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=begin pod :tag<perl6>
=TITLE Object orientation
=SUBTITLE Object orientation in Perl 6
Perl 6 provides strong support for L<Object Oriented Programming (OOP)|>.
Although Perl 6 allows programmers to program in multiple paradigms,
Object Oriented Programming is at the heart of the language.
Perl 6 comes with a wealth of predefined types, which can be classified
in two categories: normal and L<I<native> types|/language/nativetypes>.
Everything that you can store in a variable is either a I<native value>
or an I<object>. That includes literals, types (type objects), code and
Native types are used for low-level types (like C<uint64>). Even if I<native>
types do not have the same capabilities as objects, if you call methods on them,
they are automatically I<boxed> into normal objects.
Everything that is not a I<native> value is an <object>.
Objects do allow for both L<inheritance|> and
=head1 Using objects
To call a method on an object, add a dot, followed by the method name:
=for code
say "abc".uc;
This calls the C<uc> method on C<"abc">, which is an object of type
C<Str>. To supply arguments to the method, add arguments inside parentheses
after the method.
=for code
my $formatted-text = "Fourscore and seven years ago...".indent(8);
say $formatted-text;
# OUTPUT: « Fourscore and seven years ago...␤»
C<$formatted-text> now contains the above text, but indented 8 spaces.
Multiple arguments are separated by commas:
=for code :preamble<my $formatted-text;>
my @words = "Abe", "Lincoln";
@words.push("said", $formatted-text.comb(/\w+/));
say @words;
# OUTPUT: «[Abe Lincoln said (Fourscore and seven years ago)]␤»
Multiple arguments can be specified by separating the argument list with a colon:
=for code :preamble<my @words;>
say @words.join: '--';
# OUTPUT: «Abe--Lincoln--said--Fourscore--and--seven--years--ago␤»
Since you have to put a C<:> after the method if you want to pass arguments
without parentheses, a method call without a colon or parentheses is
unambiguously a method call without an argument list:
say 4.log: ; # OUTPUT: «1.38629436111989␤» ( natural logarithm of 4 )
say 4.log: +2; # OUTPUT: «2␤» ( base-2 logarithm of 4 )
say 4.log +2; # OUTPUT: «3.38629436111989␤» ( natural logarithm of 4, plus 2 )
Many operations that don't look like method calls (for example, smartmatching or
interpolating an object into a string) result in method calls under the hood.
Methods can return mutable containers, in which case you can assign to the
return value of a method call. This is how read-writable attributes to
objects are used:
=for code
$* = "\r\n";
Here, we call method C<nl-in> on the C<$*IN> object, without arguments,
and assign to the container it returned with the L<C<=>|=> operator.
All objects support methods from class L<Mu>, which is the type hierarchy root.
All objects derive from C<Mu>.
=head2 Type objects
Types themselves are objects and you can get the I<type object> by writing its name:
=for code
my $int-type-obj = Int;
You can ask any object for its type object by calling the C<WHAT> method
(which is actually a macro in method form):
=for code :ok-test<WHAT>
my $int-type-obj = 1.WHAT;
Type objects (other than L<Mu>) can be compared for equality with the
L<C<===>|===> identity operator:
=for code :ok-test<WHAT>
sub f(Int $x) {
if $x.WHAT === Int {
say 'you passed an Int';
else {
say 'you passed a subtype of Int';
Although, in most cases, the L<C<.isa>|isa> method will suffice:
=for code
sub f($x) {
if $x.isa(Int) {
Subtype checking is done by L<smartmatching|/language/operators#infix_~~>:
=for code :preamble<my $type;>
if $type ~~ Real {
say '$type contains Real or a subtype thereof';
=head1 X<Classes|declarator,class>
Classes are declared using the C<class> keyword, typically followed by a
class Journey { }
This declaration results in a type object being created and installed in the
current package and current lexical scope under the name C<Journey>. You
can also declare classes lexically:
my class Journey { }
This restricts their visibility to the current lexical scope, which can be
useful if the class is an implementation detail nested inside a module or
another class.
