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Rinci::function(3)    User Contributed Perl Documentation   Rinci::function(3)

       Rinci::function - Metadata for your functions/methods

       This document describes version 1.1.84 of Rinci::function (from Perl
       distribution Rinci), released on	2016-12-28.


       This document describes metadata	for functions/methods. Since the
       metadata	properties describe features and the way a function works,
       this document also describes how	a function should support those

       This specification is part of Rinci. Please do a	read up	on it first,
       if you have not already done so.

       Result envelope.	Function should	return an enveloped result to express
       error code/message as well as actual result. The	envelope can be
       produced	by the function	itself,	or added by a wrapper tool. Result
       envelope	is modeled after HTTP or PSGI response;	it is an array in the
       following format:


       STATUS is a 3-digit integer and is the only required element, much like
       HTTP response status code and is	explained further in "Envelope status
       codes".	MESSAGE	is a string containing error message. RESULT (or
       PAYLOAD)	is the actual content to be returned and can be	omitted	or set
       to undef	if the function	does not need to return	anything. META is
       called result metadata, a defhash containing extra data,	analogous to
       HTTP response headers. Result metadata is specified further in

       Some example of an enveloped results:

	[200, "OK", 42]
	[404, "Not found"]
	[200, "Account created", {id=>9323}, {}]
	[500, "Can't delete foo: permission denied", undef,
	 {"cmdline.exit_code"=>300, perm_err=>1}]

       As mentioned, an	enveloped result can contain error code/message	as
       well as the actual result. It can also be easily	converted to HTTP
       response	message. And it	can also contain extra data, useful for	things
       like the	transaction protocol (explained	in Rinci::Transaction).

       Special arguments. Special arguments are	some known arguments that
       start with dash ("-") and serve special purposes. You need not specify
       them in the "args" metadata property. Examples of special arguments
       include "-dry_run", "-tx_action", "-action", "-confirm/*",
       "-arg_part_start", "-arg_part_len", "-res_part_start", "-res_part_len".
       They will be explained in other related sections/documents.

       Functions vs methods. Since in many programming languages (like Perl 5,
       Python, Ruby, PHP) static functions are not that	differentiated from
       methods,	functions and methods share the	same Rinci spec. But there are
       certain properties that can be used to declare if a function is (also)
       a method	or not.	 See "is_func",	"is_meth", "is_class_meth" properties
       below for details.

       Multiple	dispatch. This specification also does not (yet) have any
       recommendation on how to	best handle functions in languages that
       support multiple	dispatch, like Perl 6: whether we should create
       multiple	metadata or just one. It is more up to the tool	and what you
       want to do with the metadata.

   Envelope status codes
       In general, status codes	map directly to	HTTP response status codes.
       Below are the suggestion	on which codes to use (or avoid). An asterisk
       ("*") marks which codes are not defined in HTTP specification and
       introduced by this specification.

       o   1xx code

	   Currently not used. Some tools like Perinci::CmdLine	assumes	that
	   status code is always ">= 200", so you should perhaps never used
	   status less than 200.

       o   2xx code - success

	   200 should be used to mean success.

	   201 (created) can be	used to	signal success when creating

	   204 (no content) can	also be	used when there	is no content to show.
	   In HTTP, browsers won't clear current page if response is 206
	   (instead of showing a blank page if response	is 200). Currently in
	   Rinci there is no difference	between	200 and	204.

	   206 (partial	content) can be	used to	signal partial content.	See
	   "partial" property in the "result" function property.

	   207 (multistatus) can be used to signal partial success, for
	   example a function which processed 5	items wanted to	report that it
	   successfully	processed 2 items but failed to	process	the rest 3
	   items. For each item's statuses, you	can use	result metadata
	   property "results". Note: 207 is used by WebDAV. Note: When all
	   functions instead of	only some/partial items	fail, you might	want
	   to return 4xx or 5xx	instead	of 207.

       o   3xx code - further actions needs to be taken	by user	agent (caller)

	   301 (moved) can be used to redirect callers to alternate location,
	   although this is very rare.

