=encoding utf8

=head1 NAME

String::Print - printf alternative


  ### Functional interface

  use String::Print;           # simpelest way
  use String::Print qw/printi printp/, %config;
  printi 'age {years}', years => 12;
  # interpolation of arrays and hashes (serializers)
  printi 'price-list: {prices}', prices => \@p, _join => "+";
  printi 'dump: {c}', c => \%config;
  # same with positional parameters
  printp 'age %d", 12;
  printp 'price-list: %.2f', \@prices;
  printp 'dump: %s', \%settings;
  # modifiers
  printi 'price: {price%.2f}', price => 3.14*VAT*EURO;

  # [0.91] more complex interpolation names
  printi 'filename: {c.filename}', c => \%config;
  printi 'username: {user.name}', user => $user_object;
  printi 'price: {product.price €}', product => $db->product(3);

  ### Object Oriented interface

  use String::Print 'oo';      # import nothing 
  my $f = String::Print->new(%config);
  $f->printi('age {years}', years => 12);
  $f->printp('age %d', 12);
  ### via Log::Report's __* functions (optional translation)

  use Log::Report;             # or Log::Report::Optional
  print __x"age {years}", years => 12;

  ### via Log::Report::Template (Template Toolkit extension)

  [% SET name = 'John Doe' %]
  [% loc("Dear {name},") %]     # includes translation


This module inserts values into (format) strings.  It provides C<printf>
and C<sprintf> alternatives via both an object oriented and a functional

Read in the L</DETAILS> chapter below, why this module provides a better
alternative for C<printf()>.  Also, some extended B<examples> can be
found down there.  Take a look at them first, when you start using this

=head1 METHODS

=head2 The Object Oriented interface

See functions L<printi()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS">, L<sprinti()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS">, L<printp()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS">, and L<sprintp()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS">: you
can also call them as method.

  use String::Print 'oo';
  my $f = String::Print->new(%config);
  $f->printi($format, @params);
  # exactly the same functionality:
  use String::Print 'printi', %config;
  printi $format, @params;

The Object Oriented interface wins when you need the same configuration
in multiple source files, or when you need different configurations
within one program.  In these cases, the hassle of explicitly using the
object has some benefits.

=head3 Constructors

=over 4

=item String::Print-E<gt>B<new>(%options)

 -Option     --Default
  encode_for   undef
  missing_key  <warning>
  modifiers    [ qr/^%\S+/ = \&format_printf]>
  serializers  <useful defaults>

=over 2

=item encode_for => HASH|'HTML'

[0.91] The format string and the inserted values will get encoded according to
some syntax rules.  For instance, C<encode_entities()> of HTML::Entities
when you specify the predefined string C<HTML>.  See L<encodeFor()|String::Print/"Attributes">.

=item missing_key => CODE

[0.91] During interpolation, it may be discovered that a key is missing
from the parameter list.  In that case, a warning is produced and C<undef>
inserted.  May can overrule that behavior.

=item modifiers => ARRAY

Add one or more modifier handlers to power of the formatter.  They will
get preference over the predefined modifiers, but lower than the modifiers
passed to C<print[ip]> itself.

=item serializers => HASH|ARRAY

How to serialize data elements.



  my $f = String::Print->new
    ( modifiers   => [ EUR   => sub {sprintf "%5.2f e", $_[0]} ]
    , serializers => [ UNDEF => sub {'-'} ]
    , encode_for  => 'HTML'

  $f->printi("price: {p EUR}", p => 3.1415); # price: ␣␣3.14 e
  $f->printi("count: {c}", c => undef);      # count: -


=head3 Attributes

=over 4

=item $obj-E<gt>B<addModifiers>(PAIRS)

The PAIRS are a combination of an selector and a CODE which processes the
value when the modifier matches.  The selector is a string or (preferred)
a regular expression. Later modifiers with the same name overrule earlier
definitions.  You may also specify an ARRAY of modifiers per C<print>.

See section L</"Interpolation: Modifiers"> about the details.

