Top Close Open

Badger::Utils - various utility functions


Top Close Open
use Badger::Utils 'blessed params';

sub example {
    my $self   = shift;
    my $params = params(@_);

    if (blessed $self) {
        print "self is blessed\n";


Top Close Open

This module implements a number of utility functions. It also provides access to all of the utility functions in Scalar::Util, List::Util, List::MoreUtils, Hash::Util and Digest::MD5 as a convenience.

use Badger::Utils 'blessed reftype first max any all lock_hash md5_hex';

The single line of code shown here will import blessed and reftype from Scalar::Util, first and max from List::Util, any and all from List::Util, lock_hash from Hash::Util, and md5_hex from Digest::MD5.

These modules are loaded on demand so there's no overhead incurred if you don't use them (other than a lookup table so we know where to find them).


Top Close Open

Badger::Utils can automatically load and export functions defined in the Scalar::Util, List::Util, List::MoreUtils, Hash::Util and Digest::MD5 Perl modules.

It also does the same for functions and constants defined in the Badger modules Badger::Timestamp (TS, Timestamp() and Now()) and Badger::Logic (LOGIC and Logic()).

For example:

use Badger::Utils 'Now';
print Now->year;            # prints the current year

The following exportable functions are also defined in Badger::Utils


Top Close Open

Exports a UTILS constant which contains the name of the Badger::Utils class.


Top Close Open

Returns true if the $object is a blessed reference which isa $class.

use Badger::Filesystem 'FS';
use Badger::Utils 'is_object';

if (is_object( FS => $object )) {       # FS == Badger::Filesystem
    print $object, ' isa ', FS, "\n";


Top Close Open

Returns true if $item is a non-reference scalar or an object that has an overloaded stringification operator.

use Badger::Filesystem 'File';
use Badger::Utils 'textlike';

# Badger::Filesystem::File objects have overloaded string operator
my $file = File('example.txt'); 
print $file;                                # example.txt
print textlike $file ? 'ok' : 'not ok';     # ok


Top Close Open

This is an alias to the looks_like_number() function defined in Scalar::Util.


Top Close Open

Method to coerce a list of named parameters to a hash array reference. If the first argument is a reference to a hash array then it is returned. Otherwise the arguments are folded into a hash reference.

use Badger::Utils 'params';

params({ a => 10 });            # { a => 10 }
params( a => 10 );              # { a => 10 }

Pro Tip: If you're getting warnings about an "Odd number of elements in anonymous hash" then try enabling debugging in Badger::Utils. To do this, add the following to the start of your program before you've loaded Badger::Utils:

use Badger::Debug
    modules => 'Badger::Utils'

When debugging is enabled in Badger::Utils you'll get a full stack backtrace showing you where the subroutine was called from. e.g.

Badger::Utils::self_params() called with an odd number of arguments: <undef>
#1: Called from Foo::bar in /path/to/Foo/ at line 210
#2: Called from Wam::bam in /path/to/Wam/ at line 420
#3: Called from main in /path/to/your/ at line 217


Top Close Open

Similar to params() but also expects a $self reference at the start of the argument list.

use Badger::Utils 'self_params';

sub example {
    my ($self, $params) = self_params(@_);
    # do something...

If you enable debugging in Badger::Utils then you'll get a stack backtrace in the event of an odd number of parameters being passed to this function. See params() for further details.


Top Close Open

This is an internal function used by params() and self_params() to report any attempt to pass an odd number of arguments to either of them. It can be enabled by setting $Badger::Utils::DEBUG to a true value.

use Badger::Utils 'params';
$Badger::Utils::DEBUG = 1;

my $hash = params( foo => 10, 20 );    # oops!

The above code will raise a warning showing the arguments passed and a stack backtrace, allowing you to easily track down and fix the offending code. Apart from obvious typos like the above, this is most likely to happen if you call a function or methods that returns an empty list. e.g.

    foo => 10,
    bar => get_the_bar_value(),

If get_the_bar_value() returns an empty list then you'll end up with an odd number of elements being passed to params(). You can correct this by providing undef as an alternative value. e.g.

    foo => 10,
    bar => get_the_bar_value() || undef,


Top Close Open

The function makes a very naive attempt at pluralising the singular noun word passed as an argument.