	   304 (not modified, nothing done). Used for example by setup
	   functions to	indicate that nothing is being modified	or no
	   modifying action has	been performed (see Setup::* modules in	CPAN).

	   331*	(confirmation required). Function requires confirmation, for
	   example if action to	be taken is dangerous or requires user's
	   attention. Confirmation message/prompt from function	can be
	   returned in the message, or in the "confirm_prompt" property	(e.g.
	   to provide translations). Confirmation from caller is in the	form
	   of special argument "-confirm" with boolean value of	true (TODO: A
	   more	detailed confirmation for different actions can	be specified
	   later in the	form of	"-confirm_XXX" special arguments.) For an
	   example of application of this, see Perinci::Tx::Manager.

       o   4xx code - client (caller) side error

	   400 (bad request, bad arguments) should be returned when the
	   function encounters invalid input. A	function wrapper can return
	   this	code when the function arguments fail the argument schema
	   validation (specified in the	"args" property).

	   401 (authentication required).

	   403 (forbidden, access denied, authorization	failed).

	   404 (not found). Can	be used	for example by an object-retrieval
	   functions (like "get_user()") and the object	is not found.

	   For object-listing functions	(like "list_users()"), when there are
	   no users found matching the requested criteria, 200 code should
	   still be returned with an empty result (like	an empty array or

	   Also	in general, an object-deletion function	(like "delete_user()")
	   should also return 200 (or perhaps 304, but 200 is preferred)
	   instead of 404 when the object specified to be deleted is not
	   found, since	the goal of the	delete function	is reached anyway.

	   408 (request	timeout).

	   409 (conflict). Can be used for example by a	"create_user()"
	   function when receiving an already existing username.

	   412 (precondition failed). Similar to 409, but can be used to
	   indicate lack of resources, like disk space or bandwidth. For
	   lacking authentication and authorization, use 401 and 403

	   413 (request	range not satisfiable).	When client requests partial
	   result outside the range of available. See the "partial" property
	   in "result" property	for examples.

	   429 (too many requests).

	   (EXPERIMENTAL) 44x* codes are reserved for function-specific	codes.
	   Each	function is free to define what	each number means. However,
	   this	is not really encouraged and should only be used if necessary.
	   Function should perhaps stick to predefined codes here. To return
	   more	detailed status, result	metadata can be	used.

	   480*	is general transaction error, e.g. transaction status is
	   aborted so further requests for this	transaction is ignored until
	   transaction is aborted.

	   484*	(no such transaction).

       o   5xx code - server (callee) side error

	   500 is the general code to use when a failure occurs	during the
	   execution of	a function. for	example	when a "delete_file()"
	   function fails to delete specified file (though in this case	it can
	   also	choose to return 403 instead, which is more specific).

	   501 (not implemented)

	   503 (service	unavailable). You can use this when service is
	   temporarily unavailable, e.g. when system load is too high, a
	   required service is down, etc.  Users should	try again at a later

	   507 (insufficient storage)

	   521 (maximum	retries	reached)

	   531*	(bad metadata) is used when there is something wrong with the

	   532*	(failure in recording transaction) when	there is a failure in
	   updating transaction	status or in preparing/committing/rolling back
	   the transaction.

	   (EXPERIMENTAL) 54x* codes are reserved for function-specific	codes.
	   Each	function is free to define what	each number means. However,
	   this	is not really encouraged and should only be used if necessary.
	   Function should perhaps stick to predefined codes here. To return
	   more	detailed status, result	metadata can be	used.

	   Try not to use code greater than 555, as some tools use (CODE-300)
	   for error codes that	must fit in one	unsigned byte (like

   Property: is_func =>	BOOL
       Specify that the	function can be	called as a static function (i.e.
       procedural, not as a method). Default is	true if	unspecified, but
       becomes false if	is_meth	or is_class_meth is set	to true.


	# specify that function	can be called a	method *as well	as* a static function
	is_meth	=> 1
	is_func	=> 1 # if not specified, will default to false after is_meth set to 1

   Property: is_meth =>	BOOL
       Specify that the	function can be	called as an instance (object) method.
       Default is false.


