=head1 NAME

Maypole::Manual::Plugins - the Maypole Plugin API

=head1 VERSION

This version written for Maypole 2.10


Plugins occupy the C<Maypole::Plugin::*> namespace on CPAN. At time of writing, 
there are 16 plugin modules available - see 

Plugins are loaded into a Maypole application by L<Maypole::Application>. For 
instance, to add L<HTML::QuickTable> support to the BeerDB example application:

   package BeerDB;
   use strict;
   use warnings;

   use Maypole::Application( 'QuickTable' );

Note that the leading C<Maypole::Plugin::*> is omitted.

For some plugins, that's it. You probably have a bunch of new methods available 
on your Maypole request objects - see the documentation for the plugin.

For others, you will need to set configuration variables or customise other
parts of the application. For instance, to add sessions to your application, you 
can use L<Maypole::Plugin::Session>:

   package BeerDB;
   use strict;
   use warnings;

   use Maypole::Application( 'Session' );

That's all, if you're willing to stick with the defaults 
(L<Apache::Session::File> backend, session and lock files in C</tmp/sessions> 
and C</tmp/sessionlock>). Otherwise, you need to supply some configuration:

   __PACKAGE__->config->session( { class => "Apache::Session::Flex",
                                   args  => {
                                       Store     => 'DB_File',
                                       Lock      => 'Null',
                                       Generate  => 'MD5',
                                       Serialize => 'Storable'
                                   } );

The plugin module is responsible for adding slots to L<Maypole::Config>, in this 
case, the C<session> accessor.


=head2 Modifying the Maypole request object

Plugins are inserted into the C<@ISA> of the Maypole request object. So method 
calls on the request object will first search the plugin classes, before looking 
in L<Maypole>. Methods defined in the plugin are therefore directly available on 
the request. That also goes for methods inherited by the plugin. I'm not aware
of any plugins that currently inherit from another package, but there's no 
reason not to.

Note that if you need simple accessor methods on the request, you can add them 
by saying

   Maypole->mk_accessors( qw/ fee fi fo / );

at the start of your plugin. Under mod_perl, you've just added these accessors 
to B<all> Maypole applications on the server, even ones that do not use this 
plugin. You could instead make the call inside the C<setup> method:

   $r->mk_accessors( qw/ fee fi fo / );

Now the accessors are only added to applications that use this plugin.

=head2 Initialisation with C<setup>

After loading plugins via L<Maypole::Application>, setting configuration 
variables in calls to C<< __PACKAGE__->config->foo( 'bar' ) >>, and optionally 
defining custom request methods, your application should call its C<setup> 
method, generally including arguments for the database connection:

   __PACKAGE__->setup( $dsn, $user, $pass, @more_args );

All of these arguments will be passed to the C<setup_database> method of the 
model class.

C<Maypole::setup()> is responsible for loading the model class, calling the 
C<setup_database> method on the model class, and making each table class in the 
application inherit from the model. It is therefore recommended that you call 
C<setup> B<after> setting up all your configuration options.

Plugins can intercept the call to C<setup> to carry out their own 
initialisation, as long as they propagate the call up through the hierarchy. A 
common idiom for this is:

   use strict;
   use warnings;

   use NEXT;

   sub setup
       my $r = shift;


       # Foo initialisation goes here
       my $option = $r->config->foo_option;

       # do something with $option

L<NEXT> is a replacement for the built-in C<SUPER> syntax. C<SUPER> dispatches a 
call to the superclass of the current package - B<but> it determines the 
superclass at compile time. At that time, the superclass is something like 
C<main::>. L<NEXT> does the superclass lookup at runtime, after 
L<Maypole::Application> has inserted the plugin into the request class's 
inheritance chain.

The C<DISTINCT> modifier ensures each plugin's C<setup> method is only called 
once, and protects against diamond inheritance. This may or may not be an issue 
in your app - and if you always use the C<DISTINCT> syntax, it won't be.

