Cross-platform path specification manipulation
'Path::Class' is a module for manipulation of file and directory
specifications (strings describing their locations, like
''/home/ken/foo.txt'' or ''C:\Windows\Foo.txt'') in a cross-platform
manner. It supports pretty much every platform Perl runs on, including
Unix, Windows, Mac, VMS, Epoc, Cygwin, OS/2, and NetWare.
The well-known module 'File::Spec' also provides this service, but it's
sort of awkward to use well, so people sometimes avoid it, or use it in a
way that won't actually work properly on platforms significantly different
than the ones they've tested their code on.
In fact, 'Path::Class' uses 'File::Spec' internally, wrapping all the
unsightly details so you can concentrate on your application code. Whereas
'File::Spec' provides functions for some common path manipulations,
'Path::Class' provides an object-oriented model of the world of path
specifications and their underlying semantics. 'File::Spec' doesn't create
any objects, and its classes represent the different ways in which paths
must be manipulated on various platforms (not a very intuitive concept).
'Path::Class' creates objects representing files and directories, and
provides methods that relate them to each other. For instance, the
following 'File::Spec' code:
my $absolute = File::Spec->file_name_is_absolute(
File::Spec->catfile( @dirs, $file )
can be written using 'Path::Class' as
my $absolute = Path::Class::File->new( @dirs, $file )->is_absolute;
or even as
my $absolute = file( @dirs, $file )->is_absolute;
Similar readability improvements should happen all over the place when
Using 'Path::Class' can help solve real problems in your code too - for
instance, how many people actually take the "volume" (like 'C:' on Windows)
into account when writing 'File::Spec'-using code? I thought not. But if
you use 'Path::Class', your file and directory objects will know what
volumes they refer to and do the right thing.
The guts of the 'Path::Class' code live in the 'Path::Class::File' and
'Path::Class::Dir' modules, so please see those modules' documentation for
more details about how to use them.