	# specify that function	is a method
	is_meth	=> 1

   Property: is_class_meth => BOOL
       Specify that the	function can be	called as a class method. Examples of
       class methods include the constructor, but there	are others. Default is


	# specify that function	is a class method
	is_class_meth => 1

   Property: args => HASH
       Specify arguments. Property value is defhash of argument	names and
       argument	specification. Argument	name must only contain letters,
       numbers,	and underscores	(and do	not start with a number).

       Argument	specification is a hash	containing these keys:

       o   schema => SCHEMA

	   Data::Sah schema for	argument value.

       o   default => ANY

	   Give	default	value for argument. This takes precedence over schema,
	   which can also specify default value. This is useful	if you want to
	   share a common schema over several arguments	but want to have
	   different default for each argument.	For example, you have a
	   "ticket_status" schema. In "create_ticket" function you want	the
	   default "status" argument to	be "new", while	in "reply_ticket" you
	   want	the default "status" to	be "answered".

       o   summary => STR

	   From	DefHash. A one-line plaintext summary, much like the "summary"
	   property in variable	metadata.

       o   req => BOOL

	   Specify that	argument is required (although its value can be
	   undef/null).	 Default is false.

       o   description => STR

	   From	DefHash. A longer description of marked	up text, much like the
	   "description" property. It is suggested to format the text to 74

       o   tags	=> ARRAY OF (STR|HASH)

	   From	DefHash. An array of tags, can be used by tools	to categorize
	   arguments.  Not unlike the "tags" property.

       o   pos => INT

	   Argument position when specified in an ordered fashion, e.g.	in an
	   array. Starts from zero.

       o   greedy => BOOL

	   Only	relevant if pos	is specified, specify whether argument should
	   gobble up all remaining values in an	ordered	argument list into an

       o   partial => BOOL

	   Whether or not argument value can be	sent partially.	Only argument
	   types that have a length notion can be set as partial (e.g. "str"
	   where the unit is character,	"buf" where the	unit is	byte, and
	   "array" where the unit is element).

	   There should	at most	be one argument	with this property set to

	   To send partial argument, you can use the special arguments
	   "-arg_len" (total argument length), "-arg_part_start" (start
	   position of the part	that is	being sent), "-arg_part_len" (length
	   of part that	is being sent).	Example	(in Perl):

	    # function metadata
		v => 1.1,
		summary	=> "Upload a file",
		args =>	{
		    name => {schema=>"str*", req=>1},
		    data => {schema=>"buf*", req=>1, partial=>1},

	    # function usage example: send the first 10MiB of data
	    upload_file(name=>"myvideo.mp4", data=>substr($data, 0, 10_000_000),
			-arg_len	=> 24_500_000,
			-arg_part_start	=>	    0,
			-arg_part_len	=> 10_000_000);
	    # send the next 10MiB
	    upload_file(name=>"myvideo.mp4", data=>substr($data, 10_000_000, 10_000_000),
			-arg_len	=> 24_500_000,
			-arg_part_start	=> 10_000_000,
			-arg_part_len	=> 10_000_000);
	    # send the last 4.5	MiB
	    upload_file(name=>"myvideo.mp4", data=>substr($data, 20_000_000),
			-arg_len	=> 24_500_000,
			-arg_part_start	=> 20_000_000,
			-arg_part_len	=>  4_500_000);

       o   stream => bool

	   By setting this property to true, function can specify that it
	   accepts streaming data for this argument. It	is useful when
	   argument value is large or of undetermined/infinite length. To send
	   value as a stream, caller must send a subroutine reference
	   (callback) instead which the	function will call repeatedly until it
	   gets	undef to signify exhaustion of data.

