Skip to content
This repository


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP

(Perl) apparently run a function in a higher stack frame

Octocat-spinner-32 examples - bumped version to 0.1801 December 12, 2007
Octocat-spinner-32 lib Make xtests pass February 02, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 t fix more test regexes February 07, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 .gitignore convert to Dist::Zilla & fix some bugs November 01, 2010
Octocat-spinner-32 Changes bump Changes February 20, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 META.json updated meta files April 17, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 README.PATCHING add #VERSION hint February 02, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 README.pod updated meta files April 17, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 dist.ini Make xtests pass February 02, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 perlcritic.rc Make xtests pass February 02, 2012


Sub::Uplevel - apparently run a function in a higher stack frame


version 0.25


  use Sub::Uplevel;

  sub foo {
      print join " - ", caller;

  sub bar {
      uplevel 1, \&foo;

  #line 11
  bar();    # main - foo.plx - 11


Like Tcl's uplevel() function, but not quite so dangerous. The idea is just to fool caller(). All the really naughty bits of Tcl's uplevel() are avoided.


  uplevel $num_frames, \&func, @args;

Makes the given function think it's being executed $num_frames higher than the current stack level. So when they use caller($frames) it will actually give caller($frames + $num_frames) for them.

uplevel(1, \&some_func, @_) is effectively goto &some_func but you don't immediately exit the current subroutine. So while you can't do this:

    sub wrapper {
        print "Before\n";
        goto &some_func;
        print "After\n";

you can do this:

    sub wrapper {
        print "Before\n";
        my @out = uplevel 1, &some_func;
        print "After\n";
        return @out;

uplevel has the ability to issue a warning if $num_frames is more than the current call stack depth, although this warning is disabled and compiled out by default as the check is relatively expensive.

To enable the check for debugging or testing, you should set the global $Sub::Uplevel::CHECK_FRAMES to true before loading Sub::Uplevel for the first time as follows:

    BEGIN {
        $Sub::Uplevel::CHECK_FRAMES = 1;
    use Sub::Uplevel;

Setting or changing the global after the module has been loaded will have no effect.


The main reason I wrote this module is so I could write wrappers around functions and they wouldn't be aware they've been wrapped.

    use Sub::Uplevel;

    my $original_foo = \&foo;

    *foo = sub {
        my @output = uplevel 1, $original_foo;
        print "foo() returned:  @output";
        return @output;

If this code frightens you you should not use this module.


Well, the bad news is uplevel() is about 5 times slower than a normal function call. XS implementation anyone? It also slows down every invocation of caller(), regardless of whether uplevel() is in effect.

Sub::Uplevel overrides CORE::GLOBAL::caller temporarily for the scope of each uplevel call. It does its best to work with any previously existing CORE::GLOBAL::caller (both when Sub::Uplevel is first loaded and within each uplevel call) such as from Contextual::Return or Hook::LexWrap.

However, if you are routinely using multiple modules that override CORE::GLOBAL::caller, you are probably asking for trouble.

You should load Sub::Uplevel as early as possible within your program. As with all CORE::GLOBAL overloading, the overload will not affect modules that have already been compiled prior to the overload. One module that often is unavoidably loaded prior to Sub::Uplevel is Exporter. To forcibly recompile Exporter (and Exporter::Heavy) after loading Sub::Uplevel, use it with the ":aggressive" tag:

    use Sub::Uplevel qw/:aggressive/;

The private function Sub::Uplevel::_force_reload() may be passed a list of additional modules to reload if ":aggressive" is not aggressive enough. Reloading modules may break things, so only use this as a last resort.

As of version 0.20, Sub::Uplevel requires Perl 5.6 or greater.


Those who do not learn from HISTORY are doomed to repeat it.

The lesson here is simple: Don't sit next to a Tcl programmer at the dinner table.


Thanks to Brent Welch, Damian Conway and Robin Houston.



PadWalker (for the similar idea with lexicals), Hook::LexWrap, Tcl's uplevel() at


Bugs / Feature Requests

Please report any bugs or feature requests through the issue tracker at You will be notified automatically of any progress on your issue.

Source Code

This is open source software. The code repository is available for public review and contribution under the terms of the license.

  git clone


  • Michael Schwern <>
  • David Golden <>


This software is copyright (c) 2012 by Michael Schwern and David Golden.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.