Toby Inkster > Ask-0.006 > Ask

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Module Version: 0.006   Source   Latest Release: Ask-0.007

NAME ^

Ask - ask your users about stuff

SYNOPSIS ^

   use 5.010;
   use Ask;
   
   my $ask = Ask->detect;
   
   if ($ask->question(text => "Are you happy?")
   and $ask->question(text => "Do you know it?")
   and $ask->question(text => "Really want to show it?")) {
      $ask->info(text => "Then clap your hands!");
   }

DESCRIPTION ^

The Ask suite is a set of modules for interacting with users; prompting them for information, displaying messages, warnings and errors, etc.

There are already countless CPAN modules for doing this sort of thing, but what sets Ask apart from them is that Ask will detect how your script is being run (in a terminal, headless, etc) and choose an appropriate way to interact with the user.

Class Method

Ask->detect(%arguments)

A constructor, sort of. It inspects the program's environment and returns an object that implements the Ask API (see below).

Note that these objects don't usually inherit from Ask, so the following will typically be false:

   my $ask = Ask->detect(%arguments);
   $ask->isa("Ask");

Instead, check:

   my $ask = Ask->detect(%arguments);
   $ask->DOES("Ask::API");

The Ask API

Objects returned by the detect method implement the Ask API. This section documents that API.

The following methods are provided by objects implementing the Ask API. They are largely modeled on the interface for GNOME Zenity.

info(text => $text, %arguments)

Display a message to the user.

Setting the argument no_wrap to true can be used to hint that line wrapping should be avoided.

warning(text => $text, %arguments)

Display a warning to the user.

Supports the same arguments as info.

error(text => $text, %arguments)

Display an error message (not necessarily fatal) to the user.

Supports the same arguments as info.

entry(%arguments)

Ask the user to enter some text. Returns that text.

The text argument is supported as a way of communicating what you'd like them to enter. The hide_text argument can be set to true to hint that the text entered should not be displayed on screen (e.g. password input).

The default argument can be used to supply a default return value if the user cannot be asked for some reason (e.g. running on an unattended terminal).

question(text => $text, %arguments)

Ask the user to answer an affirmative/negative question (i.e. OK/cancel, yes/no) defaulting to affirmative. Returns boolean.

The text argument is the text of the question; the ok_label argument can be used to set the label for the affirmative button; the cancel_label argument for the negative button.

The default argument can be used to supply a default return value if the user cannot be asked for some reason (e.g. running on an unattended terminal).

file_selection(%arguments)

Ask the user for a file name. Returns the file name. No checks are made to ensure the file exists.

The multiple argument can be used to indicate that multiple files may be selected (they are returned as a list); the directory argument can be used to hint that you want a directory.

The default argument can be used to supply a default return value if the user cannot be asked for some reason (e.g. running on an unattended terminal). If multiple is true, then this must be an arrayref.

single_choice(text => $text, choices => \@choices)

Asks the user to select a single option from many choices.

For example:

   my $answer = $ask->single_choice(
      text    => "If a=1, b=2. What is a+b?",
      choices => [
         [ A => 12 ],
         [ B => 3  ],
         [ C => 2  ],
         [ D => 42 ],
         [ E => "Fish" ],
      ],
   );

The choices are identifier => label pairs. The identifiers are not necessarily displayed to the user making the choice; the labels are. The function returns the identifier for the chosen option.

The default argument can be used to supply a default return value if the user cannot be asked for some reason (e.g. running on an unattended terminal).

multiple_choice(text => $text, choices => \@choices)

Asks the user to select zero or more options from many choices.

   my @ingredients = $ask->multiple_choice(
      text    => "What do you want on your pizza?",
      choices => [
         [ cheese    => 'Cheese' ],
         [ tomato    => 'Tomato' ],
         [ ham       => 'Ham'    ],
         [ pineapple => 'Pineapple' ],
         [ chocolate => 'Chocolate' ],
      ],
   );

Returns list of identifiers.

The default argument can be used to supply a default return value if the user cannot be asked for some reason (e.g. running on an unattended terminal). It must be an arrayref.

If you wish to create your own implementation of the Ask API, please read Ask::API for more information.

Extending Ask

Implementing Ask::API allows you to extend Ask to other environments.

To add extra methods to the Ask API you may use Moo roles:

   {
      package AskX::Method::Password;
      use Moo::Role;
      sub password {
         my ($self, %o) = @_;
         $o{hide_text} //= 1;
         $o{text}      //= "please enter your password";
         $self->entry(%o);
      }
   }
   
   my $ask = Ask->detect(traits => ['AskX::Method::Password']);
   say "GOT: ", $ask->password;

Export

You can optionally export the Ask methods as functions. The functions behave differently from the object-oriented interface in one regard; if called with one parameter, it's taken to be the "text" named argument.

   use Ask qw( question info );
   
   if (question("Are you happy?")
   and question("Do you know it?")
   and question("Really want to show it?")) {
      info("Then clap your hands!");
   }

Ask uses Sub::Exporter::Progressive, so exported functions may be renamed:

   use Ask
      question => { -as => 'interrogate' },
      info     => { -as => 'notify' },
   ;

ENVIRONMENT ^

The PERL_ASK_BACKEND environment variable can be used to influence the outcome of Ask->detect. Indeed, it trumps all other factors. If set, it should be a full class name.

If either of the AUTOMATED_TESTING or PERL_MM_USE_DEFAULT environment variables are set to true, the Ask::Fallback backend will automatically be used.

BUGS ^

Please report any bugs to http://rt.cpan.org/Dist/Display.html?Queue=Ask.

SEE ALSO ^

See Ask::API for documentation of API internals.

Bundled Ask API backends:

Similar modules: IO::Prompt, IO::Prompt::Tiny and many others.

AUTHOR ^

Toby Inkster <tobyink@cpan.org>.

COPYRIGHT AND LICENCE ^

This software is copyright (c) 2012-2013 by Toby Inkster.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES ^

THIS PACKAGE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

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