Provided by: libaspect-perl_1.04-1_all bug


       Aspect::Library::Listenable - Observer pattern with events


         # The class that we will make listenable
         package Point;

         sub new {
            bless { color => 'blue' }, shift;

         sub erase {
             print 'erased!';

         sub get_color {

         sub set_color {
             $_[0]->{color} = $_[1];

         package main;

         use Aspect;
         use Aspect::Library::Listenable;

         # Setup the simplest listenable relationship: a signal

         # Define the aspect for the listenable relationship
         aspect Listenable => ( Erase => call 'Point::erase' );

         # Now add a listener
         my $erase_listener = sub { print shift->as_string };
         add_listener $point, Erase => $erase_listener;

         my $point = Point->new;
         # prints: "erased! name:Erase, source:Point"

         remove_listener $point, Erase => $erase_listener;
         # prints: "erased!"

         # A more complex relationship: listeners get old and new color values
         # and will only be notified if these values are not equal
         aspect Listenable =>
            (Color => call 'Point::set_color', color => 'get_color');

         add_listener $point, Color =>
            my $color_listener = sub { print shift->as_string };

         # prints: "name:Color, source:Point, color:red, old_color:blue, params:red"

         $point->set_color('red'); # does not print anything, color unchanged

         remove_listener $point, Color => $color_listener;

         # listeners can be callback, as above, or they can be objects

         package ColorListener;
         sub new { bless {}, shift }
         sub handle_event_Color { print "new color: ". shift->color };
         package main;

         add_listener $point, Color => my $object_listener = ColorListener->new;
         # prints: "new color: green"
         remove_listener $point, Color => $object_listener;

         # listeners can also be specific methods on objects

         package EraseListener;
         sub new { bless {}, shift }
         sub my_erase_handler { print 'heard an erase event!' }
         package main;

         add_listener $point, Color =>
            [my_erase_handler => my $method_listener = EraseListener->new]
         # prints: "heard an erase event!"
         remove_listener $point, Color => $method_listener;


       A reusable aspect for implementing the Listenable design pattern. It lets you to define
       listenables and the events they fire. Then you can add/remove listeners to these
       listenables. When specific methods of the listenable are called, registered listeners will
       be notified.

       Some examples of use are:

       ·   A timer that allows registration of listeners. They will receive events when the timer

       ·   In an MVC application, as a mechanism for registering views as listeners of models.
           Then when models change, views receive events, which they handle by updating the
           display. Several views can be set as listeners for any event of any model.

       The Listenable pattern is a variation of the basic Observer pattern:

       1.  Listeners can be attached to specific events fired by a listenable.  Listenables can
           fire several types of events. In the basic Observer pattern, observers are attached to
           entire observables.

       2.  Listeners receive an event as their only parameter. From this event, they can get its
           name, source, old/new states of the listenable, and any parameters that were sent to
           the listenable method that fired the event.

       Because it is implemented using aspects, there is no change required to the listenable or
       listener classes. For example, you are not required to fire events after performing
       interesting state changes in the listenable.  The aspect will do this for you.


       Creating listenable relationships between objects is done in two steps.  First you must
       define the relationship between the classes, then you can instantiate the defined
       relationship between instances of these classes.

       Defining the relationships between classes is done once per program run.  This is similar
       to how methods and classes are defined only once.

       Each listenable relationship between classes is defined by one aspect, answering 3

       1.  What is the name of the event being fired?

       2.  What methods on what listenable objects cause events to be fired?

       3.  What data will be present in the event object, so that listeners can gather
           information about the change to the listenable that caused the event to fire? This is
           optional. The event could carry no data at all, except its name and source.

       You create a listenable aspect so:

         aspect Listenable => (EVENT_NAME => POINTCUT, EVENT_DATA)

       The "EVENT_DATA" part is optional. The three parameters are your answers to the questions

           The string event name. A listenable can participate in several listenable aspects,
           each with a different event name. Another way to describe it, is that a listenable can
           fire several types of events.

           A pointcut object (Aspect::Pointcut) that selects "hot" methods. After these methods
           are run, an event will be fired.