Notice that the C<setup> call is re-dispatched before running the plugin's own 
initialisation code. This allows C<Maypole::setup()> to set up the database, 
model, and table classes, before your plugin starts tweaking things.

You can use the C<setup> method to load modules into the request class 
namespace. L<Maypole::Plugin::I18N> has:

   sub setup {
       my $r = shift;
       require Locale::Maketext::Simple;
       import Locale::Maketext::Simple
         Class  => $r,
         Export => '_loc',
         Path   => $r->config->lexicon;

Now the application namespace has a C<_loc> function (exported by 
L<Locale::Maketext::Simple>), (plus C<lang> and C<maketext> methods inherited 
from L<Maypole::Plugin::I18N>).

=head3 More initialisation with C<init>

L<Maypole> also defines an C<init> method. It
pulls the name of the view class from the config, loads it, instantiates an 
object in the view class, and sets this in the C<view_object> config slot.

In CGI applications, C<init> is called at the start of every request.

Under mod_perl, this method will only ever be called once per server child, at 
the start of the first request after server startup. If instead, you call this 
method in your application module (after the call to C<setup>), then the code 
loaded by this call will be shared by all child servers.

See B<Hacking the view> for a plugin that uses C<init>.

=head2 Adding configuration

The configuration object can be retrieved from the Maypole request object 
(C<< $r->config >>) or as a class method on the application (e.g. 
C<< BeerDB->config >>).

If your plugin needs some custom configuration settings, you can add methods to 
the config object by saying

   Maypole::Config->mk_accessors( qw/ foo bar baz / );

at the start of your plugin. In the application, after the 
C<Maypole::Application> call, these methods will be available on the config 

=head2 Modifying the Maypole model

=over 4

=item Replacing the model

To load a different model, set 
C<< __PACKAGE__->config->model( 'Custom::Model' ) >> in the application
before calling C<setup>. You could instead set C<< $r->config->model >> before 
re-dispatching the C<setup> call, but this is going to confuse and annoy your 

=item Hacking the model

B<CAVEAT>: the way I do this just seems dirty, so there must be a Better Way.

L<Maypole::Plugin::FormBuilder> (part of the L<Maypole::FormBuilder> 
distribution), in its C<setup> method, loads a custom pager class into the model 
by saying

   eval "package $model; use $pager";

Yuk. Note that under mod_perl, you have just forced B<every> application using 
C<$model> to also use C<$pager>.

C<Maypole::Plugin::AutoUntaint::setup()> loads an extra method into the model by 

   no strict 'refs';
   *{"$model\::auto_untaint"} = \&Class::DBI::Plugin::AutoUntaint::auto_untaint;

Yuk again. And again, under mod_perl, now every application using C<$model> has 
an C<auto_untaint> method added to its model.

Same plugin, next line has

   eval "package $model; use Class::DBI::Plugin::Type";

Same yuk, same mod_perl caveat.


=head2 Modifying the Maypole view

=over 4

=item Replacing the view

Again, just specify a different view in the application configuration.

=item Hacking the view

L<Maypole::Plugin::FormBuilder> intercepts the C<init> call to override the 
C<vars> method in the view class. First it re-dispatches the C<init> call, which 
will set up either a default view class and object, or those configured in the 
application. Then it builds a new view class on-the-fly, and makes this new 
class inherit from L<Maypole::FormBuilder::View> and from the original view 
class. Finally it replaces the C<view> and C<view_object> in the application's 
config object.

   sub init
       my ( $class ) = @_;

       my $config = $class->config;


       my $old_view = $class->config->view ||
           die "Please configure a view in $class before calling init()";

       my $virtual_view = "$class\::__::View";

       eval <<VIEW;
   package $virtual_view;
   use base qw( Maypole::FormBuilder::View $old_view );

       die $@ if $@;

       $config->view( $virtual_view );

       $class->view_object( $virtual_view->new );

There really must be a Better Way.


=head1 AUTHOR

David Baird, C<< <cpan@riverside-cms.co.uk> >>


Copyright 2005 David Baird, All Rights Reserved.

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