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       Pod::Simple - framework for parsing Pod




       Pod::Simple is a Perl library for parsing text in the Pod ("plain old documentation")
       markup language that is typically used for writing documentation for Perl and for Perl
       modules. The Pod format is explained perlpod; the most common formatter is called

       Pod formatters can use Pod::Simple to parse Pod documents and render them into plain text,
       HTML, or any number of other formats. Typically, such formatters will be subclasses of
       Pod::Simple, and so they will inherit its methods, like "parse_file".

       If you're reading this document just because you have a Pod-processing subclass that you
       want to use, this document (plus the documentation for the subclass) is probably all you
       need to read.

       If you're reading this document because you want to write a formatter subclass, continue
       reading it and then read Pod::Simple::Subclassing, and then possibly even read perlpodspec
       (some of which is for parser-writers, but much of which is notes to formatter-writers).


       "$parser = SomeClass->new();"
           This returns a new parser object, where "SomeClass" is a subclass of Pod::Simple.

       "$parser->output_fh( *OUT );"
           This sets the filehandle that $parser's output will be written to.  You can pass
           *STDOUT, otherwise you should probably do something like this:

               my $outfile = "output.txt";
               open TXTOUT, ">$outfile" or die "Can't write to $outfile: $!";

           ...before you call one of the "$parser->parse_whatever" methods.

       "$parser->output_string( \$somestring );"
           This sets the string that $parser's output will be sent to, instead of any filehandle.

       "$parser->parse_file( $some_filename );"
       "$parser->parse_file( *INPUT_FH );"
           This reads the Pod content of the file (or filehandle) that you specify, and processes
           it with that $parser object, according to however $parser's class works, and according
           to whatever parser options you have set up for this $parser object.

       "$parser->parse_string_document( $all_content );"
           This works just like "parse_file" except that it reads the Pod content not from a
           file, but from a string that you have already in memory.

       "$parser->parse_lines( ...@lines..., undef );"
           This processes the lines in @lines (where each list item must be a defined value, and
           must contain exactly one line of content -- so no items like "foo\nbar" are allowed).
           The final "undef" is used to indicate the end of document being parsed.

           The other "parser_whatever" methods are meant to be called only once per $parser
           object; but "parse_lines" can be called as many times per $parser object as you want,
           as long as the last call (and only the last call) ends with an "undef" value.

           This returns true only if there has been any real content seen for this document.

       "SomeClass->filter( $filename );"
       "SomeClass->filter( *INPUT_FH );"
       "SomeClass->filter( \$document_content );"
           This is a shortcut method for creating a new parser object, setting the output handle
           to STDOUT, and then processing the specified file (or filehandle, or in-memory
           document). This is handy for one-liners like this:

             perl -MPod::Simple::Text -e "Pod::Simple::Text->filter('thingy.pod')"


       Some of these methods might be of interest to general users, as well as of interest to

       Note that the general pattern here is that the accessor-methods read the attribute's value
       with "$value = $parser->attribute" and set the attribute's value with
       "$parser->attribute(newvalue)".  For each accessor, I typically only mention one syntax or
       another, based on which I think you are actually most likely to use.

       "$parser->no_whining( SOMEVALUE )"
           If you set this attribute to a true value, you will suppress the parser's complaints
           about irregularities in the Pod coding. By default, this attribute's value is false,
           meaning that irregularities will be reported.

           Note that turning this attribute to true won't suppress one or two kinds of complaints
           about rarely occurring unrecoverable errors.

       "$parser->no_errata_section( SOMEVALUE )"
           If you set this attribute to a true value, you will stop the parser from generating a
           "POD ERRORS" section at the end of the document. By default, this attribute's value is
           false, meaning that an errata section will be generated, as necessary.

       "$parser->complain_stderr( SOMEVALUE )"
           If you set this attribute to a true value, it will send reports of parsing errors to
           STDERR. By default, this attribute's value is false, meaning that no output is sent to

           Setting "complain_stderr" also sets "no_errata_section".

           This returns the filename that this parser object was set to read from.

           This returns true if $parser has read from a source, and has seen Pod content in it.

           This returns true if $parser has read from a source, and come to the end of that

       "$parser->strip_verbatim_indent( SOMEVALUE )"
           The perlpod spec for a Verbatim paragraph is "It should be reproduced exactly...",
           which means that the whitespace you've used to indent your verbatim blocks will be
           preserved in the output. This can be annoying for outputs such as HTML, where that
           whitespace will remain in front of every line. It's an unfortunate case where syntax
           is turned into semantics.

           If the POD your parsing adheres to a consistent indentation policy, you can have such
           indentation stripped from the beginning of every line of your verbatim blocks. This
           method tells Pod::Simple what to strip. For two-space indents, you'd use:

             $parser->strip_verbatim_indent('  ');

           For tab indents, you'd use a tab character:


           If the POD is inconsistent about the indentation of verbatim blocks, but you have
           figured out a heuristic to determine how much a particular verbatim block is indented,
           you can pass a code reference instead. The code reference will be executed with one
           argument, an array reference of all the lines in the verbatim block, and should return
           the value to be stripped from each line. For example, if you decide that you're fine
           to use the first line of the verbatim block to set the standard for indentation of the
           rest of the block, you can look at the first line and return the appropriate value,
           like so:

             $new->strip_verbatim_indent(sub {
                 my $lines = shift;
                 (my $indent = $lines->[0]) =~ s/\S.*//;
                 return $indent;

           If you'd rather treat each line individually, you can do that, too, by just
           transforming them in-place in the code reference and returning "undef". Say that you
           don't want any lines indented. You can do something like this:

             $new->strip_verbatim_indent(sub {
                 my $lines = shift;
                 sub { s/^\s+// for @{ $lines },
                 return undef;


       This is just a beta release -- there are a good number of things still left to do.
       Notably, support for EBCDIC platforms is still half-done, an untested.








       Questions or discussion about POD and Pod::Simple should be sent to the mail list. Send an empty email to to

       This module is managed in an open GitHub repository,
       <>. Feel free to fork and contribute, or to clone
       git:// <git://> and send

       Patches against Pod::Simple are welcome. Please send bug reports to


       Copyright (c) 2002 Sean M. Burke.

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

       This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty;
       without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


       Pod::Simple was created by Sean M. Burke <>.  But don't bother him, he's

       Pod::Simple is maintained by:

       ·   Allison Randal ""

       ·   Hans Dieter Pearcey ""

       ·   David E. Wheeler ""