Provided by: libalzabo-perl_0.92-4_all bug


       Alzabo::MethodMaker - Auto-generate useful methods based on an existing schema


         use Alzabo::MethodMaker ( schema => 'schema_name', all => 1 );


       This module can take an existing schema and generate a number of useful methods for this
       schema and its tables and rows.  The method making is controlled by the parameters given
       along with the use statement, as seen in the SYNOPSIS section.


       These parameters are all passed to the module when it is imported via "use".

       ·   schema => $schema_name

           This parameter is required.

       ·   class_root => $class_name

           If given, this will be used as the root of the class names generated by this module.
           This root should not end in '::'.  If none is given, then the calling module's name is
           used as the root.  See New Class Names for more information.

       ·   all => $bool

           This tells this module to make all of the methods it possibly can.  See METHOD
           CREATION OPTIONS for more details.

           If individual method creation options are set as false, then that setting will be
           respected, so you could use

             use Alzabo::MethodMaker( schema => 'foo', all => 1, tables => 0 );

           to turn on all of the regular options except for "tables".

       ·   name_maker => \&naming_sub

           If provided, then this callback will be called any time a method name needs to be
           generated.  This allows you to have full control over the resulting names.  Otherwise
           names are generated as described in the documentation.

           The callback is expected to return a name for the method to be used.  This name should
           not be fully qualified or contain any class designation as this will be handled by

           It is important that none of the names returned conflict with existing methods for the
           object the method is being added to.

           For example, when adding methods that return column objects to a table, if you have a
           column called 'name' and try to use that as the method name, it won't work.
           "Alzabo::Table" objects already have such a method, which returns the name of the
           table.  See the relevant documentation of the schema, table, and row objects for a
           list of methods they contain.

           The NAMING SUB PARAMETERS section contains the details of what parameters are passed
           to this callback.

           Please note that if you have a large complex schema you will almost certainly need to
           provide a custom naming subroutine to avoid name conflicts.


       Using this module has several effects on your schema's objects.

   New Class Names
       Your schema, table, and row objects to be blessed into subclasses of
       "Alzabo::Runtime::Schema", "Alzabo::Runtime::Table", "Alzabo::Runtime::Row", respectively.
       These subclasses contain the various methods created by this module.  The new class names
       are formed by using the "class_root" parameter and adding onto it.

       In order to make it convenient to add new methods to the table and row classes, the
       created table classes are all subclasses of a new class based on your class root, and the
       same thing is done for all created row classes.

       ·   Schema

             <class root>::Schema

       ·   Tables

             <class root>::Table::<table name>

           All tables will be subclasses of:

             <class root>::Table

       ·   Rows

             <class root>::Row::<table name>

           All rows will be subclasses of:

             <class root>::Row

       With a root of "My::MovieDB", and a schema with only two tables, "Movie" and "Image", this
       would result in the following class names:


        My::MovieDB::Table::Movie - subclass of My::MovieDB::Table
        My::MovieDB::Row::Movie   - subclass of My::MovieDB::Row

        My::MovieDB::Table::Image - subclass of My::MovieDB::Table
        My::MovieDB::Row::Image   - subclass of My::MovieDB::Row

   Loading Classes
       For each class into which an object is blessed, this module will attempt to load that
       class via a "use" statement.  If there is no module found this will not cause an error.
       If this class defines any methods that have the same name as those this module generates,
       then this module will not attempt to generate them.


       When using Alzabo::MethodMaker, you may specify any of the following parameters.
       Specifying "all" causes all of them to be used.

   Schema object methods
       ·   tables => $bool

           Creates methods for the schema that return the table object matching the name of the

           For example, given a schema containing tables named "Movie" and "Image", this would
           create methods that could be called as "$schema->Movie" and "$schema->Image".

   Table object methods.
       ·   table_columns => $bool

           Creates methods for the tables that return the column object matching the name of the
           method.  This is quite similar to the "tables" option for schemas.  So if our "Movie"
           table had a column called "title", we could write "$schema->Movie->title".

       ·   insert_hooks => $bool

           Look for hooks to wrap around the "insert()" method in "Alzabo::Runtime::Table".  See
           Loading Classes for more details.  You have to define either a "pre_insert()" and/or
           "post_insert()" method for the generated table class or this parameter will not do
           anything.  See the HOOKS section for more details.

   Row object methods
       ·   row_columns => $bool

           This tells MethodMaker to create get/set methods for each column a row has.  These
           methods take a single optional argument, which if given will cause that column to be
           updated for the row.

       ·   update_hooks => $bool

           Look for hooks to wrap around the "update" method in "Alzabo::Runtime::Row".  See
           Loading Classes for more details.  You have to define a "pre_update()" and/or
           "post_update()" method for the generated row class or this parameter will not do
           anything.  See the HOOKS section for more details.

       ·   select_hooks => $bool

           Look for hooks to wrap around the "select" method in "Alzabo::Runtime::Row".  See
           Loading Classes for more details.  You have to define either a "pre_select()" and/or
           "post_select()" method for the generated row class or this parameter will not do
           anything.  See the HOOKS section for more details.