=head2 Attributes
X<|Attribute> X<|Property> X<|Member> X<|Slot>
Attributes are variables that exist per instance of a class; when instantiated to a value, the association between the variable and its value is called a property. They are where
the state of an object is stored. In Perl 6, all attributes are I<private>,
that means they can be accessed directly only by the class instance itself.
They are typically declared using the C<has> declarator and the C<!> twigil.
class Journey {
has $!origin;
has $!destination;
has @!travelers;
has $!notes;
While there is no such thing as a public (or even protected) attribute,
there is a way to have accessor methods generated automatically: replace the
C<!> twigil with the C<.> twigil (the C<.> should remind you of a method
class Journey {
has $.origin;
has $.destination;
has @!travelers;
has $.notes;
This defaults to providing a read-only accessor. In order to allow changes
to the attribute, add the L<is rw> trait:
class Journey {
has $.origin;
has $.destination;
has @!travelers;
has $.notes is rw;
Now, after a C<Journey> object is created, its C<.origin>, C<.destination>,
and C<.notes> will all be accessible from outside the class, but only
C<.notes> can be modified.
If an object is instantiated without certain attributes, such as origin or
destination, we may not get the desired result. To prevent this, provide
default values or make sure that an attribute is set on object creation
by marking an attribute with an L<is required> trait.
class Journey {
# error if origin is not provided
has $.origin is required;
# set the destination to Orlando as default (unless that is the origin!)
has $.destination = self.origin eq 'Orlando' ?? 'Kampala' !! 'Orlando';
has @!travelers;
has $.notes is rw;
Since classes inherit a default constructor from C<Mu> and we have requested
that some accessor methods are generated for us, our class is already
somewhat functional.
=begin code :preamble<class Journey {};>
# Create a new instance of the class.
my $vacation =
origin => 'Sweden',
destination => 'Switzerland',
notes => 'Pack hiking gear!'
# Use an accessor; this outputs Sweden.
say $vacation.origin;
# Use an rw accessor to change the value.
$vacation.notes = 'Pack hiking gear and sunglasses!';
=end code
Note that, although the default constructor can initialize read-only
attributes, it will only set attributes that have an accessor method.
That is, even if you pass C«travelers => ["Alex", "Betty"]» to the
default constructor, the attribute C<@!travelers> is not initialized.
=head2 Methods
Methods are declared with the C<method> keyword inside a class body.
=begin code
class Journey {
has $.origin;
has $.destination;
has @!travelers;
has $.notes is rw;
method add-traveler($name) {
if $name ne any(@!travelers) {
push @!travelers, $name;
else {
warn "$name is already going on the journey!";
method describe() {
"From $!origin to $!destination"
=end code
A method can have a signature, just like a subroutine. Attributes can be
used in methods and can always be used with the C<!> twigil, even if they
are declared with the C<.> twigil. This is because the C<.> twigil
declares a C<!> twigil and generates an accessor method.
Looking at the code above,
there is a subtle but important difference between using C<$!origin>
and C<$.origin> in the method C<describe>.
C<$!origin> is an inexpensive and obvious lookup of the attribute.
C<$.origin> is a method call and thus may be overridden in a subclass.
Only use C<$.origin> if you want to allow overriding.
Unlike subroutines, additional named arguments will not produce compile time or
runtime errors. That allows chaining of methods via
You may write your own accessors to override any or all of the autogenerated ones.
my $ⲧ = " " xx 4;
class Journey {
has $.origin;
has $.destination;
has Str $.notes is rw;
multi method notes() { "$!notes\n" };
multi method notes( Str $note ) { $!notes ~= "$note\n$ⲧ" };
method Str { "⤷ $!origin\n$ⲧ" ~ self.notes() ~ "$!destination ⤶\n" };
my $trip = :origin<Here>, :destination<There>,
travelers => <þor Freya> );
$trip.notes("First steps");
notes $trip: "Almost there";
print $trip;
#⤷ Here
# First steps
# Almost there
#There ⤶
The declared multi method C<notes> overrides the auto-generated
methods implicit in the declaration of C<$.notes>, using a different
signature for reading and writing.