If the $noun word ends in ss, sh, ch or x then es will be added to the end of it.

print plural('class');      # classes
print plural('hash');       # hashes
print plural('patch');      # patches 
print plural('box');        # boxes

If it ends in y then it will be replaced with ies.

print plural('party');      # parties

In all other cases, s will be added to the end of the word.

print plural('device');     # devices

It will fail miserably on many common words.

print plural('woman');      # womans     FAIL!
print plural('child');      # childs     FAIL!
print plural('foot');       # foots      FAIL!

This function should only be used in cases where the singular noun is known in advance and has a regular form that can be pluralised correctly by the algorithm described above. For example, the Badger::Factory module allows you to specify $ITEM and $ITEMS package variable to provide the singular and plural names of the items that the factory manages.

our $ITEM  = 'person';
our $ITEMS = 'people';

If the singular noun is sufficiently regular then the $ITEMS can be omitted and the plural function will be used.

our $ITEM  = 'codec';       # $ITEMS defaults to 'codecs'

In this case we know that codec will pluralise correctly to codecs and can safely leave $ITEMS undefined.

For more robust pluralisation of English words, you should use the Lingua::EN::Inflect module by Damian Conway. For further information on the difficulties of correctly pluralising English, and details of the implementation of Lingua::EN::Inflect, see Damian's paper "An Algorithmic Approach to English Pluralization" at


Top Close Open

Returns the module name passed as an argument as a relative filesystem path suitable for feeding into require()

print module_file('My::Module');     # My/

camel_case($string) / CamelCase($string)

Top Close Open

Converts a lower case string where words are separated by underscores (e.g. like_this_example) into CamelCase where each word is capitalised and words are joined together (e.g. LikeThisExample).

According to Perl convention (and personal preference), we use the lower case form wherever possible. However, Perl's convention also dictates that module names should be in CamelCase. This function performs that conversion.

wrap($text, $width, $indent)

Top Close Open

Simple subroutine to wrap $text to a fixed $width, applying an optional indent of $indent spaces. It uses a trivial algorithm which splits the text into words, then rejoins them as lines. It has an additional hack to recognise the literal sequence '\n' as a magical word indicating a forced newline break. It must be specified as a separate whitespace delimited word.

print wrap('Foo \n Bar');

If anyone knows how to make Text::Wrap handle this, or knows of a better solution then please let me know.


Top Close Open

The function returns a lower case representation of the text passed as an argument with all non-word character sequences replaced with dots.

print dotid('Foo::Bar');            #


Top Close Open

A wrapper around sprintf() which provides some syntactic sugar for embedding positional parameters.

xprintf('The <2> sat on the <1>', 'mat', 'cat');
xprintf('The <1> costs <2:%.2f>', 'widget', 11.99);


Top Close Open

Generates a random name of maximum length $length using any additional seeding data passed as @args. If $length is undefined then the default value in $RANDOM_NAME_LENGTH (32) is used.

my $name = random_name();
my $name = random_name(64);


Top Close Open

This function permutes any optional or alternate fragments embedded in parentheses. For example, Badger(X) is permuted as (Badger, BadgerX) and Badger(X|Y) is permuted as (BadgerX, BadgerY).

permute('Badger(X)');           # Badger, BadgerX
permute('Badger(X|Y)');         # BadgerX, BadgerY

Multiple fragments may be embedded. They are expanded in order from left to right, with the rightmost fragments changing most often.

permute('A(1|2):B(3|4)')        # A1:B3, A1:B4, A2:B3, A2:B4


Top Close Open

This function is used internally by the permute_fragments() function. It returns a reference to a list containing the alternates split from $text.

alternates('foo|bar');          # returns ['foo','bar']
alternates('foo');              # returns ['','bar']

If the $text doesn't contain the | character then it is assumed to be an optional item. A list reference is returned containing the empty string as the first element and the original $text string as the second.


Top Close Open

Andy Wardley


Top Close Open

Copyright (C) 1996-2009 Andy Wardley. All Rights Reserved.

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

Fork Me on Github