       ·   delete_hooks => $bool

           Look for hooks to wrap around the "delete" method in "Alzabo::Runtime::Row".  See
           Loading Classes for more details.  You have to define either a "pre_delete()" and/or
           "post_delete()" method for the generated row class or this parameter will not do
           anything.  See the HOOKS section for more details.

       ·   foreign_keys => $bool

           Creates methods in row objects named for the table to which the relationship exists.
           These methods return either a single "Alzabo::Runtime::Row" object or a single
           "Alzabo::Runtime::RowCursor" object, depending on the cardinality of the relationship.

           For exa

             Movie                     Credit
             ---------                 --------
             movie_id                  movie_id
             title                     person_id

           This would create a method for Movie row objects called "Credit()" which would return
           a cursor for the associated Credit table rows.  Similarly, Credit row objects would
           have a method called "Movie()" which would return the associated Movie row object.

       ·   linking_tables => $bool

           A linking table, as defined here, is a table with a two column primary key, with each
           column being a foreign key to another table's primary key.  These tables exist to
           facilitate n..n logical relationships.  If both "foreign_keys" and "linking_tables"
           are true, then methods will be created that skip the intermediate linking tables.

           For example, with the following tables:

             User           UserGroup        Group
             -------        ---------        --------
             user_id        user_id          group_id
             user_name      group_id         group_name

           The "UserGroup" table exists solely to facilitate the n..n relationship between "User"
           and "Group".  User row objects will have a "Group()" method, which returns a row
           cursor of Group row objects.  And Group row objects will have a "User()" method which
           returns a row cursor of User row objects.

       ·   lookup_columns => $bool

           Lookup columns are columns in foreign tables to which a table has a many-to-one or
           one-to-one relationship to the foreign table's primary key.  For example, given the
           tables below:

             Restaurant                    Cuisine
             ---------                     --------
             restaurant_id                 cuisine_id
             restaurant_name   (n..1)      description
             phone                         spiciness

           In this example, Restaurant row objects would have "Cuisine_description()" and
           "Cuisine_spiciness" methods which returned the corresponding values from the "Cuisine"

       ·   self_relations => $bool

           A self relation is when a table has a parent/child relationship with itself.  Here is
           an example:


           NOTE: If the relationship has a cardinality of 1..1 then no methods will be created,
           as this option is really intended for parent/child relationships.  This may change in
           the future.

           In this case, Location row objects will have both "parent()" and "children()" methods.
           The parent method returns a single row, while the "children()" method returns a row
           cursor of Location rows.


       As was mentioned previously, it is possible to create pre- and post-execution hooks to
       wrap around a number of methods.  This allows you to do data validation on inserts and
       updates as well as giving you a chance to filter incoming or outgoing data as needed.  For
       example, this can be used to convert dates to and from a specific RDBMS format.

       All hooks are inside a transaction which is rolled back if any part of the process fails.

       It should be noted that Alzabo uses both the "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->select" and
       "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->delete" methods internally.  If their behavior is radically altered
       through the use of hooks, then some of Alzabo's functionality may be broken.

       Given this, it may be safer to create new methods to fetch and massage data rather than to
       create post-select hooks that alter data.

       Each of these hooks receives different parameters, documented below:

   Insert Hooks
       ·   pre_insert

           This method receives a hash reference of all the parameters that are passed to the
           "Alzabo::Runtime::Table->insert()" method.

           These are the actual parameters that will be passed to the "insert" method so
           alterations to this reference will be seen by that method.  This allows you to alter
           the values that actually end up going into the database or change any other parameters
           as you see fit.

       ·   post_insert

           This method also receives a hash reference containing all of the parameters passed to
           the "insert()" method.  In addition, the hash reference contains an additional key,
           "row", which contains the newly created row.

   Update Hooks
       ·   pre_update

           This method receives a hash reference of the parameters that will be passed to the
           "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->update()" method.  Again, alterations to these parameters will
           be seen by the "update" method.

       ·   post_update

           This method receives the same parameters as "pre_update()"

   Select Hooks
       ·   pre_select

           This method receives an array reference containing the names of the requested columns.
           This is called when either the "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->select()" or
           "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->select_hash()" methods are called.

       ·   post_select

           This method is called after the "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->select()" or
           "Alzabo::Runtime::Row->select_hash()" methods.  It receives a hash containing the name
           and values returned from the revelant method, which it may modify.  If the values of
           this hash reference are modified, then this will be seen by the original caller.

   Delete hooks
       ·   pre_delete

           This method receives no parameters.


       The naming sub will receive a hash containing the following parameters:

       ·   type => $method_type

           This will always be the same as one of the parameters you give to the import method.
           It will be one of the following: "foreign_key", "linking_table", "lookup_columns",
           "row_column", "self_relation", "table", "table_column".

       The following parameters vary from case to case, depending on the value of "type".