Please note that in C<notes $trip: "Almost there"> we are using X<indirect
invocant syntax>, which puts first the method name, then the object, and then,
separated by a colon, the arguments: C<method invocant: arguments>. We can use
this syntax whenever it feels more natural than the classical
period-and-parentheses one. It works exactly in the same way.
Method names can be resolved at runtime with the C<.""> operator.
class A { has $.b };
my $name = 'b';"$name"().say;
# OUTPUT: «(Any)␤»
The syntax used to update C<$.notes> changed in this section with respect
to the previous L<#Attributes> section. Instead of an assignment:
=for code :preamble<my $vacation>
$vacation.notes = 'Pack hiking gear and sunglasses!';
we now do a method call:
=for code :preamble<my $trip>
$trip.notes("First steps");
Overriding the default auto-generated accessor means it is no longer
available to provide a mutable container on return for an assignment.
A method call is the preferred approach to adding computation and
logic to the update of an attribute. Many modern languages can update
an attribute by overloading assignment with a “setter” method. While
Perl 6 can overload the assignment operator for this purpose with a
object, overloading assignment to set attributes with complex logic is
currently discouraged as
L<weaker object oriented design|>.
=head2 Class and instance methods
A method's signature can have an I<invocant> as its first parameter
followed by a colon, which allows for the method to refer to the object
it was called on.
class Foo {
method greet($me: $person) {
say "Hi, I am $me.^name(), nice to meet you, $person";
}"Bob"); # OUTPUT: «Hi, I am Foo, nice to meet you, Bob␤»
Providing an invocant in the method signature also allows for defining
the method as either as a class method, or as an object method, through
the use of L<type constraints|/type/Signature#Type_constraints>. The
C<::?CLASS> variable can be used to provide the class name at compile
time, combined with either C<:U> (for class methods) or C<:D> (for
instance methods).
class Pizza {
has $!radius = 42;
has @.ingredients;
# class method: construct from a list of ingredients
method from-ingredients(::?CLASS:U $pizza: @ingredients) {
$ ingredients => @ingredients );
# instance method
method get-radius(::?CLASS:D:) { $!radius }
my $p = Pizza.from-ingredients: <cheese pepperoni vegetables>;
say $p.ingredients; # OUTPUT: «[cheese pepperoni vegetables]␤»
say $p.get-radius; # OUTPUT: «42␤»
say Pizza.get-radius; # This will fail.
CATCH { default { put .^name ~ ":\n" ~ .Str } };
# OUTPUT: «X::Parameter::InvalidConcreteness:␤
# Invocant of method 'get-radius' must be
# an object instance of type 'Pizza',
# not a type object of type 'Pizza'.
# Did you forget a '.new'?»
A method can be both a class and object method by using the
L<multi|/syntax/multi> declarator:
class C {
multi method f(::?CLASS:U:) { say "class method" }
multi method f(::?CLASS:D:) { say "object method" }
C.f; # OUTPUT: «class method␤»; # OUTPUT: «object method␤»
=head2 self
Inside a method, the term C<self> is available, which is bound to the
invocant. C<self> can be used to call further methods on the invocant,
including constructors:
class Box {
has $.data;
method make-new-box-from() { data => $!data;
C<self> can be used in class or instance methods as well, though beware
of trying to invoke one type of method from the other:
class C {
method g() { 42 }
method f(::?CLASS:U:) { self.g }
method d(::?CLASS:D:) { self.f }
C.f; # OUTPUT: «42␤»; # This will fail.