=item $obj-E<gt>B<encodeFor>(HASH|undef|($predefined, %overrule))

[0.91] Enable/define the output encoding.
Read section L</"Output encoding"> about the details.


=head3 Printing

The following are provided as method and as function.  You find their
explanation further down on this page.

$obj->B<printi>([$fh], $format, PAIRS|HASH);

$obj->B<printp>([$fh], $format, PAIRS|HASH);

$obj->B<sprinti>($format, PAIRS|HASH);

$obj->B<sprintp>($format, LIST, PAIRS);


The functional interface creates a hidden object.  You may import any of
these functions explicitly, or all together by not specifying the names.

B<. Example>

  use String::Print;           # all
  use String::Print 'sprinti'; # only sprinti

  use String::Print 'printi'   # only printi
    , modifiers   => [ EUR   => sub {sprintf "%5.2f e", $_[0]} ]
    , serializers => [ UNDEF => sub {'-'} ];

  printi "price: {p EUR}", p => 3.1415; # price: ␣␣3.14 e
  printi "count: {c}", c => undef;      # count: -

=over 4

=item B<printi>( [$fh], $format, PAIRS|HASH )

Calls L<sprinti()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> to fill the data in PAIRS or HASH in $format, and
then sends it to the $fh (by default the selected file)

  open my $fh, '>', $file;
  printi $fh, ...

  printi \*STDERR, ...

=item B<printp>( [$fh], $format, PAIRS|HASH )

Calls L<sprintp()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> to fill the data in PAIRS or HASH in $format, and
then sends it to the $fh (by default the selected file)

=item B<sprinti>($format, PAIRS|HASH|OBJECT)

The $format refers to some string, maybe the result of a translation.

The PAIRS (which may be passed as LIST, HASH, or blessed HASH) contains
a mixture of special and normal variables to be filled in.  The names
of the special variables (the options) start with an underscore (C<_>).

 -Option  --Default
  _append   undef
  _count    undef
  _join     ', '
  _prepend  undef

=over 2

=item _append => STRING|OBJECT

Text as STRING appended after $format, without interpolation.

=item _count => INTEGER

Result of the translation process: when Log::Report subroutine __xn is
are used for count-sensitive translation.  Those function may add
more specials to the parameter list.

=item _join => STRING

Which STRING to use when an ARRAY is being filled-in as parameter.

=item _prepend => STRING|OBJECT

Text as STRING prepended before $format, without interpolation.  This
may also be an OBJECT which gets stringified, but variables not filled-in.


=item B<sprintp>($format, LIST, PAIRS)

Where L<sprinti()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> uses named parameters --especially useful when the
strings need translation-- this function stays close to the standard
C<sprintf()>.  All features of POSIX formats are supported.  This
should say enough: you can use C<%3$0#5.*d>, if you like.

It may be useful to know that the positional $format is rewritten and
then fed into L<sprinti()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS">.  B<Be careful> with the length of the LIST:
superfluous parameter PAIRS are passed along to C<sprinti()>, and
should only contain "specials": parameter names which start with '_'.

example: of the rewrite

  # positional parameters
  my $x = sprintp "dumpfiles: %s\n", \@dumpfiles
     , _join => ':';

  # is rewritten into, and then processed as
  my $x = sprinti "dumpfiles: {_1}\n"
     , _1 => \@dumpfiles, _join => ':';


=head1 DETAILS

=head2 Why use C<printi()>, not C<printf()>?

The C<printf()> function is provided by Perl's CORE; you do not need
to install any module to use it.  Why would you use consider using
this module?

=over 4

=item translating

C<printf()> uses positional parameters, where L<printi()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> uses names
to refer to the values to be filled-in.  Especially in a set-up with
translations, where the format strings get extracted into PO-files,
it is much clearer to use names.  This is also a disadvantage of

=item pluggable serializers

C<printi()> supports serialization for specific data-types: how to
interpolate C<undef>, HASHes, etc.

=item pluggable modifiers

Especially useful in context of translations, the FORMAT string may
contain (language specific) helpers to insert the values correctly.

