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Mark Fowler > Devel-CompiledCalls > Devel::CompiledCalls



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Module Version: 2.00   Source  


Devel::CompiledCalls - show where calls to a named subroutine are compiled


  # from the shell
  shell$ perl -c -MDevel::CompiledCalls=Data::Dumper::Dumper
  Data::Dumper::Dumper call at line 4.
  Data::Dumper::Dumper call at line 5. syntax OK

  # from within a Perl script
  use Devel::CompiledCalls qw(Data::Dumper::Dumper);

  # from a perl script with custom callback
  use Devel::CompiledCalls;
    Devel::CompiledCalls::attach_callback("Data::Dumper::Dumper", sub {
      my ($subname, $filename, $line) = @_;
      say "$subname at $line of $filename";


This module allows you to put hooks into Perl so that whenever a call to a named subroutine has been compiled a callback is fired. The easiest syntax (import Devel::CompiledCalls and pass the name of the subroutine) simply logs the line and filename of the call to STDERR.

Note that since we are hooking the process of compiling not the execution of the subroutines (technically, we're hooking the process of subroutine parameter checking, but the effects are the same) this module will find calls that aren't normally captured by modules like Hook::LexWrap because they're not normally executed during the program's execution (e.g. a call in exception handling code that only occurs once every four years.)

Use with import

The simpliest way to to hook is to pass the name of the function in the import list:

    use Devel::CompiledCalls qw(foo);

Or from the command line:

    perl -MDevel::CompiledCalls=foo -e '...'

In both these cases the standard callback - which simply prints to STDERR - will be installed.

Custom callbacks

Custom callbacks can be installed with the attach_callback subroutine. This routine is not exported and must be called with a fully qualified function call.

attach_callback( $subroutine_ref, $callback )
attach_callback( $subroutine_name, $callback )

The callback will be called whenever a call to the subroutine is compiled. The subroutine can either be passed by reference, by fully qualified name (including the package,) or by just the subroutine name (in which case it will be assumed to be in the same package as attach_callback is called from.)

The callback will be executed with three parameters: The name of the subroutine, the filename of the source file, and the the line of the sourcefile that contains the subroutine.


This module can't find calls that aren't compiled until the point they are actually compiled. For example this code:

   use Devel::CompiledCalls qw(foo);
   sub foo  { ... }
   sub fred { eval "foo('bar')" }

Won't print out until fred is executed, since the call foo is not compiled until that point. A similar problem happens with modules that are loaded at runtime on demand; Until the module is loaded the code is not compiled and nothing is printed until such compilation happens.

Also, this module can't find calls that are constructed in any way other than standard function calling. For example accessing the symbolic name of the function directly. This won't print anything:

   use Devel::CompiledCalls qw(foo);
   sub foo  { ... }
   my $uboat = \&{"foo"};

As no subroutine call is actually compiled. Similarly this won't print anything either:

   use Devel::CompiledCalls qw(foo);
   sub foo  { ... }

Because the use of the & sigil disables prototype checking which is what we're hooking to record the call.

Using this module has the effect of making the subroutine we are hooking "exist". i.e.

   use Devel::CompiledCalls qw(foo);
   say "YES" if exists &foo;

Prints YES out even before we define the subroutine foo anywhere.

Bugs (and requests for new features) can be reported though the CPAN RT system:

Alternatively, you can simply fork this project on github and send me pull requests. Please see


Written by Mark Fowler

Copyright Mark Fowler 2012.

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


Hook::LexWrap allows you to hook subroutines whenever they are called.

B::Compiling and B::CallChecker were used in the construction of this module, but I don't expose any user-accessible parts.

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