CATCH { default { put .^name ~ ":\n" ~ .Str } };
# OUTPUT: «X::Parameter::InvalidConcreteness:␤
# Invocant of method 'f' must be a type object of type 'C',
# not an object instance of type 'C'. Did you forget a 'multi'?»
Within methods, C<$.origin> works the same as C<self.origin>, however
the colon-syntax for method arguments is only supported for method calls
using C<self>, not the shortcut.
Note that if the relevant methods C<bless>, C<CREATE> of L<Mu>
are not overloaded, C<self> will point to the type object in those methods.
On the other hand, the submethods C<BUILD> and C<TWEAK> are
called on instances, in different stages of initialization. Submethods of the
same name from subclasses have not yet run, so
you should not rely on potentially virtual method calls inside these methods.
=head2 Private methods
Methods with an exclamation mark C<!> before the method name are not callable
from anywhere outside the defining class; such methods are private in the sense
that they are not visible from outside the class that declares them. Private
methods are invoked with an exclamation mark instead of a dot:
method !do-something-private($x) {
method public($x) {
if self.precondition {
self!do-something-private(2 * $x)
Private methods are not inherited by subclasses.
=head2 Submethods
Submethods are public methods that are not inherited by subclasses. The name
stems from the fact that they are semantically similar to subroutines.
Submethods are useful for object construction and destruction tasks, as well
as for tasks that are so specific to a certain type that subtypes must
certainly override them.
For example, the L<default method new|/type/Mu#method_new> calls submethod
C<BUILD> on each class in an L<inheritance|#Inheritance> chain:
=begin code
class Point2D {
has $.x;
has $.y;
submethod BUILD(:$!x, :$!y) {
say "Initializing Point2D";
class InvertiblePoint2D is Point2D {
submethod BUILD() {
say "Initializing InvertiblePoint2D";
method invert { => - $.x, y => - $.y);
say => 1, y => 2);
# OUTPUT: «Initializing Point2D␤»
# OUTPUT: «Initializing InvertiblePoint2D␤»
# OUTPUT: « => 1, y => 2)␤»
=end code
See also: L<#Object_construction>.
=head2 Inheritance
Classes can have I<parent classes>.
=for code :preamble<class Parent1 {}; class Parent2 {};>
class Child is Parent1 is Parent2 { }
If a method is called on the child class, and the child class does not
provide that method, the method of that name in one of the parent classes is
invoked instead, if it exists. The order in which parent classes are
consulted is called the I<method resolution order> (MRO). Perl 6 uses the
L<C3 method resolution order|>.
You can ask a type for its MRO through a call to its meta class:
say List.^mro; # ((List) (Cool) (Any) (Mu))
If a class does not specify a parent class, L<Any> is assumed by default.
All classes directly or indirectly derive from L<Mu>, the root of the type
All calls to public methods are "virtual" in the C++ sense, which means that
the actual type of an object determines which method to call, not the
declared type:
=begin code
class Parent {
method frob {
say "the parent class frobs"
class Child is Parent {
method frob {
say "the child's somewhat more fancy frob is called"
my Parent $test;
$test =;
$test.frob; # calls the frob method of Child rather than Parent
# OUTPUT: «the child's somewhat more fancy frob is called␤»
=end code
X<|new (method)>
=head2 Object construction
Objects are generally created through method calls, either on the type
object or on another object of the same type.
