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Module::Metadata - Gather package and POD information from perl module files


use Module::Metadata;

# information about a .pm file
my $info = Module::Metadata->new_from_file( $file );
my $version = $info->version;

# CPAN META 'provides' field for .pm files in a directory
my $provides = Module::Metadata->provides(
  dir => 'lib', version => 2


This module provides a standard way to gather metadata about a .pm file without executing unsafe code.


Class methods

new_from_file($filename, collect_pod => 1)

Construct a Module::Metadata object given the path to a file. Takes an optional argument collect_pod which is a boolean that determines whether POD data is collected and stored for reference. POD data is not collected by default. POD headings are always collected. Returns undef if the filename does not exist.

new_from_handle($handle, $filename, collect_pod => 1)

This works just like new_from_file, except that a handle can be provided as the first argument. Note that there is no validation to confirm that the handle is a handle or something that can act like one. Passing something that isn't a handle will cause a exception when trying to read from it. The filename argument is mandatory or undef will be returned.

new_from_module($module, collect_pod => 1, inc => \@dirs)

Construct a Module::Metadata object given a module or package name. In addition to accepting the collect_pod argument as described above, this method accepts a inc argument which is a reference to an array of of directories to search for the module. If none are given, the default is @INC. Returns undef if the module cannot be found.

find_module_by_name($module, \@dirs)

Returns the path to a module given the module or package name. A list of directories can be passed in as an optional parameter, otherwise @INC is searched.

Can be called as either an object or a class method.

find_module_dir_by_name($module, \@dirs)

Returns the entry in @dirs (or @INC by default) that contains the module $module. A list of directories can be passed in as an optional parameter, otherwise @INC is searched.

Can be called as either an object or a class method.

provides( %options )

This is a convenience wrapper around package_versions_from_directory to generate a CPAN META provides data structure. It takes key/value pairs. Valid option keys include:

version (required)

Specifies which version of the CPAN::Meta::Spec should be used as the format of the provides output. Currently only '1.4' and '2' are supported (and their format is identical). This may change in the future as the definition of provides changes.

The version option is required. If it is omitted or if an unsupported version is given, then provides will throw an error.


Directory to search recursively for .pm files. May not be specified with files.


Array reference of files to examine. May not be specified with dir.


String to prepend to the file field of the resulting output. This defaults to lib, which is the common case for most CPAN distributions with their .pm files in lib. This option ensures the META information has the correct relative path even when the dir or files arguments are absolute or have relative paths from a location other than the distribution root.

For example, given dir of 'lib' and prefix of 'lib', the return value is a hashref of the form:

  'Package::Name' => {
    version => '0.123',
    file => 'lib/Package/'
  'OtherPackage::Name' => ...
package_versions_from_directory($dir, \@files?)

Scans $dir for .pm files (unless @files is given, in which case looks for those files in $dir - and reads each file for packages and versions, returning a hashref of the form:

  'Package::Name' => {
    version => '0.123',
    file => 'Package/'
  'OtherPackage::Name' => ...

The DB and main packages are always omitted, as are any "private" packages that have leading underscores in the namespace (e.g. Foo::_private)

Note that the file path is relative to $dir if that is specified. This must not be used directly for CPAN META provides. See the provides method instead.

log_info (internal)

Used internally to perform logging; imported from Log::Contextual if Log::Contextual has already been loaded, otherwise simply calls warn.

Object methods


Returns the name of the package represented by this module. If there are more than one packages, it makes a best guess based on the filename. If it's a script (i.e. not a *.pm) the package name is 'main'.


Returns the version as defined by the $VERSION variable for the package as returned by the name method if no arguments are given. If given the name of a package it will attempt to return the version of that package if it is specified in the file.


Returns the absolute path to the file.


Returns a list of packages. Note: this is a raw list of packages discovered (or assumed, in the case of main). It is not filtered for DB, main or private packages the way the provides method does.


Returns a list of POD sections.


Returns true if there is any POD in the file.


Returns the POD data in the given section.


Original code from Module::Build::ModuleInfo by Ken Williams <>, Randy W. Sims <>

Released as Module::Metadata by Matt S Trout (mst) <> with assistance from David Golden (xdg) <>.


Original code Copyright (c) 2001-2011 Ken Williams. Additional code Copyright (c) 2010-2011 Matt Trout and David Golden. All rights reserved.

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