       o   cmdline_aliases => HASH

	   Specify aliases for use in command-line options (or other possibly
	   suitable situation where arguments are parsed from command-line-
	   like	options). Keys are alias names,	values are itself hashes
	   (alias specification). Valid	alias specification keys: "summary" (a
	   string, optional), "schema" (optional, defaults to argument's
	   schema), "is_flag" (bool, optional, if set to 1 then	it is a
	   shortcut for	specifying "schema" to "["bool", {"is":1}]"), "code"
	   (a code to set argument value, optional, will be given "(\%args,
	   $val)"); if not set,	the default behavior is	simply to set the
	   argument value).

       o   cmdline_on_getopt =>	CODE

	   A hook that will be called when argument is specified as a command-
	   line	option.	 In Perl, hook will be called with a hash argument
	   containing this key:	"arg" (str, argument name), "value" (str,
	   option value), "args" (hash,	the argument hash defined so far).

	   This	can be useful if you want to process a command-line option
	   directly on a per-option basis instead of getting the final
	   resulting argument value. For example (in Perl):

	    args => {
		library	=> {
		    schema	      => ['array*' => of => 'str*'],
		    cmdline_aliases   => { I =>	{} },
		    cmdline_on_getopt => sub {
			my %args = @_;
			require	lib;
		module => {
		    schema	      => ['array*' => of => 'str*'],
		    cmdline_aliases   => { M =>	{} },
		    cmdline_on_getopt => sub {
			my %args = @_;
			require	Module::Load;

	   With	command-line argument like this:

	    -I dir1 -M mod1 -I dir2 -M mod2

	   Without any "cmdline_on_getopt" hooks, the function will receive
	   this	argument hash:

	    { library => ['dir1', 'dir2'], module => ['mod1', 'mod2'] }

	   but there is	no way to know the order of options being specified in
	   the command-line. With the hooks, the function can load modules
	   correctly (e.g.  loading "mod1" won't search	in "dir2" as that
	   directory has not been added	by -I).

       o   completion => CODE

	   A code to supply argument value completion. Will be explained in
	   the examples.

       o   index_completion => CODE

	   A code to supply argument element index completion. Applicable to
	   the following argument types:

	   hash: for completing	hash pair keys.	(See also "element_completion"
	   for completing hash pair values).

	   See examples	for how	to use this property.

       o   element_completion => CODE

	   A code to supply argument element value completion. Applicable to
	   the following argument types:

	   array: for completing array element values.

	   hash: for completing	hash pair values. (See also "index_completion"
	   for completing hash keys).

	   See examples	for how	to use this property.

       o   is_password => STR

	   Experimental. Describe that argument	holds password.	Programs can
	   react to this in several ways, for example they can turn off
	   echoing to terminal when asking value from standard input. Or they
	   can redact values to	"****" when logging.

       o   cmdline_src => STR

	   Normally in a command-line program, command-line options and
	   arguments will map to function arguments, e.g. "--arg 2" will set
	   the "foo" argument to 2 and positional arguments (argument which
	   specifies the "pos" property	and optionally also a "greedy"
	   property with true value) will get or slurp command-line arguments.

	   In some cases, this is not convenient. When supplying larger	amount
	   of data, a complex structures, or a stream, we might	want to	use
	   other sources. The "cmdline_src" property can be set	to one of the
	   following value for this purpose:

	   o   "file"

	       Command-line option/argument value will be treated as filename
	       and function argument will be set to content of the file	(or in
	       the case	of streaming argument, to a callback which can be used
	       to get the file's content).

	   o   "stdin"

	       This means that program should get function argument from the
	       whole standard input until EOF.

	       Note that only one argument can have its	source set to "stdin"
	       or "stdin_or_file" or "stdin_or_files" or "stdin_or_args".

	   o   "stdin_or_file"

	       This means that program should get value	from content of	file
	       (the name of which is given from	the first remaining command-
	       line argument after all other arguments/options have been
	       processed), or, if none is provided, from standard input.

	   o   "stdin_or_files"

	       This means that program should get value	from content of	files
	       (the names of which are taken from the remaining	command-line
	       arguments after all other arguments/options have	been
	       processed), or, or if no	command-line argument remains, from
	       standard	input. This behavior is	similar	to the "<>" (diamond
	       operator) in Perl.

	   o   "stdin_or_args"

	       This means that program should get value	from remaining
	       command-line argument(s), or if no command-line argument
	       remains,	from standard input.

	   o   "stdin_line"

	       This means that program should get value	from a line of
	       standard	input; newline ending will be removed from the
	       argument	value.