Class L<Mu> provides a constructor method called L<new>, which takes named
L<arguments|/language/functions#Arguments> and uses them to initialize public attributes.
class Point {
has $.x;
has $.y;
my $p = x => 5, y => 2);
# ^^^ inherited from class Mu
say "x: ", $p.x;
say "y: ", $p.y;
# OUTPUT: «x: 5␤»
# OUTPUT: «y: 2␤»
C<> calls method L<bless> on its invocant, passing all the named
L<arguments|/language/functions#Arguments>. C<bless> creates the new
object, and then walks all subclasses in reverse method resolution order
(i.e. from L<Mu> to most derived classes) and in each class checks for
the existence of a method named C<BUILD>. If the method exists, the
method is called with all the named arguments from the C<new> method. If
not, the public attributes from this class are initialized from named
arguments of the same name. In either case, if neither C<BUILD> nor the
default mechanism has initialized the attribute, default values are
applied. This means that C<BUILD> may change an attribute, but it does
not have access to the contents of the attribute declared as its
default; these are available only during C<TWEAK> (see below), which can
'see' the contents of an attribute initialised in the declaration of the
After the C<BUILD> methods have been called, methods named C<TWEAK> are
called, if they exist, again with all the named arguments that were passed
to C<new>. See an example of its use below.
Due to the default behavior of C<BUILD> annd C<TWEAK> submethods, named
arguments to the constructor C<new> derived from C<Mu> can
correspond directly to public attributes of any of the classes in the method
resolution order, or to any named parameter of any C<BUILD> or C<TWEAK>
This object construction scheme has several implications for customized
constructors. First, custom C<BUILD> methods should always be submethods,
otherwise they break attribute initialization in subclasses. Second,
C<BUILD> submethods can be used to run custom code at object construction
time. They can also be used for creating aliases for attribute
=begin code
class EncodedBuffer {
has $.enc;
has $.data;
submethod BUILD(:encoding(:$enc), :$data) {
$!enc := $enc;
$!data := $data;
my $b1 = encoding => 'UTF-8', data => [64, 65] );
my $b2 = enc => 'UTF-8', data => [64, 65] );
# both enc and encoding are allowed now
=end code
Since passing arguments to a routine binds the arguments to the parameters,
a separate binding step is unnecessary if the attribute is used as a
parameter. Hence the example above could also have been written as:
=begin code :skip-test
submethod BUILD(:encoding(:$!enc), :$!data) {
# nothing to do here anymore, the signature binding
# does all the work for us.
=end code
However, be careful when using this auto-binding of attributes
when the attribute may have special type requirements, such as an C<:$!id>
that must be a positive integer. Remember, default values will be assigned
unless you specifically take care of this attribute, and that
default value will be C<Any>, which would cause a type error.
The third implication is that if you want a constructor that accepts
positional arguments, you must write your own C<new> method:
class Point {
has $.x;
has $.y;
method new($x, $y) {
self.bless(:$x, :$y);
However this is considered poor practice, because it makes correct
initialization of objects from subclasses harder.
Another thing to note is that the name C<new> is not special in Perl 6. It is
merely a common convention, one that is followed quite thoroughly in L<most Perl 6
classes|/routine/new>. You can call C<bless> from any method at all, or use
C<CREATE> to fiddle around with low-level workings.
The C<TWEAK> submethod allows you to check things or modify attributes after
object construction:
=begin code
class RectangleWithCachedArea {
has ($.x1, $.x2, $.y1, $.y2);
has $.area;
submethod TWEAK() {
$!area = abs( ($!x2 - $!x1) * ( $!y2 - $!y1) );
say x2 => 5, x1 => 1, y2 => 1, y1 => 0).area;
# OUTPUT: «4␤»
=end code
=head2 Object cloning
The cloning is done using L<clone> method available on all objects, which
shallow-clones both public and private attributes. New values for I<public>
attributes can be supplied as named arguments.
=begin code
class Foo {
has $.foo = 42;
has $.bar = 100;
my $o1 =;
my $o2 = $o1.clone: :bar(5000);
say $o1; # => 42, bar => 100)
say $o2; # => 42, bar => 5000)
=end code
See document for L<clone> for details on how non-scalar attributes get cloned,
as well as examples of implementing your own custom clone methods.
