Plasp - PerlScript/ASP


version 1.07



  package MyApp;

  use Moo;

  with 'Plasp::App';


In app.psgi

  use MyApp;

  $app = MyApp->new;


Plasp is CatalystX::ASP, which is a plugin for Catalyst to support ASP (PerlScript) but with Catalyst ripped out.

This is largely based off of Joshua Chamas's Apache::ASP, as the application I've been working with was written for Apache::ASP. Thus, this was designed to be almost a drop-in replacement. However, there were many features that I chose not to implement.

Plasp is a framework built on Plack, which can process ASP scripts. Simply apply the Plasp::App role to your app class and create a new PSGI app with MyApp->new.

Just to be clear, the Parser is almost totally ripped off of Joshua Chamas's parser in Apache::ASP. Similarly with the Compiler and GlobalASA. However, the other components are reimplementations.


You can configure Plasp by calling the class method $class->config and passing in a hash ref

    ApplicationRoot => '/var/www',
    DocumentRoot    => 'public',
    Global          => 'lib',
    GlobalPackage   => 'MyApp',
    IncludesDir     => 'templates',
    MailHost        => 'localhost',
    MailFrom        => 'myapp@localhost',
    XMLSubsMatch    => '(?:myapp):\w+',
    Debug           => 0,

The following documentation is also plagiarized from Joshua Chamas.


The Application root is where relative paths will be based off. By default, it'll be the the current working directory.


An Apache::ASP compiles and processes paths based on files within the DocumentRoot. This makes configuration similar to Apache::ASP which took the DocumentRoot from the Apache configuration. By default, it'll be the subdirectory public relative to the ApplicationRoot.


Global is the nerve center of an Apache::ASP application, in which the global.asa may reside defining the web application's event handlers.

Includes, specified with <!--#include> or $Response->Include() syntax, may also be in this directory, please see section on includes for more information.


Perl package namespace that all scripts, includes, & global.asa events are compiled into. By default, GlobalPackage is some obscure name that is uniquely generated from the file path of the Global directory, and global.asa file. The use of explicitly naming the GlobalPackage is to allow scripts access to globals and subs defined in a perl module that is included with commands like:

    GlobalPackage => 'MyApp' });

No default. If set, this directory will also be used to look for includes when compiling scripts. By default the directory the script is in, and the Global directory are checked for includes.

This extension was added so that includes could be easily shared between ASP applications, whereas placing includes in the Global directory only allows sharing between scripts in an application.

    IncludeDirs => '.' });

Also, multiple includes directories may be set:

    IncludeDirs => ['../shared', '/usr/local/asp/shared'] });

Using IncludesDir in this way creates an includes search path that would look like ., Global, ../shared, /usr/local/asp/shared. The current directory of the executing script is checked first whenever an include is specified, then the Global directory in which the global.asa resides, and finally the IncludesDir setting.


The mail host is the SMTP server that the below Mail* config directives will use when sending their emails. By default Net::SMTP uses SMTP mail hosts configured in Net::Config, which is set up at install time, but this setting can be used to override this config.

The mail hosts specified in the Net::Config file will be used as backup SMTP servers to the MailHost specified here, should this primary server not be working.

    MailHost => '' });

No default. Set this to specify the default mail address placed in the From: mail header for the $Server->Mail() API extension

    MailFrom => '' });

Default is not defined. Set to some regexp pattern that will match all XML and HTML tags that you want to have perl subroutines handle. The is "XMLSubs" in Apache::ASP's custom tag technology ported to Plasp, and can be used to create powerful extensions to your XML and HTML rendering.

Please see XML/XSLT section for instructions on its use.

    XMLSubsMatch => 'my:[\w\-]+' });

Path of the page in DocumentRoot to serve when page not found. This page will go through ASP processing, so ensure this page is simple and does not have opportunity for error.


Path of the page in DocumentRoot to serve when error in application, or in Plasp. This page will go through ASP processing, so ensure this page is simple and does not have opportunity for error.


default 0, if true will auto fill HTML forms with values from $Request->Form(). This functionality is provided by use of HTML::FillInForm::ForceUTF8. For more information please see "perldoc HTML::FillInForm::ForceUTF8"

This feature can be enabled on a per form basis at runtime with $Response->{FormFill} = 1


Simply sets the log level to debug


The beauty of the ASP Object Model is that it takes the burden of CGI and Session Management off the developer, and puts them in objects accessible from any ASP script and include. For the perl programmer, treat these objects as globals accessible from anywhere in your ASP application.

The Plasp object model supports the following:

  Object        Function
  ------        --------
  $Session      - user session state
  $Response     - output to browser
  $Request      - input from browser
  $Application  - application state
  $Server       - general methods

These objects, and their methods are further defined in their respective pod.


If you would like to define your own global objects for use in your scripts and includes, you can initialize them in the global.asa Script_OnStart like:

  use vars qw( $Form $App ); # declare globals
  sub Script_OnStart {
    $App  = MyApp->new;     # init $App object
    $Form = $Request->Form; # alias form data

In this way you can create site wide application objects and simple aliases for common functions.


These are methods available for the Plasp object


Returns the full path to the include if found in IncludesDir


Returns a file id that can be used a subroutine name when compiled


Eval the given $code. The $code can be a ref to CODE or a SCALAR, ie. a string of code to execute. Alternatively, $code can be the absolute name of a subroutine.


Cleans up objects that are transient. Get ready for the next request


Obviously there are no bugs ;-) As of now, every known bug has been addressed. However, a caveat is that not everything from Apache::ASP is implemented here. Though the module touts itself to be a drop-in replacement, don't believe the author and try it out for yourself first. You've been warned :-)


Steven Leung < >

Joshua Chamas < >



Copyright (C) 2020 Steven Leung

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License.

See for more information.