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Thomas Klausner > Class-Data-TIN > Class::Data::TIN



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Module Version: 0.02   Source  


Class::Data::TIN - Translucent Inheritable Nonpolluting Class Data


  use Class::Data::TIN qw(get_classdata set_classdata append_classdata);
  # or
  # use Class::Data::TIN qw(get set append);
  # but I prefer the first option, because of a less likly
  # namespace clashing

  # generate class data in your PACAKGE
  package My::Stuff;
  use Class::Data::TIN;

  our @ISA=(qw (Our::Stuff));

  my $tin=Class::Data::TIN->new(__PACKAGE__,
                       string=>"a string",
                       string2=>"another string",
                       code=>sub{return "bla"}

   print $tin->get_classdata('string');
   # or
   # print My::Stuff->get_classdata('string');
   # prints "a string"

   print $tin->get_classdata('newstring');
   # prints nothing, as newstring is not defined

   $tin->set_classdata('newstring','now I am here');
   print $self->get_classdata('newstring');
   # prints "now I am here"

   $tin->append_classdata('newstring',', or am I?');
   print $tin->get_classdata('newstring');
   # prints "now I am here, or am I?"


Class::Data::TIN implements Translucent Inheritable Nonpolluting Class Data.

The thing I don't like with Class::Data::Inheritable or the implementations suggested in perltootc is that you end up with lots of accessor routines in your namespace.

Class::Data::TIN works around this "problem" by storing the Class Data in its own namespace (mirroring the namespace and @ISA hierarchies of the modules using it) and supplying the using packages with (at this time) three meta-accessors called get_classdata (or just get), set_classdata (set) and append_classdata (append). It achieves this with some black magic (namespace munging & evaling).

new ($package,$datastruct)

new takes the package name of the package needing ClassData, and a data structrure passed as a hashref, a hash or a path to a file returning a hashref if called with do. It then installs a new package by appending "Class::Data::TIN::" to $package, copying $packages @ISA to the new package and saving $data in the var $_tin

Then for every key in $data accessor methods are generated in the new namespace.

new() returns the name of the original package as a string (not as a blessed reference!), so that the calling package may use the return value to modifiy the Class Data. This is done because I have to discern between object invocation and class invocation of the Class Data manipulating methods. Ideally, if an object modifies the Class Data, this changes are only visible to this object. NOTE: But this is not implemented yet. You can only modify Class Data when calling directly with ClassName->set, or with the return value of new() (which is, for example, nothing but the string "ClassName").


  package My::Stuff;
  use Class::Data::TIN;
  our @ISA=('Other::Stuff');
  my $tin=Class::Data::TIN->new(__PACKAGE__,
                       string=>"a string",

In new(), the following code is eval'ed:

  package Class::Data::TIN::My::Stuff;
  our @ISA=(qw (Class::Data::TIN::Other::Stuff));
  our $_tin;

and accesors are generated, that look sort of like this:

  sub string {
      my $self=shift;
      $_tin->{'string'} = shift if @_;
      return $_tin->{'string'};

The point is that string and all other accessors are generate in a Namespace in Class::Data::TIN::My::Stuff, and not in My::Stuff, thus keeping My::Stuff neat and tidy.

look at the test script ( for a more complex example.

get_classdata ($key)

returns the value of the given key.

set_classdata ($key,$val)

set the key to the given value.

Translucency is implemented here by making a new accessor in the pseudo-class. (copy on write)

append_classdata ($key,$value [,$value2,..])

appends some values to a key. sets a new key if the key wasn't there. Does copy on write. You can also use append to override the value of a HASH in a parent class (simply append the value you'd like to override to the HASH)


internal method, don't call it!

_make_accessor checks if there allready exists an accessor for the given key. If not, it dumps one into the appropriate symbol table.


A Lot:


None by default.

get get_classdata set set_classdata append append_classdata, if you ask for it


perltootc, Class::Data::Inheritable


Thomas Klausner,,


Class::Data::TIN is Copyright (c) 2002 Thomas Klausner, ZSI. All rights reserved.

You may use and distribute this module according to the same terms that Perl is distributed under

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