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1=encoding utf8
2
3=for comment
4Consistent formatting of this file is achieved with:
5 perl ./Porting/podtidy pod/perlsource.pod
6
7=head1 NAME
8
9perlsource - A guide to the Perl source tree
10
11=head1 DESCRIPTION
12
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13This document describes the layout of the Perl source tree. If you're
14hacking on the Perl core, this will help you find what you're looking
15for.
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16
17=head1 FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND
18
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19The Perl source tree is big. Here's some of the thing you'll find in
20it:
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21
22=head2 C code
23
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24The C source code and header files mostly live in the root of the
25source tree. There are a few platform-specific directories which
26contain C code. In addition, some of the modules shipped with Perl
27include C or XS code.
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28
29See L<perlinterp> for more details on the files that make up the Perl
30interpreter, as well as details on how it works.
31
32=head2 Core modules
33
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34Modules shipped as part of the Perl core live in four subdirectories.
35Two of these directories contain modules that live in the core, and two
36contain modules that can also be released separately on CPAN. Modules
37which can be released on cpan are known as "dual-life" modules.
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38
39=over 4
40
41=item * F<lib/>
42
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43This directory contains pure-Perl modules which are only released as
44part of the core. This directory contains I<all> of the modules and
45their tests, unlike other core modules.
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46
47=item * F<ext/>
48
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49This directory contains XS-using modules which are only released as
50part of the core. These modules generally have their F<Makefile.PL> and
51are laid out more like a typical CPAN module.
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52
53=item * F<dist/>
54
55This directory is for dual-life modules where the blead source is
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56canonical. Note that some modules in this directory may not yet have
57been released separately on CPAN.
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58
59=item * F<cpan/>
60
61This directory contains dual-life modules where the CPAN module is
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62canonical. Do not patch these modules directly! Changes to these
63modules should be submitted to the maintainer of the CPAN module. Once
64those changes are applied and released, the new version of the module
65will be incorporated into the core.
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66
67=back
68
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69For some dual-life modules, it has not yet been determined if the CPAN
70version or the blead source is canonical. Until that is done, those
71modules should be in F<cpan/>.
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72
73=head2 Tests
74
75The Perl core has an extensive test suite. If you add new tests (or new
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76modules with tests), you may need to update the F<t/TEST> file so that
77the tests are run.
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78
79=over 4
80
81=item * Module tests
82
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83Tests for core modules in the F<lib/> directory are right next to the
84module itself. For example, we have F<lib/strict.pm> and
85F<lib/strict.t>.
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86
87Tests for modules in F<ext/> and the dual-life modules are in F<t/>
88subdirectories for each module, like a standard CPAN distribution.
89
90=item * F<t/base/>
91
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92Tests for the absolute basic functionality of Perl. This includes
93C<if>, basic file reads and writes, simple regexes, etc. These are run
94first in the test suite and if any of them fail, something is I<really>
95broken.
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96
97=item * F<t/cmd/>
98
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99Tests for basic control structures, C<if/else>, C<while>, subroutines,
100etc.
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101
102=item * F<t/comp/>
103
104Tests for basic issues of how Perl parses and compiles itself.
105
106=item * F<t/io/>
107
108Tests for built-in IO functions, including command line arguments.
109
110=item * F<t/mro/>
111
112Tests for perl's method resolution order implementations (see L<mro>).
113
114=item * F<t/op/>
115
116Tests for perl's built in functions that don't fit into any of the
117other directories.
118
119=item * F<t/re/>
120
121Tests for regex related functions or behaviour. (These used to live in
122t/op).
123
124=item * F<t/run/>
125
126Tests for features of how perl actually runs, including exit codes and
127handling of PERL* environment variables.
128
129=item * F<t/uni/>
130
131Tests for the core support of Unicode.
132
133=item * F<t/win32/>
134
135Windows-specific tests.
136
137=item * F<t/porting/>
138
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139Tests the state of the source tree for various common errors. For
140example, it tests that everyone who is listed in the git log has a
141corresponding entry in the F<AUTHORS> file.
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142
143=item * F<t/lib/>
144
145The old home for the module tests, you shouldn't put anything new in
146here. There are still some bits and pieces hanging around in here that
147need to be moved. Perhaps you could move them? Thanks!
148
149=item * F<t/x2p>
150
151A test suite for the s2p converter.
152
153=back
154
155=head2 Documentation
156
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157All of the core documentation intended for end users lives in F<pod/>.
158Individual modules in F<lib/>, F<ext/>, F<dist/>, and F<cpan/> usually
159have their own documentation, either in the F<Module.pm> file or an
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160accompanying F<Module.pod> file.
161
162Finally, documentation intended for core Perl developers lives in the
163F<Porting/> directory.
164
2d947516 165=head2 Hacking tools and documentation
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166
167The F<Porting> directory contains a grab bag of code and documentation
168intended to help porters work on Perl. Some of the highlights include:
169
170=over 4
171
172=item * F<check*>
173
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174These are scripts which will check the source things like ANSI C
175violations, POD encoding issues, etc.
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176
177=item * F<Maintainers>, F<Maintainers.pl>, and F<Maintainers.pm>
178
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179These files contain information on who maintains which modules. Run
180C<perl Porting/Maintainers -M Module::Name> to find out more
181information about a dual-life module.
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182
183=item * F<podtidy>
184
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185Tidies a pod file. It's a good idea to run this on a pod file you've
186patched.
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187
188=back
189
190=head2 Build system
191
192The Perl build system starts with the F<Configure> script in the root
193directory.
194
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195Platform-specific pieces of the build system also live in
196platform-specific directories like F<win32/>, F<vms/>, etc.
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197
198The F<Configure> script is ultimately responsible for generating a
199F<Makefile>.
200
201The build system that Perl uses is called metaconfig. This system is
202maintained separately from the Perl core.
203
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204The metaconfig system has its own git repository. Please see its README
205file in L<http://perl5.git.perl.org/metaconfig.git/> for more details.
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207The F<Cross> directory contains various files related to
208cross-compiling Perl. See F<Cross/README> for more details.
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209
210=head2 F<AUTHORS>
211
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212This file lists everyone who's contributed to Perl. If you submit a
213patch, you should add your name to this file as part of the patch.
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214
215=head2 F<MANIFEST>
216
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217The F<MANIFEST> file in the root of the source tree contains a list of
218every file in the Perl core, as well as a brief description of each
219file.
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220
221You can get an overview of all the files with this command:
222
223 % perl -lne 'print if /^[^\/]+\.[ch]\s+/' MANIFEST