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Class::Struct(3pm)     Perl Programmers Reference Guide     Class::Struct(3pm)




NAME

       Class::Struct - declare struct-like datatypes as Perl classes


SYNOPSIS

           use Class::Struct;
                   # declare struct, based on array:
           struct( CLASS_NAME => [ ELEMENT_NAME => ELEMENT_TYPE, ... ]);
                   # declare struct, based on hash:
           struct( CLASS_NAME => { ELEMENT_NAME => ELEMENT_TYPE, ... });

           package CLASS_NAME;
           use Class::Struct;
                   # declare struct, based on array, implicit class name:
           struct( ELEMENT_NAME => ELEMENT_TYPE, ... );

           # Declare struct at compile time
           use Class::Struct CLASS_NAME => [ELEMENT_NAME => ELEMENT_TYPE, ...];
           use Class::Struct CLASS_NAME => {ELEMENT_NAME => ELEMENT_TYPE, ...};

           # declare struct at compile time, based on array, implicit
           # class name:
           package CLASS_NAME;
           use Class::Struct ELEMENT_NAME => ELEMENT_TYPE, ... ;

           package Myobj;
           use Class::Struct;
                   # declare struct with four types of elements:
           struct( s => '$', a => '@', h => '%', c => 'My_Other_Class' );

           $obj = new Myobj;               # constructor

                                           # scalar type accessor:
           $element_value = $obj->s;           # element value
           $obj->s('new value');               # assign to element

                                           # array type accessor:
           $ary_ref = $obj->a;                 # reference to whole array
           $ary_element_value = $obj->a(2);    # array element value
           $obj->a(2, 'new value');            # assign to array element

                                           # hash type accessor:
           $hash_ref = $obj->h;                # reference to whole hash
           $hash_element_value = $obj->h('x'); # hash element value
           $obj->h('x', 'new value');          # assign to hash element

                                           # class type accessor:
           $element_value = $obj->c;           # object reference
           $obj->c->method(...);               # call method of object
           $obj->c(new My_Other_Class);        # assign a new object


DESCRIPTION

       "Class::Struct" exports a single function, "struct".  Given a list of
       element names and types, and optionally a class name, "struct" creates
       a Perl 5 class that implements a "struct-like" data structure.

       The new class is given a constructor method, "new", for creating struct
       objects.

       Each element in the struct data has an accessor method, which is used
       to assign to the element and to fetch its value.  The default accessor
       can be overridden by declaring a "sub" of the same name in the package.
       (See Example 2.)

       Each element's type can be scalar, array, hash, or class.

   The "struct()" function
       The "struct" function has three forms of parameter-list.

           struct( CLASS_NAME => [ ELEMENT_LIST ]);
           struct( CLASS_NAME => { ELEMENT_LIST });
           struct( ELEMENT_LIST );

       The first and second forms explicitly identify the name of the class
       being created.  The third form assumes the current package name as the
       class name.

       An object of a class created by the first and third forms is based on
       an array, whereas an object of a class created by the second form is
       based on a hash. The array-based forms will be somewhat faster and
       smaller; the hash-based forms are more flexible.

       The class created by "struct" must not be a subclass of another class
       other than "UNIVERSAL".

       It can, however, be used as a superclass for other classes. To
       facilitate this, the generated constructor method uses a two-argument
       blessing.  Furthermore, if the class is hash-based, the key of each
       element is prefixed with the class name (see Perl Cookbook, Recipe
       13.12).

       A function named "new" must not be explicitly defined in a class
       created by "struct".

       The ELEMENT_LIST has the form

           NAME => TYPE, ...

       Each name-type pair declares one element of the struct. Each element
       name will be defined as an accessor method unless a method by that name
       is explicitly defined; in the latter case, a warning is issued if the
       warning flag (-w) is set.

   Class Creation at Compile Time
       "Class::Struct" can create your class at compile time.  The main reason
       for doing this is obvious, so your class acts like every other class in
       Perl.  Creating your class at compile time will make the order of
       events similar to using any other class ( or Perl module ).

       There is no significant speed gain between compile time and run time
       class creation, there is just a new, more standard order of events.

