How can I dynamically include Perl modules without using eval?

I need to dynamically include a Perl module, but if possible would like to stay away from eval due to work coding standards. This works:

$module = "My::module";
eval("use $module;");

But I need a way to do it without eval if possible. All google searches lead to the eval method, but none in any other way.

Is it possible to do it without eval?

Answers


Use require to load modules at runtime. It often a good idea to wrap this in a block (not string) eval in case the module can't be loaded.

eval {
    require My::Module;
    My::Module->import();
    1;
} or do {
   my $error = $@;
   # Module load failed. You could recover, try loading
   # an alternate module, die with $error...
   # whatever's appropriate
};

The reason for the eval {...} or do {...} syntax and making a copy of $@ is because $@ is a global variable that can be set by many different things. You want to grab the value as atomically as possible to avoid a race condition where something else has set it to a different value.

If you don't know the name of the module until runtime you'll have to do the translation between module name (My::Module) and file name (My/Module.pm) manually:

my $module = 'My::Module';

eval {
    (my $file = $module) =~ s|::|/|g;
    require $file . '.pm';
    $module->import();
    1;
} or do {
    my $error = $@;
    # ...
};

How about using the core module Module::Load

With your example:

use Module::Load;
my $module = "My::module";
load $module;

"Module::Load - runtime require of both modules and files"

"load eliminates the need to know whether you are trying to require either a file or a module."

If it fails it will die with something of the like "Can't locate xxx in @INC (@INC contains: ...".


Well, there's always require as in

require 'My/Module.pm';
My::Module->import();

Note that you lose whatever effects you may have gotten from the import being called at compile time instead of runtime.

Edit: The tradeoffs between this and the eval way are: eval lets you use the normal module syntax and gives you a more explicit error if the module name is invalid (as opposed to merely not found). OTOH, the eval way is (potentially) more subject to arbitrary code injection.


No, it's not possible to without eval, as require() needs the bareword module name, as described at perldoc -f require. However, it's not an evil use of eval, as it doesn't allow injection of arbitrary code (assuming you have control over the contents of the file you are requireing, of course).

EDIT: Code amended below, but I'm leaving the first version up for completeness.

I use I used to use this little sugar module to do dynamic loads at runtime:

package MyApp::Util::RequireClass;

use strict;
use warnings;

use Exporter 'import'; # gives you Exporter's import() method directly
our @EXPORT_OK = qw(requireClass);

# Usage: requireClass(moduleName);
# does not do imports (wrong scope) -- you should do this after calling me: $class->import(@imports);
sub requireClass
{
    my ($class) = @_;
    eval "require $class" or do { die "Ack, can't load $class: $@" };
}

1;

PS. I'm staring at this definition (I wrote it quite a while ago) and I'm pondering adding this: $class->export_to_level(1, undef, @imports);... it should work, but is not tested.

EDIT: version 2 now, much nicer without an eval (thanks ysth): :)

package MyApp::Util::RequireClass;

use strict;
use warnings;

use Exporter 'import'; # gives you Exporter's import() method directly
our @EXPORT_OK = qw(requireClass);

# Usage: requireClass(moduleName);
# does not do imports (wrong scope) -- you should do this after calling me: $class->import(@imports);
sub requireClass
{
    my ($class) = @_;

    (my $file = $class) =~ s|::|/|g;
    $file .= '.pm';
    require $file;  # will die if there was an error
}

1;

Class::MOP on CPAN has a load_class method for this: http://metacpan.org/pod/Class::MOP


i like doing things like..

require Win32::Console::ANSI if ( $^O eq "MSWin32" );


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