	       Arguments with "cmdline_src" of "stdin_line" will be processed

	   Other sources might be defined in the future.

	   TODO: Define	"web_src" property?

	   TODO: A way to define record	separator?

       o   cmdline_prompt => str

	   String to display when asking for argument value from stdin (if
	   "cmdline_src" property value	is "stdin_line".

	   TODO: cmdline_prompt_template?

       o   meta	=> hash	(EXPERIMENTAL)

	   This	allows specifying argument submetadata,	used e.g. when dealing
	   with	forms (a form field/widget can be a subform). Value is Rinci
	   function metadata.

       o   element_meta	=> hash	(EXPERIMENTAL)

	   This	allows specifying argument element submetadata,	used e.g. when
	   dealing with	forms (a form field/widget can contain an array	of
	   records/subforms). Value is Rinci function metadata.

       o   deps	=> hash

	   This	property specifies argument's dependencies to other arguments
	   (but	possibly to other things too, in the future). This is similar
	   to function's "deps"	property. It is	a hash or dep types and
	   values. The most important dep type is "arg"	(dependency to another
	   argument). Some dep types are special: "all", "any",	"none".

	    args => {
		delete => {
		force => {
		    summary => 'Force deletion',
		    schema => 'bool',
		    deps => {arg=>'delete'},

	   The above example states that argument "force" "depends on"
	   "delete". What it means (usually) is	that specifying	"force"	only
	   makes sense when "delete" is	also specified.	In a CLI context:

	    % prog --delete --force

	   Specifying "--force"	without	"--delete" doesn't make	sense.

       o   filters => [array of	str|code]

	   Experimental. Filters to apply before argument is converted from
	   text	and validated.

       Example function	metadata and its implementation	in Perl:

	$SPEC{multiply2} = {
	    v => 1.1,
	    summary => 'Multiple two numbers',
	    args => {
		a => {
		    summary => 'The first operand',
		    description	=> '...	a longer description ...',
		    pos	=> 0,
		    tags => ['category:operand'],
		b => {
		    summary => 'The second operand',
		    description	=> '...	a longer description ...',
		    schema => 'float*',
		    pos	=> 1,
		    tags => ['category:operand'],
		round => {
		    summary => 'Whether	to round result',
		    description	=> '...	a longer description ...',
		    schema => [bool => {default=>0}],
		    pos	=> 2,
		    tags => ['category:options'],
		    cmdline_aliases => {
			R=>{summary=>'Equivalent to --round=0',
			    code=>sub {	my ($args, $val) = @_; $args->{round}=0	}},
	sub multiply2 {
	    my %args = @_;
	    my $res = $args{a} * $args{b};
	    $res = int($res) if	$round;
	    [200, "OK",	$res];

       By default, without any wrapper,	the function is	called with a named
       hash style:

	multiply2(a=>4,	b=>3);	# 12

       But with	the information	from the metadata, a wrapper tool like
       Perinci::Sub::Wrapper is	able to	change the calling style to

	multiply2(4, 3.1, 1);  # 12

       A command-line tool will	also enable the	function to be called named
       options as well as positional arguments:

	% multiply2 --a	2 --b 3
	% multiply2 2 --b 3
	% multiply2 2 3

       As mentioned earlier, "cmdline_alises" is parsed	by command-line	option

	% multiply2 2 3.5 -r ; # equivalent to multiply2 2 3 --round
	% multiply2 2 3.5 -R ; # equivalent to multiply2 2 3 --noround (--round=0)

       Aliases in "cmdline_aliases" are	not recognized as real arguments:

	multiply2(a=>4,	b=>3, r=>0);  #	unknown	argument r

       Another example (demonstrates "cmdline_aliases"):