=item correct use of utf8

Sized string formatting in C<printf()> is broken: it takes your string
as bytes, not Perl strings (which may be utf8).  In unicode, one
"character" may use many bytes.  Also, some characters are displayed
double wide, for instance in Chinese.  The L<printi()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> implementation
will use Unicode::GCString for correct behavior.

=item automatic output encoding (for HTML)

You can globally declare that all produced strings must be encoded in
a certain format, for instance that HTML entities should be encoded.


=head2 Four components

To fill-in a FORMAT, four clearly separated components play a role:

=over 4

=item 1. modifiers

How to change the provided values, for instance to hide locale

=item 2. serializer

How to represent (the modified) the values correctly, for instance C<undef>
and ARRAYs.

=item 3. conversion

The standard UNIX format rules, like C<%d>.  One conversion rule
has been added 'S', which provides unicode correct behavior.

=item 4. encoding

Prepare the output for a certain syntax, like HTML.



  # sprinti() replaces "{$key$modifiers$conversion}" by

  # sprintp() replaces "%pos{$modifiers}$conversion" by


  #XXX Your manual-page reader may not support the unicode used
  #XXX in the examples below.
  printi "price: {price € %-10s}", price => $cost;
  printi "price: {price € %-10s}", { price => $cost };
  printp "price: %-10{€}s", $cost;

  $value      = $cost (in €)
  $modifier   = convert € to local currency £
  $serializer = show float as string
  $format     = column width %-10s
  $encode     = £ into &pound;     # when encodingFor('HTML')

=head2 Interpolation: keys

A key is a bareword (like a variable name) or a list of barewords
separated by dots (no blanks!)

B<Please> use explanatory key names, to help the translation
process once you need that (in the future).

=head3 Simple keys

A simple key directly refers to a named parameter of the function or method:

  printi "Username: {name}", name => 'John';

You may also pass them as HASH or CODE:

  printi "Username: {name}", { name => 'John' };
  printi "Username: {name}", name => sub { 'John' };
  printi "Username: {name}", { name => sub { 'John' } };
  printi "Username: {name}", name => sub { sub {'John'} };

The smartness of pre-processing CODE is part of serialization.

=head3 Complex keys

[0.91] In the previous section, we kept our addressing it simple: let's
change that now.  Two alternatives for the same:

  my $user = { name => 'John' };
  printi "Username: {name}", name => $user->{name}; # simple key
  printi "Username: {user.name}", user => $user;    # complex key

The way these complex keys work, is close to the flexibility of
template toolkit: the only thing you cannot do, is passing parameters
to called CODE.

You can pass a parameter name as HASH, which contains values.  This may
even be nested into multiple levels.  You may also pass objects, class
(package names), and code references.

In above case of C<user.name>, when C<user> is a HASH it will take the
value which belongs to the key C<name>.  When C<user> is a CODE, it will
run code to get a value.  When C<user> is an object, the method C<name>
is called to get a value back.  When C<user> is a class name, the C<name>
refers to an instance method on that class.

More examples which do work:

  # when name is a column in the database query result
  printi "Username: {user.name}", user => $sth->fetchrow_hashref;
  # call a sub which does the database query, returning a HASH
  printi "Username: {user.name}", user => sub { $db->getUser('John') };

  # using an instance method (object)
  { package User;
    sub new  { bless { myname => $_[1] }, $_[0] }
    sub name { $_[0]->{myname} }
  my $user = User->new('John');
  printi "Username: {user.name}", user => $user;

  # using a class method
  sub User::count   { 42 }
  printi "Username: {user.count}", user => 'User';

  # nesting, mixing
  printi "Complain to {product.factory.address}", product => $p;

  # mixed, here CODE, HASH, and Object
  printi "Username: {document.author.name}", document => sub {
    return +{ author => User->new('John') }

Limitation: you cannot pass arguments to CODE calls.

