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Manual Reference Pages  -  SUPER (3)

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SUPER - control superclass method dispatch



Find the parent method that would run if this weren’t here:

    sub my_method
        my $self = shift;
        my $super = $self->super(my_method); # Whos your daddy?

        if ($want_to_deal_with_this)
            # ...
            $super->($self, @_)

Or Ruby-style:

    sub my_method
        my $self = shift;

        if ($want_to_deal_with_this)
            # ...

Or call the super method manually, with respect to inheritance, and passing different arguments:

    sub my_method
        my $self = shift;

        # parent handles args backwardly
        $self->SUPER( reverse @_ );


When subclassing a class, you occasionally want to dispatch control to the superclass — at least conditionally and temporarily. The Perl syntax for calling your superclass is ugly and unwieldy:


especially when compared to its Ruby equivalent:


It’s even worse in that the normal Perl redispatch mechanism only dispatches to the parent of the class containing the method at compile time. That doesn’t work very well for mixins and roles.

This module provides nicer equivalents, along with the universal method super to determine a class’ own superclass. This allows you to do things such as:

    goto &{$_[0]->super(my_method)};

if you don’t like wasting precious stack frames. (Because super returns a coderef, much like can in UNIVERSAL, this doesn’t break use strict refs.)

If you are using roles or mixins or otherwise pulling in methods from other packages that need to dispatch to their super methods, or if you want to pass different arguments to the super method, use the SUPER() method:

    $self->SUPER( qw( other arguments here ) );


This module provides the following functions and methods:
super() This function calls the super method of the currently-executing method, no matter where the super method is in the hierarchy.

This takes no arguments; it passes the same arguments passed to the currently-executing method.

The module exports this function by default.

Note: you must have the appropriate package declaration in place for this to work. That is, you must have compiled the method in which you use this function in the package from which you want to use it. Them’s the breaks with Perl 5.

find_parent( $class, $method, $prune, $invocant ) Attempts to find a parent implementation of $method starting with $class. If you pass $prune, it will not ignore the method found in that package, if it exists there. Pass $invocant if the object itself might have a different idea of its parents.

The module does not export this function by default. Call it directly.

get_all_parents( $invocant, $class ) Returns all of the parents for the $invocant, if it supports the __get_parents() method or the contents of @ISA for $class. You probably oughtn’t call this on your own.
SUPER() Calls the super method of the currently-executing method. You can pass arguments. This is a method.


Beware: if you do weird things with code generation, be sure to name your anonymous subroutines. See Perl Hacks #57.

Using super doesn’t let you pass alternate arguments to your superclass’s method. If you want to pass different arguments, use SUPER instead. D’oh.

This module does a small amount of Deep Magic to find the arguments of method calling super() itself. This may confuse tools such as Devel::Cover.

In your own code, if you do complicated things with proxy objects and the like, define __get_parents() to return a list of all parents of the object to which you really want to dispatch.


Created by Simon Cozens, Copyright (c) 2003 Simon Cozens.

Maintained by chromatic, <chromatic at wgz dot org> after version 1.01. Copyright (c) 2004-2009 chromatic.

Thanks to Joshua ben Jore for bug reports and suggestions.


You may use and distribute this silly little module under the same terms as Perl itself.
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perl v5.20.3 SUPER (3) 2016-04-03

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