   Element Types and Accessor Methods
       The four element types -- scalar, array, hash, and class -- are
       represented by strings -- '$', '@', '%', and a class name -- optionally
       preceded by a '*'.

       The accessor method provided by "struct" for an element depends on the
       declared type of the element.

       Scalar ('$' or '*$')
           The element is a scalar, and by default is initialized to "undef"
           (but see "Initializing with new").

           The accessor's argument, if any, is assigned to the element.

           If the element type is '$', the value of the element (after
           assignment) is returned. If the element type is '*$', a reference
           to the element is returned.

       Array ('@' or '*@')
           The element is an array, initialized by default to "()".

           With no argument, the accessor returns a reference to the element's
           whole array (whether or not the element was specified as '@' or
           '*@').

           With one or two arguments, the first argument is an index
           specifying one element of the array; the second argument, if
           present, is assigned to the array element.  If the element type is
           '@', the accessor returns the array element value.  If the element
           type is '*@', a reference to the array element is returned.

           As a special case, when the accessor is called with an array
           reference as the sole argument, this causes an assignment of the
           whole array element.  The object reference is returned.

       Hash ('%' or '*%')
           The element is a hash, initialized by default to "()".

           With no argument, the accessor returns a reference to the element's
           whole hash (whether or not the element was specified as '%' or
           '*%').

           With one or two arguments, the first argument is a key specifying
           one element of the hash; the second argument, if present, is
           assigned to the hash element.  If the element type is '%', the
           accessor returns the hash element value.  If the element type is
           '*%', a reference to the hash element is returned.

           As a special case, when the accessor is called with a hash
           reference as the sole argument, this causes an assignment of the
           whole hash element.  The object reference is returned.

       Class ('Class_Name' or '*Class_Name')
           The element's value must be a reference blessed to the named class
           or to one of its subclasses. The element is not initialized by
           default.

           The accessor's argument, if any, is assigned to the element. The
           accessor will "croak" if this is not an appropriate object
           reference.

           If the element type does not start with a '*', the accessor returns
           the element value (after assignment). If the element type starts
           with a '*', a reference to the element itself is returned.

   Initializing with "new"
       "struct" always creates a constructor called "new". That constructor
       may take a list of initializers for the various elements of the new
       struct.

       Each initializer is a pair of values: element name" => "value.  The
       initializer value for a scalar element is just a scalar value. The
       initializer for an array element is an array reference. The initializer
       for a hash is a hash reference.

       The initializer for a class element is an object of the corresponding
       class, or of one of it's subclasses, or a reference to a hash
       containing named arguments to be passed to the element's constructor.

       See Example 3 below for an example of initialization.


EXAMPLES

       Example 1
           Giving a struct element a class type that is also a struct is how
           structs are nested.  Here, "Timeval" represents a time (seconds and
           microseconds), and "Rusage" has two elements, each of which is of
           type "Timeval".

               use Class::Struct;

               struct( Rusage => {
                   ru_utime => 'Timeval',  # user time used
                   ru_stime => 'Timeval',  # system time used
               });

               struct( Timeval => [
                   tv_secs  => '$',        # seconds
                   tv_usecs => '$',        # microseconds
               ]);

               # create an object:
               my $t = Rusage->new(ru_utime=>Timeval->new(),
                   ru_stime=>Timeval->new());

               # $t->ru_utime and $t->ru_stime are objects of type Timeval.
               # set $t->ru_utime to 100.0 sec and $t->ru_stime to 5.0 sec.
               $t->ru_utime->tv_secs(100);
               $t->ru_utime->tv_usecs(0);
               $t->ru_stime->tv_secs(5);
               $t->ru_stime->tv_usecs(0);

       Example 2
           An accessor function can be redefined in order to provide
           additional checking of values, etc.  Here, we want the "count"
           element always to be nonnegative, so we redefine the "count"
           accessor accordingly.

               package MyObj;
               use Class::Struct;

               # declare the struct
               struct ( 'MyObj', { count => '$', stuff => '%' } );

               # override the default accessor method for 'count'
               sub count {
                   my $self = shift;
                   if ( @_ ) {
                       die 'count must be nonnegative' if $_[0] < 0;
                       $self->{'MyObj::count'} = shift;
                       warn "Too many args to count" if @_;
                   }
                   return $self->{'MyObj::count'};
               }

               package main;
               $x = new MyObj;
               print "\$x->count(5) = ", $x->count(5), "\n";
                                       # prints '$x->count(5) = 5'

               print "\$x->count = ", $x->count, "\n";
                                       # prints '$x->count = 5'

               print "\$x->count(-5) = ", $x->count(-5), "\n";
                                       # dies due to negative argument!