=head2 Interpolation: Serialization

The 'interpolation' functions have named VARIABLES to be filled-in, but
also additional OPTIONS.  To distinguish between the OPTIONS and VARIABLES
(both a list of key-value pairs), the keys of the OPTIONS start with
an underscore C<_>.  As result of this, please avoid the use of keys
which start with an underscore in variable names.  On the other hand,
you are allowed to interpolate OPTION values in your strings.

There is no way of checking beforehand whether you have provided all
values to be interpolated in the translated string.  When you refer to
value which is missing, it will be interpreted as C<undef>.

=over 4

=item strings

Simple scalar values are interpolated "as is"

=item CODE

When a value is passed as CODE reference, that function will get called
to return the value to be filled in.
For interpolating, the following rules apply:

=item SCALAR

Takes the value where the scalar reference points to.

=item ARRAY

All members will be interpolated with C<,␣> between the elements.
Alternatively (maybe nicer), you can pass an interpolation parameter
via the C<_join> OPTION.

  printi "matching files: {files}", files => \@files, _join => ', '

=item HASH

By default, HASHes are interpolated with sorted keys,

   $key => $value, $key2 => $value2, ...

There is no quoting on the keys or values (yet).  Usually, this will
produce an ugly result anyway.

=item Objects

With the C<serialization> parameter, you can overrule the interpolation
of above defaults, but also add rules for your own objects.  By default,
objects get stringified.

  serialization => [ $myclass => \&name_in_reverse ]

  sub name_in_reverse($$$)
  {   my ($formatter, $object, $args) = @_;
      # the $args are all parameters to be filled-in
      scalar reverse $object->name;


=head2 Interpolation: Modifiers

Modifiers are used to change the value to be inserted, before the characters
get interpolated in the line.  This is a powerful simplification.  Let's
discuss this with an example.

In traditional (gnu) gettext, you would write:

  printf(gettext("approx pi: %.6f\n"), PI);

to get PI printed with six digits in the fragment.
Locale::TextDomain has two ways to achieve that:

  printf __"approx pi: %.6f\n", PI;
  print __x"approx pi: {approx}\n", approx => sprintf("%.6f", PI);

The first does not respect the wish to be able to reorder the arguments
during translation (although there are ways to work around that)  The
second version is quite long.  The string to be translated differs
between the two examples.

With C<Log::Report>, above syntaxes do work as well, but you can also do:

  # with optional translations
  print __x"approx pi: {pi%.6f}\n", pi => PI;

The base for C<__x()> is the L<printi()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> provided by this module. Internally,
it will call C<printi> to fill-in parameters:

  printi "approx pi: {pi%.6f}\n", pi => PI;

Another example:

  printi "{perms} {links%2d} {user%-8s} {size%10d} {fn}\n",
     perms => '-rw-r--r--', links => 7, user => 'me',
     size => 12345, fn => $filename;

An additional advantage (when you use translation) is the fact that not
all languages produce comparable length strings.  Now, the translators
can change the format, such that the layout of tables is optimal for their

Above example in L<printp()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> syntax, shorter but less maintainable:

  printp "%s %2d %-8s 10d %s\n",
     '-rw-r--r--', 7, 'me', 12345, $filename;

=head2 Interpolation: default modifiers

=head3 Default modifier: POSIX format

As shown in the examples above, you can specify a format.  This can,
for instance, help you with rounding or columns:

  printp "π = {pi%.3f}", pi => 3.1415;
  printp "weight is {kilogram%d}", kilogram => 127*OUNCE_PER_KILO;
  printp "{filename%-20.20s}\n", filename => $fn;

=head4 - improvements on POSIX format

The POSIX C<printf()> does not handle unicode strings.  Perl does
understand that the 's' modifier may need to insert utf8 so does not
count bytes but characters.  C<printi()> does not use characters but
"grapheme clusters" via Unicode::GCString.  Now, also composed
characters do work correctly.

Additionally, you can use the B<new 'S' conversion> to count in columns.
In fixed-width fonts, graphemes can have width 0, 1 or 2.  For instance,
Chinese characters have width 2.  When printing in fixed-width, this
'S' is probably the better choice over 's'.  When the field does not
specify its width, then there is no performance penalty for using 'S'.