=head1 X<Roles|declarator,role>
Roles are in some ways similar to classes, in that they are a collection of
attributes and methods. They differ in that roles are also meant for
describing only parts of an object's behavior and in how roles are applied
to classes. Or to phrase it differently, classes are meant for managing
objects and roles are meant for managing behavior and code reuse.
=begin code
role Serializable {
method serialize() {
self.perl; # very primitive serialization
method deserialize($buf) {
EVAL $buf; # reverse operation to .perl
class Point does Serializable {
has $.x;
has $.y;
my $p =, :y(2));
my $serialized = $p.serialize;
my $clone-of-p = Point.deserialize($serialized);
say $clone-of-p.x; # OUTPUT: «1␤»
=end code
Roles are immutable as soon as the compiler parses the closing curly brace of
the role declaration.
=head2 Application of role
Role application differs significantly from class inheritance. When a role
is applied to a class, the methods of that role are copied into the class.
If multiple roles are applied to the same class, conflicts (e.g.
attributes or non-multi methods of the same name) cause a compile-time error,
which can be solved by providing a method of the same name in the class.
This is much safer than multiple inheritance, where conflicts are never
detected by the compiler, but are instead resolved to the superclass
that appears earlier in the method resolution order, which might not
be what the programmer wanted.
For example, if you've discovered an efficient method to ride cows, and are
trying to market it as a new form of popular transportation, you might have
a class C<Bull>, for all the bulls you keep around the house, and a class
C<Automobile>, for things that you can drive.
class Bull {
has Bool $.castrated = False;
method steer {
# Turn your bull into a steer
$!castrated = True;
return self;
class Automobile {
has $.direction;
method steer($!direction) { }
class Taurus is Bull is Automobile { }
my $t =;
say $t.steer;
# OUTPUT: « => Bool::True, direction => Any)␤»
With this setup, your poor customers will find themselves unable to turn
their Taurus and you won't be able to make more of your product! In this
case, it may have been better to use roles:
=begin code :skip-test
role Bull-Like {
has Bool $.castrated = False;
method steer {
# Turn your bull into a steer
$!castrated = True;
return self;
role Steerable {
has Real $.direction;
method steer(Real $d = 0) {
$!direction += $d;
class Taurus does Bull-Like does Steerable { }
=end code
This code will die with something like:
=begin code :lang<text>
Method 'steer' must be resolved by class Taurus because it exists in
multiple roles (Steerable, Bull-Like)
=end code
This check will save you a lot of headaches:
=begin code :preamble<role Bull-Like{}; role Steerable{};>
class Taurus does Bull-Like does Steerable {
method steer($direction?) {
=end code
When a role is applied to a second role, the actual application is delayed
until the second role is applied to a class, at which point both roles are
applied to the class. Thus
role R1 {
# methods here
role R2 does R1 {
# methods here
class C does R2 { }
produces the same class C<C> as
role R1 {
# methods here
role R2 {
# methods here
class C does R1 does R2 { }
=head2 Stubs
When a role contains a L<stubbed|/routine/...> method,
a non-stubbed version of a method of the same name must be supplied
at the time the role is applied to a class. This allows you to
create roles that act as abstract interfaces.
=begin code :skip-test
role AbstractSerializable {
method serialize() { ... } # literal ... here marks the
# method as a stub
# the following is a compile time error, for example
# Method 'serialize' must be implemented by Point because
# it's required by a role
class APoint does AbstractSerializable {
has $.x;
has $.y;
# this works:
class SPoint does AbstractSerializable {
has $.x;
has $.y;
method serialize() { "p($.x, $.y)" }
=end code
The implementation of the stubbed method may also be provided by another
=head2 Inheritance
Roles cannot inherit from classes, but they may I<carry> classes, causing
any class which does that role to inherit from the carried classes.
So if you write:
=begin code
role A is Exception { }
class X::Ouch does A { }
X::Ouch.^parents.say # OUTPUT: «((Exception))␤»
=end code
then C<X::Ouch> will inherit directly from Exception, as we can see above
by listing its parents.
