA__" is. The "__DATA__" token is not recognized
    in versions of perl prior to 5.001m.

    Note that it is possible to have "__DATA__" tokens in the same package
    in multiple files, and that the last "__DATA__" token in a given package
    that is encountered by the compiler is the one accessible by the
    filehandle. This also applies to "__END__" and main, i.e. if the 'main'
    program has an "__END__", but a module 'require'd (_not_ 'use'd) by that
    program has a 'package main;' declaration followed by an '"__DATA__"',
    then the "DATA" filehandle is set to access the data after the
    "__DATA__" in the module, _not_ the data after the "__END__" token in
    the 'main' program, since the compiler encounters the 'require'd file

  SelfLoader autoloading
    The SelfLoader works by the user placing the "__DATA__" token *after*
    perl code which needs to be compiled and run at 'require' time, but
    *before* subroutine declarations that can be loaded in later - usually
    because they may never be called.

    The SelfLoader will read from the FOOBAR::DATA filehandle to load in the
    data after "__DATA__", and load in any subroutine when it is called. The
    costs are the one-time parsing of the data after "__DATA__", and a load
    delay for the _first_ call of any autoloaded function. The benefits
    (hopefully) are a speeded up compilation phase, with no need to load
    functions which are never used.

    The SelfLoader will stop reading from "__DATA__" if it encounters the
    "__END__" token - just as you would expect. If the "__END__" token is
    present, and is followed by the token DATA, then the SelfLoader leaves
    the FOOBAR::DATA filehandle open on the line after that token.

    The SelfLoader exports the "AUTOLOAD" subroutine to the package using
    the SelfLoader, and this loads the called subroutine when it is first

    There is no advantage to putting subroutines which will _always_ be
    called after the "__DATA__" token.

  Autoloading and package lexicals
    A 'my $pack_lexical' statement makes the variable $pack_lexical local
    _only_ to the file up to the "__DATA__" token. Subroutines declared
    elsewhere _cannot_ see these types of variables, just as if you declared
    subroutines in the package but in another file, they cannot see these

    So specifically, autoloaded functions cannot see package lexicals (this
    applies to both the SelfLoader and the Autoloader). The "vars" pragma
    provides an alternative to defining package-level globals that will be
    visible to autoloaded routines. See the documentation on vars in the
    pragma section of perlmod.

  SelfLoader and AutoLoader
    The SelfLoader can replace the AutoLoader - just change 'use AutoLoader'
    to 'use SelfLoader' (though note that the SelfLoader exports the
    AUTOLOAD function - but if you have your own AUTOLOAD and are using the
    AutoLoader too, you probably know what you're doing), and the "__END__"
    token to "__DATA__". You will need perl version 5.001m or later to use
    this (version 5.001 with all patches up to patch m).

    There is no need to inherit from the SelfLoader.

    The SelfLoader works similarly to the AutoLoader, but picks up the subs
    from after the "__DATA__" instead of in the 'lib/auto' directory. There
    is a maintenance gain in not needing to run AutoSplit on the module at
    installation, and a runtime gain in not needing to keep opening and
    closing files to load subs. There is a runtime loss in needing to parse
    the code after the "__DATA__". Details of the AutoLoader and another
    view of these distinctions can be found in that module's documentation.

  __DATA__, __END__, and the FOOBAR::DATA filehandle.
    This section is only relevant if you want to use the "FOOBAR::DATA"
    together with the SelfLoader.

    Data after the "__DATA__" token in a module is read using the
    FOOBAR::DATA filehandle. "__END__" can still be used to denote the end
    of the "__DATA__" section if followed by the token DATA - this is
    supported by the SelfLoader. The "FOOBAR::DATA" filehandle is left open
    if an "__END__" followed by a DATA is found, with the filehandle
    positioned at the start of the line after the "__END__" token. If no
    "__END__" token is present, or an "__END__" token with no DATA token on
    the same line, then the filehandle is closed.

