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Author image Marcel Grünauer


Brickyard - Plugin system based on roles


    use Brickyard;
    my $brickyard = Brickyard->new(base_package => 'My::App');
    my $root_config = MyApp::RootConfig->new;
    $brickyard->init_from_config('myapp.ini', $root_config);
    $_->some_method for $brickyard->plugins_with(-SomeRole);


This is a lightweight plugin system based on roles. It does not use Moose but relies on Role::Basic instead, and very few other modules.

It takes its inspiration from Dist::Zilla, but has much less flexibility and therefore is also much less complex.



Constructs a new object. Takes an optional hash of arguments to initialize the object.


Read-write accessor for the base package name that is used in expand_package(). Defaults to MyApp.


Takes a string that contains configuration in INI format and parses it into an array of configuration sections. It returns a reference to that array.

Using an array, as opposed to a hash, ensures that the section order is preserved, so we know in which order to process plugins in Brickyard's plugins_with() method.

Each array element corresponds to an INI section. Each section is itself a reference to an array with three elements:

The first element is the section name. The second element is the package name of the plugin; it is obtained by expanding the section name using expand_package(). The third element is a reference to a plugin configuration hash; it is the section's payload. If a section payload key occurs several times, it is turned into an array reference in the plugin configuration hash.

The first section is the global section, denoted by the name _. Any payload in the INI configuration that occurs before the first section ends up in this section.

For example:

    ; A comment
    name = Foobar


    foo = bar
    baz = 43
    baz = blah

is parsed into this structure:

    [ '_',        'MyApp::Plugin::_',             { name => 'Foobar' } ],
    [ '@Default', 'MyApp::PluginBundle::Default', {} ],
    [   'Some::Thing',
        {   'baz' => [ '43', 'blah' ],
            'foo' => 'bar'

What if you want to pass more complex configuration like a hash of arrays? An INI file is basically just a key-value mapping. In that case you can use a special notation for the key where you use dots to separate the individual elements - array indices and hash keys. For example:

    foo.0.web.1  = bar
    foo.0.web.2  = baz
    foo.0.mailto = the-mailto
    foo.1.url    = the-url

And this would be parsed into this structure:

    foo => [
        { web    => [ undef, 'bar', 'baz' ],
          mailto => 'the-mailto',
        { url => 'the-url' }


Takes an abbreviated package name and expands it into the real package name. INI section names are processed this way so you don't have to repeat common prefixes all the time.

If @ occurs at the start of the string, it is replaced by the base name plus <::PluginBundle::>.

A - is replaced by the base name plus ::Role::.

A = is replaced by the empty string, so the remainder is returned unaltered.

If the package name still hasn't been altered by the expansions mentioned above, custom expansions are applied; see below.

As a fallback, the base name plus ::Plugin:: is prepended.

The base name is normally whatever base_package() returns, but if the string starts with *, the asterisk is deleted and Brickyard is used for the base name.

A combination of the default prefixes is not expanded, so @=, for example, is treated as the fallback case, which is probably not what you intended.

Here are some examples of package name expansion:

    @Service::Default     MyApp::PluginBundle::Service::Default
    *@Filter              Brickyard::PluginBundle::Filter
    *Filter               Brickyard::Plugin::Filter
    =Foo::Bar             Foo::Bar
    Some::Thing           MyApp::Plugin::Some::Thing
    -Thing::Frobnulizer   MyApp::Role::Thing::Frobnulizer

You can also define custom expansions. There are two ways to do this. First you can pass a reference to an array of expansions to the expand() method, or you can define them using the expand key in the configuration's root section. Each expansion is a string that is evaluated for each package name. Custom expansions are useful if you have plugins in several namespaces, for example.

Here is an example of defining a custom expansion directly on the Brickyard object:

    my $brickyard = Brickyard->new(
        base_package => 'My::App',
        expand       => [ 's/^%/MyOtherApp::Plugin::/' ],

Here is an example of defining it in the configuration's root section:

    expand = s/^%/MyOtherApp::Plugin::/


    # this now refers to MyOtherApp::Plugin::Foo::Bar
    baz = 44


Takes a configuration file name specification or a reference to a string containing the INI string, a root object, and an optional callback. The file specification can be a simple file name or a colon-separated list of file names. Each of these files is parsed with parse_ini() and merged. The result is passed to init_from_config_structure(), along with the root object and optional callback - see its documentation for what these things do.

When two configurations are merged, the root sections are merged like a hash, but any plugin sections are appended in the order they are found.

This mechanism exists so you can, for example, have sensitive information like passwords in a separate file. For example:

    $ cat myapp.ini
    key1   = foo
    key2.0 = bar0
    key2.1 = bar1

    $ cat secret.ini
    username = admin
    password = mysecret

To process both configuration files, use:

        'myapp.ini:secret.ini', $root_config, $callback

This is the same as having the following all-in-one configuration file:

    key1     = foo
    key2.0   = bar0
    key2.1   = bar1
    username = admin
    password = mysecret


We use colons to separate configuration file names so it's easy to get the specification from an environment variable.

If the first argument is a scalar reference, it is assumed that it refers to the INI string. So you could pass the configuration directly, without having a separate configuration file, like this:

    my $config = <<EOINI;
    key1     = foo
    key2.0   = bar0
    key2.1   = bar1


    $brickyard->init_from_config(\$config, $root_config, $callback);


Takes a configuration structure and a root object, and an optional callback. For each configuration section it creates a plugin object, initializes it with the plugin configuration hash and adds it to the brickyard's array of plugins.

Any configuration keys that appear in the configuration's root section are set on the root object. So the root object can be anything that has set-accessors for all the configuration keys that can appear in the configuration's root section. One exception is the expand key, which is turned into a custom expansion; see above.

The configuration needs to be a reference to a list of sections as returned by init_from_config(), for example.

If an object is created that consumes the Brickyard::Role::PluginBundle role, the bundle is processed recursively.

If the callback is given, each value from a key-value pair is filtered through that callback. For example, you might want to support environment variable expansion like this:

        sub {
            my $value = shift;
            $value =~ s/\$(\w+)/$ENV{$1} || "\$$1"/ge;


Read-write accessor for the reference to an array of plugins.


Takes a role name and returns a list of all the plugins that consume this role. The result is cached, keyed by the role name.


Takes a role name and a code reference and calls the code reference once for each plugin that consumes the role. It returns 1 if the code returns a true value for all plugins, 0 otherwise.

An example will make this clearer:

    # Let the plugins decide
    sub value_is_valid {
        my ($self, $value) = @_;
        $self->brickyard->plugins_agree(-ValueChecker =>
            sub { $_->value_is_valid($value) }


Clears the array of plugins as well as the cache - see plugins_with().


Holds custom package name expansions; see above.


See perlmodinstall for information and options on installing Perl modules.


No bugs have been reported.

Please report any bugs or feature requests through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org/Public/Dist/Display.html?Name=Brickyard.


The latest version of this module is available from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN). Visit http://www.perl.com/CPAN/ to find a CPAN site near you, or see http://search.cpan.org/dist/Brickyard/.

The development version lives at http://github.com/hanekomu/Brickyard and may be cloned from git://github.com/hanekomu/Brickyard.git. Instead of sending patches, please fork this project using the standard git and github infrastructure.


Marcel Gruenauer <marcel@cpan.org>


This software is copyright (c) 2010 by Marcel Gruenauer.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.