As they do not use what can properly be called inheritance, roles are not part of the class hierarchy.
Roles are listed with the C<.^roles> meta-method instead, which uses C<transitive> as flag for including all levels or just the first one. Despite this, a
class or instance may still be tested with smartmatches or type constraints
to see if it does a role.
=begin code
role F { }
class G does F { }
G.^roles.say; # OUTPUT: «((F))␤»
role Ur {}
role Ar does Ur {}
class Whim does Ar {}; Whim.^roles(:!transitive).say; # OUTPUT: «((Ar))␤»
say G ~~ F; # OUTPUT: «True␤»
multi a (F $a) { "F".say }
multi a ($a) { "not F".say }
a(G); # OUTPUT: «F␤»
=end code
=head2 Pecking order
A method defined directly in a class will always override definitions from
applied roles or from inherited classes. If no such definition exists, methods
from roles override methods inherited from classes. This happens both when
said class was brought in by a role, and also when said class was inherited
role M {
method f { say "I am in role M" }
class A {
method f { say "I am in class A" }
class B is A does M {
method f { say "I am in class B" }
class C is A does M { }; # OUTPUT «I am in class B␤»; # OUTPUT «I am in role M␤»
Note that each candidate for a multi-method is its own method. In this case,
the above only applies if two such candidates have the same signature.
Otherwise, there is no conflict, and the candidate is just added to the
=head2 Automatic role punning
Any attempt to directly instantiate a role or use it as a type object
will automatically create a class with the same name as the role,
making it possible to transparently use a role as if it were a class.
=begin code
role Point {
has $.x;
has $.y;
method abs { sqrt($.x * $.x + $.y * $.y) }
method dimensions { 2 }
say => 6, y => 8).abs; # OUTPUT «10␤»
say Point.dimensions; # OUTPUT «2␤»
=end code
We call this automatic creation of classes I<punning>, and the generated class
a I<pun>.
Punning is not caused by most L<meta-programming|/language/mop> constructs,
however, as those are sometimes used to work directly with roles.
X<|Parameterized Roles>
=head2 Parameterized roles
Roles can be parameterized, by giving them a signature in square brackets:
=begin code
role BinaryTree[::Type] {
has BinaryTree[Type] $.left;
has BinaryTree[Type] $.right;
has Type $.node;
method visit-preorder(&cb) {
cb $.node;
for $.left, $.right -> $branch {
$branch.visit-preorder(&cb) if defined $branch;
method visit-postorder(&cb) {
for $.left, $.right -> $branch {
$branch.visit-postorder(&cb) if defined $branch;
cb $.node;
method new-from-list(::?CLASS:U: *@el) {
my $middle-index = @el.elems div 2;
my @left = @el[0 .. $middle-index - 1];
my $middle = @el[$middle-index];
my @right = @el[$middle-index + 1 .. *];
node => $middle,
left => @left ?? !! self,
right => @right ?? !! self,
my $t = BinaryTree[Int].new-from-list(4, 5, 6);
$t.visit-preorder(&say); # OUTPUT: «5␤4␤6␤»
$t.visit-postorder(&say); # OUTPUT: «4␤6␤5␤»
=end code
Here the signature consists only of a type capture, but any signature will do:
=begin code
enum Severity <debug info warn error critical>;
role Logging[$filehandle = $*ERR] {
method log(Severity $sev, $message) {
$filehandle.print("[{uc $sev}] $message\n");
Logging[$*OUT].log(debug, 'here we go'); # OUTPUT: «[DEBUG] here we go␤»
=end code
You can have multiple roles of the same name, but with different signatures;
the normal rules of multi dispatch apply for choosing multi candidates.