	$SPEC{smtpd} = {
	    v => 1.1,
	    summary => 'Control	SMTP daemon',
	    args    => {
		action => {
		    schema => ['str*' => {in=>[qw/status start stop restart/]}],
		    pos	   => 0,
		    req	   => 1,
		    cmdline_aliases => {
			status => {
			    schema    => [bool=>{is=>1}],
			    summary   => 'Alias	for setting action=status',
			    code      => sub { $_[0]{action} = 'status'	},
			start => {
			    schema    => [bool=>{is=>1}],
			    summary   => 'Alias	for setting action=start',
			    code      => sub { $_[0]{action} = 'start' },
			stop =>	{
			    schema    => [bool=>{is=>1}],
			    summary   => 'Alias	for setting action=stop',
			    code      => sub { $_[0]{action} = 'stop' },
			restart	=> {
			    schema    => [bool=>{is=>1}],
			    summary   => 'Alias	for setting action=restart',
			    code      => sub { $_[0]{action} = 'restart' },
		force => {
		    schema => 'bool',

       Another example (demonstrates greedy):

	$SPEC{multiply_many} = {
	    v => 1.1,
	    summary => 'Multiple numbers',
	    args    => {
		nums   => {
		    schema => ['array*'	=> {of=>'num*',	min_len=>1}],
		    pos	   => 0,
		    greedy => 1
	sub multiply_many {
	    my %args = @_;
	    my $nums = $args{nums};

	    my $ans = 1;
	    $ans *= $_ for @$nums;
	    [200, "OK",	$ans];

       After wrapping, in positional mode it can then be called:

	multiply_many(2, 3, 4);	 # 24

       which is	the same as (in	normal named-argument style):

	multiply_many(nums => [2, 3, 4]);  # 24

       In command-line:

	% multiply-many	2 3 4

       in addition to the normal:

	% multiply-many	--nums '[2, 3, 4]'

       completion. This	argument specification key specifies how to complete
       argument	value (e.g. in shell or	Riap::HTTP) and	is supplied an
       anonymous function as value. The	function will be called	with
       arguments: word=>... (which is the formed word so far, ci=>0|1 (whether
       completion should be done case-insensitively). The function should
       return an array containing a list of possible candidates, or a hash
       containing these	keys: "completion" (array, list	of possible
       candidates) and extra keys for formatting hints e.g. "is_path" (bool,
       whether the list	of completion is path-like, meaning it can be
       traversed/dug to	multiple levels) "path_sep" (string, path separator
       character), "type" (string, either "filename", "env", or	other types).
       For an example of implementation	for this, see Perinci::Sub::Complete
       in Perl which provides tab completion for argument values. Example:

	$SPEC{delete_user} = {
	    v => 1.1,
	    args => {
		username => {
		    schema     => 'str*',
		    pos	       => 0,
		    completion => sub {
			my %args = @_;
			my $word = $args{word} // "";

			# find users beginning with $word
			local $CWD = "/home";
			return [grep {-d && $_ ~~ /^\Q$word/} <*>];
		force => {schema=>[bool	=> {default=>0}]},

       When "delete_user" is executed over the command line and	the Tab	key is

	$ delete-user --force --username fo<tab>
	$ delete-user fo<tab>

       then bash will try to complete with usernames starting with "fo".

       element_completion. This	is like	completion, but	for array or hash
       elements. Argument type must be "array" or "hash". Example for array:

	$SPEC{delete_users} = {
	    v => 1.1,
	    args => {
		usernames => {
		    schema     => ['array*' => of => 'str*'],
		    req	       => 1,
		    pos	       => 0,
		    greedy     => 1,
		    element_completion => sub {
			my %args = @_;
			my $word = $args{word} // "";

			# find users beginning with $word
			local $CWD = "/home";
			my $res	= [grep	{-d && $_ ~~ /^\Q$word/} <*>];

			# exclude users	already	mentioned by user
			my $ary	= $args{args}{usernames};
			$res = [grep {!($_ ~~ @$ary)}] @$res;

			return $res;

       When "delete_users" is executed over the	command	line:

