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Agent(3)	      User Contributed Perl Documentation	      Agent(3)

NAME
       Agent - the Transportable Agent Perl module

SYNOPSIS
	 use Agent;

	 my $a = new Agent( Name => 'path_to_agent.pa',	%args );

	 $a->run();

DESCRIPTION
       Agent Perl is meant to be a multi-platform interface for	writing	and
       using transportable perl	agents.

       A Perl Agent
	   Is any chunk	of Perl	code that can accomplish some user-defined
	   objective by	communicating with other agents, and manipulating any
	   data	it obtains.

	   A Perl Agent	consists of a knowledge	base (variables), a reasoning
	   procedure (code), and access	to one or more languages coupled with
	   methods of communication.  These languages remain largely
	   undefined, or rather, user-defined; support for KQML/KIF is under
	   development.

       Developing An Agent
	   Note	that the developer must	devise the reasoning procedure and
	   knowledge base described above.  Agent Perl does not	place any
	   restrictions	on what	you may	do; it only tries to make the 'doing'
	   part	easier.

	   An agent is written as an inheriting	sub-class of Agent.  Each
	   agent's class should	be stored in a '.pa' file (perl	agent),	and
	   must	contain	an "agent_main()" method.  All agents are objects.
	   See the examples for	more details, and learn	how Agent.pm works so
	   you won't step on its toes!

CONVENTIONS
       Arguments to subroutines	are passed in hashes unless otherwise noted.

       Capital-a Agent refers to "Agent.pm" unless the context is obvious.
       Lowercase agent refers to an agent.

CONSTRUCTOR
       new()
	   Creates a new agent object.	You must tell new() where to get the
	   agent by passing in one of the following arguments (in a hash):

	   Stored: The agent stored in a Tom object.

	   File: An IO::Handle (or any subclass) file handle from which	the
	   agent can be	read.

	   Name: The agent's name.  This prompts new to	search @INC and	'./'
	   for the agent's '.pa' source	file.

	   Code: The agent's source code.

	   These are listed in order of	precedence.  To	handle security
	   issues, new() also groks this argument:

	   Compartment:	A Safe Compartment within which	the agent will be
	   registered, and later executed.  See	the "Safe" pod for details.

	   Developers should note that these keywords are reserved.  Any
	   additional arguments	are passed to the agent	being created.

METHODS
       store()
	   Returns the agent object in stringified form, suitable for network
	   transfer or storage.

       run()
	   Executes the	agent.	If the Thread argument is passed and your
	   system has Thread.pm, run() tries to	execute	the agent in an
	   asynchronous	thread via Thread's async() command (see the Thread
	   pod for more	details).  Additional arguments	are passed to the
	   agent being run.

       identity()
	   Returns a unique string identifying the agent in its	present	state.

SEE ALSO
       "Agent::Message"	and "Agent::Transport" for agent developers.

AUTHOR
       Steve Purkis <spurkis@engsoc.carleton.ca>

COPYRIGHT
       Copyright (c) 1997, 1998	Steve Purkis.  All rights reserved.  This
       package is free software; you can redistribute it and/or	modify it
       under the same terms as Perl itself.

THANKS
       James Duncan for	the "Tom" module and many ideas; the people of the
       Perl5-Agents mailing list for their support.

perl v5.24.1			  1998-12-15			      Agent(3)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | CONVENTIONS | CONSTRUCTOR | METHODS | SEE ALSO | AUTHOR | COPYRIGHT | THANKS

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