WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller - Fill Wikipedia templates with your eyes closed


  use WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller;

  my $filler = new WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller();

  # Bit by bit
  my $source = $filler->get( pubmed_id => '2309482' )->fill;
  print $source->output;

  # Or all at once
  print $filler->get( pubmed_id => '2309482' )->fill->output;

  # With fill-time options
  $source = $filler->get( pubmed_id => '123456' )->fill( add_url => 1 );
  print $source->output;

  # With output-time (mostly formatting) options
  print $source->output( vertical => 1, add_accessdate => 1 );


This module generates Wikipedia template markup for various sources of information such as PubMed IDs, ISBNs, URLs, etc. While it works with multiple templates, it was predominantly created to lower the activation energy associated with filling out citation templates.

In writing a Wikipedia article, one aims to cite sufficient references. The trouble is that there are many different ways of citing different sources, all with different Wikipedia citation templates, and many requiring information that may be difficult to obtain. The initial goal of this module was to streamline the process of generating citation templates. Sure, the module's grown and it's been generalized to other templates (Drugbox, etc.), but the principles persist.



  my $filler = new WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller( %attrs );

Creates a new template filler. Attributes are allowed in %attrs. These include isbndb_access_key, which is the API key to be used for making ISBN queries via


  my $source = $filler->get( $source_type => $id, %attrs );

Grabs the requested data from the net and returns it as a source object (actually a subclass of WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller::Source). $source_type is something like pubmed_id, drugbank_id, hgnc_id, isbn, etc. It corresponds to a class in the WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller::Source:: namespace.

$id is the corresponding ID, the format of which varies depending on the value of $source_type. For example, $id is numeric if $source_type is pubmed_id.

%attrs are additional attributes that are passed to the source class used to grab the requested data. Consult WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller::Source for information.


  my $cache = $filler->cache;

Returns the cache associated with this filler.


Currently W::W::TF uses ISBNdb ( for accessing information about books. This will likely change somewhat in the future to allow for multiple book databases to be queried. For now, however, ISBNdb is the only option. If you plan to use this module for querying book data, then you must supply an ISBNdb access key.

There are multiple ways to provide an access key. The first is accomplished by passing a parameter to W::W::TF's new() method:

  use WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller;
  my $tf = new WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller(
    isbndb_access_key => 'your_access_key'

The second method is used by the W::W::TF::WebApp web application. For this, simply edit the %config hash within the included web application instance script in cgi/index.cgi. The INSTALL file provides more details.

The third method is to assign the access key to an environment variable called ISBNDB_ACCESS_KEY. This is accomplished by doing something like this in your shell:

  $ export ISBNDB_ACCESS_KEY=your_access_key

(Note that this environment variable-based solution is the only way to test ISBNdb support during installation.)


David J. Iberri, <diberri at>


The distinction between fill() and output() parameters is subtle and unnecessary. This will be resolved in a future release. In the meantime, if you find that specifying a parameter in the fill() method does not achieve the desired results (or has no effect at all), try specifying it in the output() method instead. And vice versa. I apologize for this gross aberration.

Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-www-wikipedia-templatefiller at, or through the web interface at I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc WWW::Wikipedia::TemplateFiller

You can also look for information at:


Copyright (c) David J. Iberri, all rights reserved.

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