=head2 X<Mixins> of roles
Roles can be mixed into objects. A role's given attributes and methods will be
added to the methods and attributes the object already has. Multiple mixins and
anonymous roles are supported.
role R { method Str() {'hidden!'} };
my $i = 2 but R;
sub f(\bound){ put bound };
f($i); # OUTPUT: «hidden!␤»
my @positional := <a b> but R;
say @positional.^name; # OUTPUT: «List+{R}␤»
Note that the object got the role mixed in, not the object's class or the
container. Thus, @-sigiled containers will require binding to make the role
stick as is shown in the example with C<@positional>. Some operators will return
a new value, which effectively strips the mixin from the result. That is why it
might be more clear to mix in the role in the declaration of the variable using
role R {};
my @positional does R = <a b>;
say @positional.^name; # OUTPUT: «Array+{R}␤»
The operator C<infix:<but>> is narrower than the list constructor. When
providing a list of roles to mix in, always use parentheses.
=for code
role R1 { method m {} }
role R2 { method n {} }
my $a = 1 but R1,R2; # R2 is in sink context, issues a WARNING
say $a.^name;
# OUTPUT: «Int+{R1}␤»
my $all-roles = 1 but (R1,R2);
say $all-roles.^name; # OUTPUT: «Int+{R1,R2}␤»
Mixins can be used at any point in your object's life.
# A counter for Table of Contents
role TOC-Counter {
has Int @!counters is default(0);
method Str() { @!counters.join: '.' }
method inc($level) {
@!counters[$level - 1]++;
my Num $toc-counter = NaN; # don't do math with Not A Number
say $toc-counter; # OUTPUT: «NaN␤»
$toc-counter does TOC-Counter; # now we mix the role in
put $toc-counter / 1; # OUTPUT: «NaN␤» (because that's numerical context)
put $toc-counter; # OUTPUT: «2.2.2␤» (put will call TOC-Counter::Str)
Roles can be anonymous.
my %seen of Int is default(0 but role :: { method Str() {'NULL'} });
say %seen<not-there>; # OUTPUT: «NULL␤»
say %seen<not-there>.defined; # OUTPUT: «True␤» (0 may be False but is well defined)
say<not-there>); # OUTPUT: «0␤»
=head1 Meta-object programming and introspection
Perl 6 has a meta object system, which means that the behavior of objects,
classes, roles, grammars, enums, etc. are themselves controlled by other
objects; those objects are called I<meta objects>. Meta objects are, like
ordinary objects, instances of classes, in this case we call them I<meta
For each object or class you can get the meta object by calling C<.HOW> on it.
Note that although this looks like a method call, it works more like a macro.
So, what can you do with the meta object? For one you can check if two
objects have the same meta class by comparing them for equality:
say 1.HOW === 2.HOW; # OUTPUT: «True␤»
say 1.HOW === Int.HOW; # OUTPUT: «True␤»
say 1.HOW === Num.HOW; # OUTPUT: «False␤»
Perl 6 uses the word I<HOW>, Higher Order Workings, to refer to the meta
object system. Thus it should be no surprise that in Rakudo, the class name
of the meta class that controls class behavior is called
C<Perl6::Metamodel::ClassHOW>. For each class there is one instance of
But of course the meta model does much more for you. For example, it allows
you to introspect objects and classes. The calling convention for methods on
meta objects is to call the method on the meta object and pass in the object
of interest as first argument to the object. So to get the name of the class
of an object, you could write:
my $object = 1;
my $metaobject = 1.HOW;
say $$object); # OUTPUT: «Int␤»
# or shorter:
say; # OUTPUT: «Int␤»
(The motivation is that Perl 6 also wants to allow a more prototype-based
object system, where it's not necessary to create a new meta object for
every type).
There's a shortcut to keep from using the same object twice:
say 1.^name; # OUTPUT: «Int␤»
# same as
say; # OUTPUT: «Int␤»
See L<Metamodel::ClassHOW|/type/Metamodel::ClassHOW> for documentation on
the meta class of C<class> and also the L<general documentation on the meta
object protocol|/language/mop>.
=end pod
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