Author image Vincent Pit
and 1 contributors


subs::auto - Read barewords as subroutine names.


Version 0.08


     use subs::auto;
     foo;             # Compile to "foo()"     instead of "'foo'"
                      #                        or croaking on strict subs
     foo $x;          # Compile to "foo($x)"   instead of "$x->foo"
     foo 1;           # Compile to "foo(1)"    instead of croaking
     foo 1, 2;        # Compile to "foo(1, 2)" instead of croaking
     foo(@a);         # Still ok
     foo->meth;       # "'foo'->meth" if you have use'd foo somewhere,
                      #  or "foo()->meth" otherwise
     print foo 'wut'; # print to the filehandle foo if it's actually one,
                      #  or "print(foo('wut'))" otherwise
    } # ... but function calls will fail at run-time if you don't
      # actually define foo somewhere

    foo; # BANG


This pragma lexically enables the parsing of any bareword as a subroutine name, except those which corresponds to an entry in %INC (expected to be class names) or whose symbol table entry has an IO slot (expected to be filehandles).

You can pass options to import as key / value pairs :

  • in => $pkg

    Specifies on which package the pragma should act. Setting $pkg to Some::Package allows you to resolve all functions name of the type Some::Package::func ... in the current scope. You can use the pragma several times with different package names to allow resolution of all the corresponding barewords.

    Defaults to the current package.

This module is not a source filter.




*{'::foo'}{CODE} will appear as defined in a scope where the pragma is enabled, foo is used as a bareword, but is never actually defined afterwards. This may or may not be considered as Doing The Right Thing. However, *{'::foo'}{CODE} will always return the right value if you fetch it outside the pragma's scope. Actually, you can make it return the right value even in the pragma's scope by reading *{'::foo'}{CODE} outside (or by actually defining foo, which is ultimately why you use this pragma, right ?).

You have to open global filehandles outside of the scope of this pragma if you want them not to be treated as function calls. Or just use lexical filehandles and default ones as you should be.

This pragma doesn't propagate into eval STRING.


perl 5.10.0.

A C compiler. This module may happen to build with a C++ compiler as well, but don't rely on it, as no guarantee is made in this regard.

Variable::Magic with uvar magic enabled (this should be assured by the required perl version).


Carp (standard since perl 5), XSLoader (since 5.6.0).


Vincent Pit, <perl at>,

You can contact me by mail or on (vincent).


Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-subs-auto 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 subs::auto

Tests code coverage report is available at


Thanks to Sebastien Aperghis-Tramoni for helping to name this pragma.


Copyright 2008,2009,2010,2011,2013 Vincent Pit, all rights reserved.

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