	$ delete-users c<tab> ;	# will complete	with all users beginning with c
	$ delete-users charlie c<tab> ;	# will complete	with users but exclude charlie
	$ delete-users charlie chucky <tab> ; #	and so on

       Example for hash	(as well as index_completion property to complete hash

	$SPEC{create_file} = {
	    v => 1.1,
	    args => {
		filename => {
		    schema => 'str*',
		    req	=> 1,
		    pos	=> 0,
		content	=> {
		    schema => 'buf*',
		    req	=> 1,
		    pos	=> 1,
		mode =>	{
		    summary => 'Permission mode',
		    schema => 'posint*',
		extra_attrs => {
		    '' => 1,
		    '' => 'extra_attr',
		    schema     => ['hash*' => of => 'str*'],
		    index_completion =>	sub {
			# complete with	list of	known attributes
			my %args = @_;
			require	Complete::Util;
			    word => $args{word},
			    array => [qw/mtime ctime owner group/],
		    element_completion => sub {
			my %args = @_;
			my $word  = $args{word}	// "";
			my $index = $args{index};

			if ($index eq 'owner') {
			    require Complete::Unix;
			    return Complete::Unix::complete_user(word=>$word);
			} elsif	($index	eq 'group') {
			    require Complete::Unix;
			    return Complete::Unix::complete_group(word=>$word);
			} else {
			    return undef;

       When "create_file" is executed over the command line:

	$ create-file file1 "hello filesystem" --extra-attr <tab>; # will complete with	list of	known attributes
	$ create-file file1 "hello filesystem" --extra-attr owner=<tab>; # will	complete with list of Unix users

   Property: args_rels => hash
       This property is	used to	expression relationships between arguments.
       The value is actually Sah schema	hash clause set	(see hash type in
       Sah::Type). The arguments are represented as a hash, and	you can	use
       the various Sah clauses to express relationships	between	the arguments
       (hash keys) because the Sah hash	type supports such clauses, e.g.
       "choose_one", "choose_all", "req_one", "req_all", "dep_any", "dep_all",
       "req_dep_any", "req_dep_all".


	args_rels => {
	    choose_one => ['delete', 'add', 'edit'],
	    choose_all => ['red', 'green', 'blue'],

       The above example says that only	one of "delete", "add",	"edit" can be
       specified. And if any of	"red", "green",	"blue" is specified then all
       must be specified. In CLI context this translates to:

	% prog --delete	item
	% prog --delete	--add item ; # error, both --delete and	--add specified

	% prog --red 255 --green 255 --blue 0
	% prog --red 255 --blue	0 ; # error, --green is	missing

       Another example:


   Property: args_as =>	STR
       Specify in what form the	function expects the arguments.	The value is
       actually	implementation-specific	since it describes the function
       implementation. For example in Perinci for Perl,	these values are
       recognized: "array", "hash", "arrayref",	"hashref". This	property is
       useful for wrapper to be	able to	convert	one form to another.

       The default value is also left to the implementation.

       For interimplementation communication (e.g. via Riap::HTTP or
       Riap::TCP), named arguments are always used so this property is

   Property: result => HASH
       Specify function	return value. It is a defhash containing keys:

       o   summary

	   From	DefHash. Like the "summary" property in	variable metadata.

       o   description

	   From	DefHash. Like the "description"	property. Suggested to be
	   formatted to	78 columns.

       o   schema => SCHEMA

	   A Sah schema	to validate the	result (the third element in the
	   envelope result).  This schema should only be tested	if status is
	   200.	See also: "statuses".

       o   statuses => HASH

	   Can be used to specify different result schema for different
	   statuses. For example:

	    statuses =>	{
		206 => {
		    schema => 'str*',

       o   stream => bool

	   Specify that	function returns streaming output. Note	that function
	   can also signify streaming output by	setting	result metadata
	   property "stream" to	true.