    The SelfLoader reads from wherever the current position of the
    "FOOBAR::DATA" filehandle is, until the EOF or "__END__". This means
    that if you want to use that filehandle (and ONLY if you want to), you
    should either

    1. Put all your subroutine declarations immediately after the "__DATA__"
    token and put your own data after those declarations, using the
    "__END__" token to mark the end of subroutine declarations. You must
    also ensure that the SelfLoader reads first by calling
    'SelfLoader->load_stubs();', or by using a function which is selfloaded;


    2. You should read the "FOOBAR::DATA" filehandle first, leaving the
    handle open and positioned at the first line of subroutine declarations.

    You could conceivably do both.

  Classes and inherited methods.
    For modules which are not classes, this section is not relevant. This
    section is only relevant if you have methods which could be inherited.

    A subroutine stub (or forward declaration) looks like

      sub stub;

    i.e. it is a subroutine declaration without the body of the subroutine.
    For modules which are not classes, there is no real need for stubs as
    far as autoloading is concerned.

    For modules which ARE classes, and need to handle inherited methods,
    stubs are needed to ensure that the method inheritance mechanism works
    properly. You can load the stubs into the module at 'require' time, by
    adding the statement 'SelfLoader->load_stubs();' to the module to do

    The alternative is to put the stubs in before the "__DATA__" token
    BEFORE releasing the module, and for this purpose the
    "Devel::SelfStubber" module is available. However this does require the
    extra step of ensuring that the stubs are in the module. If this is done
    I strongly recommend that this is done BEFORE releasing the module - it
    should NOT be done at install time in general.

Multiple packages and fully qualified subroutine names
    Subroutines in multiple packages within the same file are supported -
    but you should note that this requires exporting the
    "SelfLoader::AUTOLOAD" to every package which requires it. This is done
    automatically by the SelfLoader when it first loads the subs into the
    cache, but you should really specify it in the initialization before the
    "__DATA__" by putting a 'use SelfLoader' statement in each package.

    Fully qualified subroutine names are also supported. For example,

       sub foo::bar {23}
       package baz;
       sub dob {32}

    will all be loaded correctly by the SelfLoader, and the SelfLoader will
    ensure that the packages 'foo' and 'baz' correctly have the SelfLoader
    "AUTOLOAD" method when the data after "__DATA__" is first parsed.

    "SelfLoader" is maintained by the perl5-porters. Please direct any
    questions to the canonical mailing list. Anything that is applicable to
    the CPAN release can be sent to its maintainer, though.

    Author and Maintainer: The Perl5-Porters <>

    Maintainer of the CPAN release: Steffen Mueller <>

    This package has been part of the perl core since the first release of
    perl5. It has been released separately to CPAN so older installations
    can benefit from bug fixes.

    This package has the same copyright and license as the perl core:

    Copyright (C) 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
    2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by Larry Wall and others

    All rights reserved.

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the terms of either:

    a)  the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
        Foundation; either version 1, or (at your option) any later version,

    b)  the "Artistic License" which comes with this Kit.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
    WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    General Public License or the Artistic License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the Artistic License with this Kit,
    in the file named "Artistic". If not, I'll be glad to provide one.

    You should also have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program in the file named "Copying". If not, write to
    the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston,
    MA 02110-1301, USA or visit their web page on the internet at

    For those of you that choose to use the GNU General Public License, my
    interpretation of the GNU General Public License is that no Perl script
    falls under the terms of the GPL unless you explicitly put said script
    under the terms of the GPL yourself. Furthermore, any object code linked
    with perl does not automatically fall under the terms of the GPL,
    provided such object code only adds definitions of subroutines and
    variables, and does not otherwise impair the resulting interpreter from
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    in this manner to be the moral equivalent of defining subroutines in the
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    provided that you provide or offer to provide the Perl source, as
    specified by the GNU General Public License. (This is merely an
    alternate way of specifying input to the program.) You may also sell a
    binary produced by the dumping of a running Perl script that belongs to
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    specified by the GPL. (The fact that a Perl interpreter and your code
    are in the same binary file is, in this case, a form of mere
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    concerns or difficulties understanding my intent, feel free to contact
    me. Of course, the Artistic License spells all this out for your
    protection, so you may prefer to use that.