       Example 3
           The constructor of a generated class can be passed a list of
           element=>value pairs, with which to initialize the struct.  If no
           initializer is specified for a particular element, its default
           initialization is performed instead. Initializers for non-existent
           elements are silently ignored.

           Note that the initializer for a nested class may be specified as an
           object of that class, or as a reference to a hash of initializers
           that are passed on to the nested struct's constructor.

               use Class::Struct;

               struct Breed =>
               {
                   name  => '$',
                   cross => '$',
               };

               struct Cat =>
               [
                   name     => '$',
                   kittens  => '@',
                   markings => '%',
                   breed    => 'Breed',
               ];


               my $cat = Cat->new( name => 'Socks',
                          kittens  => ['Monica', 'Kenneth'],
                          markings => { socks=>1, blaze=>"white" },
                          breed    => Breed->new(name=>'short-hair', cross=>1),
                     or:  breed    => {name=>'short-hair', cross=>1},
                                 );

               print "Once a cat called ", $cat->name, "\n";
               print "(which was a ", $cat->breed->name, ")\n";
               print "had 2 kittens: ", join(' and ', @{$cat->kittens}), "\n";


Author and Modification History

       Modified by Damian Conway, 2001-09-10, v0.62.

          Modified implicit construction of nested objects.
          Now will also take an object ref instead of requiring a hash ref.
          Also default initializes nested object attributes to undef, rather
          than calling object constructor without args
          Original over-helpfulness was fraught with problems:
              * the class's constructor might not be called 'new'
              * the class might not have a hash-like-arguments constructor
              * the class might not have a no-argument constructor
              * "recursive" data structures didn't work well:
                        package Person;
                        struct { mother => 'Person', father => 'Person'};

       Modified by Casey West, 2000-11-08, v0.59.

           Added the ability for compile time class creation.

       Modified by Damian Conway, 1999-03-05, v0.58.

           Added handling of hash-like arg list to class ctor.

           Changed to two-argument blessing in ctor to support
           derivation from created classes.

           Added classname prefixes to keys in hash-based classes
           (refer to "Perl Cookbook", Recipe 13.12 for rationale).

           Corrected behaviour of accessors for '*@' and '*%' struct
           elements.  Package now implements documented behaviour when
           returning a reference to an entire hash or array element.
           Previously these were returned as a reference to a reference
           to the element.

       Renamed to "Class::Struct" and modified by Jim Miner, 1997-04-02.

           members() function removed.
           Documentation corrected and extended.
           Use of struct() in a subclass prohibited.
           User definition of accessor allowed.
           Treatment of '*' in element types corrected.
           Treatment of classes as element types corrected.
           Class name to struct() made optional.
           Diagnostic checks added.

       Originally "Class::Template" by Dean Roehrich.

           # Template.pm   --- struct/member template builder
           #   12mar95
           #   Dean Roehrich
           #
           # changes/bugs fixed since 28nov94 version:
           #  - podified
           # changes/bugs fixed since 21nov94 version:
           #  - Fixed examples.
           # changes/bugs fixed since 02sep94 version:
           #  - Moved to Class::Template.
           # changes/bugs fixed since 20feb94 version:
           #  - Updated to be a more proper module.
           #  - Added "use strict".
           #  - Bug in build_methods, was using @var when @$var needed.
           #  - Now using my() rather than local().
           #
           # Uses perl5 classes to create nested data types.
           # This is offered as one implementation of Tom Christiansen's
           # "structs.pl" idea.



perl v5.24.0                      2016-02-05                Class::Struct(3pm)

perl 5.24 - Generated Thu Nov 3 16:44:48 CDT 2016
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