  # name right aligned, commas on same position, always
  printp "name: {name%20S},\n", name => $some_chinese;

=head3 Default modifier: BYTES

[0.91] Too often, you have to translate a (file) size into humanly readible
format.  The C<BYTES> modifier simplifies this a lot:

  printp "{size BYTES} {fn}\n", fn => $fn, size => -s $fn;

The output will always be 6 characters.  Examples are "999  B", "1.2 kB",
and " 27 MB".

=head3 Default modifiers: YEAR, DATE, TIME, DT, and DT()

[0.91] A set of modifiers help displaying dates and times.  They are a
little flexible in values they accept, but do not expect miracles: when
it get harder, you will need to process it yourself.

The actual treatment of a time value depends on the value: three
different situations:

=over 4

=item 1. numeric

A pure numeric value is considered "seconds since epoch", unless it
is smaller than 21000000, in which case it is taken as date without

=item 2. date format without time-zone

The same formats are understood as in the next option, but without
time-zone information.  The date is processed as text as if in the
local time zone, and the output in the local time-zone.

=item 3. date format with time-zone

By far not all possible date formats are supported, just a few common
versions, like

  2017-06-27 10:04:15 +02:00
  2017-06-27 17:34:28.571491+02  # psql timestamp with zone
  2017-06-27T10:04:15Z           # iso 8601
  20170627                       # only for YEAR and DATE
  2017-6-1                       # only for YEAR and DATE
  12:34                          # only for TIME

The meaning of 05-04-2017 is unclear, so not supported.  Milliseconds
get ignored.

When the provided value has a timezone indication, it will get
converted into the local timezone of the observer.


The output of C<YEAR> is in format 'YYYY', for C<DATE> it will always be
'YYYY-MM-DD', where C<TIME> produces 'HH:mm:ss'.

The short form C<DT> is an alias for C<DT(FT)>.  The DT modifier can
produce different formats:

  DT(ASC)     : %a %b %e %T %Y       asctime output
  DT(FT)      : %F %T                YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm:ss
  DT(ISO)     : %FT%T%z              iso8601
  DT(RFC822)  : %a, %d %b %y %T %z   email old
  DT(RFC2822) : %a, %d %b %Y %T %z   email newer

You may suggest additional formats, or add your own modifier.

=head3 Default modifiers: //word, //"string", //'string'

[0.91] By default, an undefined value is shown as text 'undef'.  Empty
strings are shown as nothing.  This may not be nice.  You may want to
be more specific when a value is missing.

   "visitors: {count //0}"
   "published: {date DT//'not yet'}"
   "copyright: {year//2017 YEAR}

Modifiers will usually return C<undef> when they are called with an
undefined or empty value.  By the right order of '//', you may product
different kinds of output:

   "price: {price//5 EUR}"
   "price: {price EUR//unknown}"

=head3 Private modifiers

You may pass your own modifiers.  A modifier consists of a selector and
a CODE, which is called when the selector matches.  The selector is either
a string or a regular expression.

  # in Object Oriented syntax:
  my $f = String::Print->new
    ( modifiers => [ qr/[€₤]/ => \&money ]

  # in function syntax:
  use String::Print 'printi', 'sprinti'
    , modifiers => [ qr/[€₤]/ => \&money ];

  # the implementation:
  sub money$$$$)
  { my ($formatter, $modif, $value, $args) = @_;

      $modif eq '€' ? sprintf("%.2f EUR", $value+0.0001)
    : $modif eq '₤' ? sprintf("%.2f GBP", $value/1.16+0.0001)
    :                 'ERROR';

Using L<printp()|String::Print/"FUNCTIONS"> makes it a little shorter, but will become quite
complex when there are more parameter in one string.

  printi "price: {p€}", p => $pi;   # price: 3.14 EUR
  printi "price: {p₤}", p => $pi;   # price: 2.71 GBP

  printp "price: %{€}s", $pi;       # price: 3.14 EUR
  printp "price: %{₤}s", $pi;       # price: 2.71 GBP

This is very useful in the translation context, where the translator can
specify abstract formatting rules.  As example, see the (GNU) gettext
files, in the translation table for Dutch into English.  The translator
tells us which currency to use in the display.

  msgid  "kostprijs: {p€}"
  msgstr "price: {p₤}"

Another example.  Now, we want to add timestamps.  In this case, we
decide for modifier names in C<\w>, so we need a blank to separate
the parameter from the modifer.