           Optional hash of keys and values you want to add to the event before it is fired. They
           key is the string name of the property that will be given to the event, and the value
           is a string name of a method, on the listenable, that will be called to get the
           property value. The getter method on the listenable must exist for this to work. If
           you set "EVENT_DATA", then change checking will be performed before firing. The event
           will only be fired, if the event data has changed. If there is no "EVENT_DATA", the
           event will always be fired. The "EVENT_DATA" feature is useful for providing listeners
           with more information about the event.  Example: when listening to a selection widget,
           it may by used for informing listeners of the item selected.

       Here is an example of transforming a selector widget, so that it will fire an event, right
       after it has received a click from the user.  Listeners can get the selected index from
       the event they receive:

         aspect Listenable => (
            ItemSelected   => call 'SelectorWidget::click',
            selected_index => 'selected_index',

       This assumes that there exists a method "SelectorWidget::selected_index", that will return
       the currently selected item, and a method "click", called whenever the user clicks the
       widget. The event will only be fired if the "selected_index" has changed.

       Because the aspect should be created only Once during a program run, for each listenable
       relationship type, there are several options for choosing the place to actually create it:

       ·   In the listenable, outside any methods or in some static initializer

       ·   In the top level program unit

       ·   In a Facade over some framework

       ·   In a new class you create, which must be used by the code adding/removing listeners

       Now all that is needed is some way to add and remove listener objects, from a specific
       listenable, so that the event will actually be handled by someone, and not just fired into
       the void.

       The simplest listener is a "CODE" ref. It can added and removed so:

         use Aspect::Library::Listenable;
         my $code = sub { print "event!" }
         add_listener $point, Color => $code;    # add
         $point->set_color('red');               # $code will be run
         remove_listener $point, Color => $code; # remove
         $point->set_color('yellow');            # event will not fire

       The event object is the only parameter received by the callback.

       The other two types of listeners are object, and method:

       1.  Object - the method "handle_event_EVENT_NAME" will be called.

       2.  Array ref with two elements- scalar method name and listener object.

       When the listener is an object , the method name to be called is computed from the event
       name by adding "handle_event_" in front of the event name. For example: a car object will
       call the method "handle_event_FrontLeftDoorOpened" on its listeners that are objects.

       When the listener is an array ref (method listener), the method name (1st element) is
       called on the object (2nd element). When removing this type of listener, you do not remove
       the array ref but the listener object, i.e. exactly like you remove an object listener.

       For method listeners, you can also change the parameter list of the method. Usually, the
       event is the only parameter to the listener method.  By changing the parameter list, you
       can turn any existing method into a listener method, without changing it.

       You change the parameter list, by providing a list of event properties, whose values will
       become the new parameter list. Here is how to make a "Family::set_father_name" run each
       time "Person::set_name" is called on the father object:

         aspect Listenable => (
            NameChange => call 'Person::set_name',
            name => 'name',

         $father = Person->new;
         $family = Family->new;

         add_listener $father, NameChange =>
            [set_father_name => $family, [qw(name)]];

         $father->set_name('dan'); # $family->set_father_name('dan') will be called

       Listener code is called with one parameter: the event. Its class is
       "Aspect::Listenable::Event". All events have at least these properties:

           The name of the event as defined in the aspect.

           The listenable object.

           The event was fired because a method was called. In this property you will find an
           array ref of the parameters sent to that method.

       Besides these properties, you can also access any properties that were defined to be in
       the event state, when the listenable aspect was created.  For each such property, there is
       another, with "old_" prefixed, which holds the value of the property on the listenable,
       before the event was fired.

       You access properties on the event using getters. To get the new color of a point after a
       "Color" event:

         sub handle_event_Color {
            my $event = shift;
            print $event->color;


       ·   Only works with hash based objects. May use "Scalar-Footnote" in the future to get
           around this, or try to keep listeners in the aspect, not the listenable.

       ·   Supports removing listeners, but not aspects. Aspects will be removed and event will
           stop firing, but listeners will not be cleaned up from listenables. Setup your aspect
           only once per relationship type, and call "aspect Listenable..." in a void context.


       "Class::Listener", "Class::Observable". Both are object-oriented solutions to the same
       problem. Both force you to change the listenable class, by adding the code to fire events
       inside your "hot" methods.


       Adam Kennedy <>

       Marcel Gruenauer <>

       Ran Eilam <>


       Copyright 2001 by Marcel Gruenauer

       Some parts copyright 2009 - 2013 Adam Kennedy.

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