       When the type is "table":

       ·   table => Alzabo::Table object

           This parameter will be passed when the type is "table".  It is the table object the
           schema object's method will return.

       When the type is "table_column" or "row_column":

       ·   column => Alzabo::Column object

           When the type is "table_column", this is the column object the method will return.
           When the type is "row_column", then it is the column whose value the method will

       When the type is "foreign_key", "linking_table", or "self_relation":

       ·   foreign_key => Alzabo::ForeignKey object

           This is the foreign key on which the method is based.

       It is possible to create an n..n relationship between a table and itself, and MethodMaker
       will attempt to generate linking table methods for such relationships, so your naming sub
       may need to take this into account.

       When the type is "foreign_key":

       ·   plural => $bool

           This indicates whether or not the method that is being created will return a cursor
           object (true) or a row object (false).

       When the type is "linking_table":

       ·   foreign_key_2 => Alzabo::ForeignKey object

           When making a linking table method, two foreign keys are used.  The "foreign_key" is
           from the table being linked from to the linking table.  This parameter is the foreign
           key from the linking table to the table being linked to.

       When the type is "lookup_columns":

       ·   column => Alzabo::Column object

           When making lookup column methods, this column is the column in the foreign table for
           which a method is being made.

       When the type is "self_relation":

       ·   parent => $boolean

           This indicates whether or not the method being created will return parent objects
           (true) or child objects (false).


       Here is an example that covers all of the possible options:

        use Lingua::EN::Inflect;

        sub namer
            my %p = @_;

            # Table object can be returned from the schema via methods such as $schema->User_t;
            return $p{table}->name . '_t' if $p{type} eq 'table';

            # Column objects are returned similarly, via $schema->User_t->username_c;
            return $p{column}->name . '_c' if $p{type} eq 'table_column';

            # If I have a row object, I can get at the columns via their
            # names, for example $user->username;
            return $p{column}->name if $p{type} eq 'row_column';

            # This manipulates the table names a bit to generate names.  For
            # example, if I have a table called UserRating and a 1..n
            # relationship from User to UserRating, I'll end up with a method
            # on rows in the User table called ->Ratings which returns a row
            # cursor of rows from the UserRating table.
            if ( $p{type} eq 'foreign_key' )
                my $name = $p{foreign_key}->table_to->name;
                my $from = $p{foreign_key}->table_from->name;
                $name =~ s/$from//;

                if ($p{plural})
                    return my_PL( $name );
                    return $name;

            # This is very similar to how foreign keys are handled.  Assume
            # we have the tables Restaurant, Cuisine, and RestaurantCuisine.
            # If we are generating a method for the link from Restaurant
            # through to Cuisine, we'll have a method on Restaurant table
            # rows called ->Cuisines, which will return a cursor of rows from
            # the Cuisine table.
            # Note: this will generate a bad name if given a linking table
            # that links a table to itself.
            if ( $p{type} eq 'linking_table' )
                my $method = $p{foreign_key}->table_to->name;
                my $tname = $p{foreign_key}->table_from->name;
                $method =~ s/$tname//;

                return my_PL($method);

            # Lookup columns are columns if foreign tables for which there
            # exists a one-to-one or many-to-one relationship.  In cases such
            # as these, it is often the case that the foreign table is rarely
            # used on its own, but rather it primarily used as a lookup table
            # for values that should appear to be part of other tables.
            # For example, an Address table might have a many-to-one
            # relationship with a State table.  The State table would contain
            # the columns 'name' and 'abbreviation'.  If we have
            # an Address table row, it is convenient to simply be able to say
            # $address->state_name and $address->state_abbreviation.

            if ( $p{type} eq 'lookup_columns' )
                return join '_', map { lc $_->name } $p{foreign_key}->table_to, $p{column};

            # This should be fairly self-explanatory.
            return $p{parent} ? 'parent' : 'children'
                if $p{type} eq 'self_relation';

            # And just to make sure that nothing slips by us we do this.
            die "unknown type in call to naming sub: $p{type}\n";

        # Lingua::EN::Inflect did not handle the word 'hours' properly when this was written
        sub my_PL
            my $name = shift;
            return $name if $name =~ /hours$/i;

            return Lingua::EN::Inflect::PL($name);


       This module keeps track of methods that are generated and can in turn generate basic POD
       for those methods.

       Any schema that has had methods generated for it by Alzabo::MethodMaker will have an
       additional method, "docs_as_pod".  This will return documentation for the schema object's
       methods, as well as any documentation available for objects that the schema contains, in
       this case tables.  The tables in turn return their own documentation plus that of their
       contained row classes.

       It is also possible to call the "docs_as_pod" method on any generated table or row class

       A simple script like the following can be used to send all of the generated documentation
       to "STDOUT".

         use Alzabo::MethodMaker ( schema => 'foo', all => 1 );

         my $s = Alzabo::Runtime::Schema->load_from_file( name => 'foo' );

         print $s->docs_as_pod;


       Dave Rolsky, <>