=head3 Modifiers: stacking

You can add more than one modifier.  The modifiers detect the extend of
their own information (via a regular expression), and therefore the
formatter understands where one ends and the next begins.

The modifiers are called in order:

  printi "price: {p€%9s}\n", p => $p; # price: ␣␣␣123.45
  printi ">{t T%10s}<", t => $now;    # >␣␣12:59:17<

  printp "price: %9{€}s\n", $p;       # price: ␣␣␣123.45
  printp ">%10{T}s<", $now;           # >␣␣12:59:17<

=head2 Output encoding

[0.91] This module is also used by Log::Report::Template, which is used
to insert (translated) strings with parameters into HTML templates.
You can imagine that some of the parameter may need to be encoded to
HTML in the template, and other not.

=head3 example with Log::Report::Template

In pure Template Toolkit, you would write

  # in your TT-template
  <div>Username: [% username | html %]</div>
  # in your code
  username => $user->name,

With plain String::Print with output encoding enabled, you can do:

  # in your TT-template
  <div>[% show_username %]</div>
  # in your code with encodeFor('HTML')
  show_username => printi("Username: {user}", user => $user->name),
  # or
  show_username => printp("Username: %s", $user->name),

That does not look very efficient, however it changes for the good when
this is combined with L<Log::Report::Lexicon> (translations)  You can
either do:

  # in your TT-template
  <div>[% show_username %]</div>
  # in your code with encodeFor('HTML')
  show_username => __x("Username: {user}", user => $user->name),


  # in your TT-template with encodeFor('HTML')
  <div>[% loc("Username: {user}", user => username) %]</div>
  # in your code
  username => $user->name,

Even shorter:

  # in your TT-template with encodeFor('HTML')
  <div>[% loc("Username: {user.name}", user => userobj) %]</div>
  # in your code
  userobj => $user,


  # in your TT-template with encodeFor('HTML')
  <div>[% loc("Username: {user.name}") %]</div>
  # in your code
  user => $user,

Shorter that the original, and translations for free!
More examples in Log::Report::Template.

=head3 Output encoding exclusion

In some cases, the data which is inserted is already encoded in the
output syntax.  For instance, you already have HTML to be included.

The default exclusion rule for HTML output is C<qr/html$/i>, which
means that all inserted named parameters, where the name ends on C<html>
will not get html-entity encoded.

This will work by default:

  # with encodeFor('HTML')
  printp "Me & Co: {name}, {description_html}",
     name => 'René', description_html => $descr;

This may result in:

  Me &amp; Co: Ren&eacute;, <font color="red">new member</font>

Better not to have HTML in your program: leave it to the template.  But
in some cases, you have no choice.

=head2 Compared to other modules on CPAN

There are a quite a number of modules on CPAN which extend the functionality
of C<printf()>.  To name a few:
L<Log::Sprintf|http://search.cpan.org/~frew/Log-Sprintf>, and
They are all slightly different.

When the C<String::Print> module was created, none of the modules
mentioned above handled unicode correctly.  Global configuration
of serializers and modifiers is also usually not possible, sometimes
provided per explicit function call.  Only C<String::Print> cleanly
separates the roles of serializers, modifiers, and conversions.

C<String::Print> is nicely integrated with Log::Report.

=head1 SEE ALSO

This module is part of String-Print distribution version 0.94,
built on March 01, 2020. Website: F<http://perl.overmeer.net/CPAN/>

=head1 LICENSE

Copyrights 2016-2020 by [Mark Overmeer <markov@cpan.org>]. For other contributors see ChangeLog.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the same terms as Perl itself.
See F<http://dev.perl.org/licenses/>