	   Function must then return a subroutine reference (callback) as its
	   actual result which the caller can call repeatedly until it gets
	   undef to signify exhaustion.

       o   partial => bool

	   If set to true, specify that	it is possible to request partial
	   result. An example is in a function that reads contents from
	   (potentially	large) files:

	    # function metadata
		v => 1.1,
		summary	=> 'Read file contents',
		args =>	{
		    name => {
			summary	=> 'File name',
			schema	=> 'str*',
			req	=> 1,
		result => {schema=>'buf*', partial=>1},

	    # example function usage: request to read first 10MiB of file content,
	    # -result_part_start defaults to 0.
	    my $res = read_file(name=>'myvideo.mp4', -res_part_len=>10000000);
	    # => [206, "Partial	content", "data...", {len=>24500000, part_start=>0, part_len=>10000000}]

	    # request the next 10MiB
	    my $res = read_file(name=>'myvideo.mp4', -res_part_start=>10000000,	-res_part_len=>10000000);
	    # => [206, "Partial	content", "data...", {len=>24500000, part_start=>10000000, part_len=>10000000}]

	    # request the next 10MiB, since this actual	file size is only 24500000,
	    # function should return 416 status
	    my $res = read_file(name=>'myvideo.mp4', -res_part_start=>20000000,	-res_part_len=>10000000);
	    # => [416, "Request	range not satisfiable, file size is only 24500000"]

	    # request the next 4.5MiB, this time succeeds
	    my $res = read_file(name=>'myvideo.mp4', -res_part_start=>20000000,	-res_part_len=>4500000);
	    # => [206, "Partial	content", "data...", {len=>24500000, part_start=>20000000, part_len=>4500000}]

	   Partial result request to a function	which does not support partial
	   result might	have the effect	of the whole content being returned
	   (status 200)	or status 416.

       Note that since functions normally return enveloped result, instead of


       your functions normally have to return an enveloped result:



	# result is an integer
	result => {schema => 'int*'}

	# result is an integer starting	from zero
	result => {schema => ['int*' =>	{ge=>0}]}

	# result is an array of	records
	result => {
	    summary => 'Matching addressbook entries',
	    schema => ['array*'	=> {
		summary	=> 'blah blah blah ...',
		of	=> ['hash*' => {allowed_keys=>[qw/name age address/]} ]

   Property: result_naked => BOOL
       If set to true, specify that function does not envelope its results.
       The default is false, to	encourage functions to create envelopes.
       However,	wrapper	should be able to create or strip envelope if needed.
       For example, if you have	"traditional" functions	which does not do
       envelopes, you can set this property to true, and the wrapper can
       generate	the envelope for the functions.

   Property: examples => ARRAY
       This property allows you	to put examples	in a detailed and structured
       way, as an alternative to putting everything in "description".

       Each example is a defhash, it specifies what arguments are used,	what
       the results are,	and some description. It can be	used when generating
       API/usage documentation,	as well	as for testing data. It	can also be
       used for	testing	(function will be run with specified arguments and the
       result will be matched against expected result).	Known properties:

       o   args	=> HASH

	   Arguments used to produce result. Can be converted to "argv"	by
	   tool, e.g. when displaying command-line examples.

       o   argv	=> ARRAY

	   An alternative to "args", for example when function is run from the
	   command-line. Can be	converted to "args" most of the	time when
	   wanting to display examples in Perl instead of command-line.

       o   src => STR

	   An alternative to "args" or "argv", to provide raw source code. See
	   also: "src_plang". This can be used to show more general examples.
	   For example,	you can	show how a function is used in an expression
	   or code block, or how a command-line	program	is used	in a shell

	   Exactly one of "args", "argv", or "src" must	be specified.

       o   src_plang =>	STR

	   The programming language the	examples source	code "src" is written
	   in. Valid values include: "perl", "bash".

	   Command-line	interface tools	will typically only show examples
	   written in "bash" or	other shells, while Perl module	tools will
	   typically only show "perl" examples.

	   Required if "src" is	specified.

       o   status => INT (default: 200)

	   Status from envelope. If unspecified, assumed to be 200.

       o   result => DATA

	   Expected result.

       o   summary => STR

	   From	DefHash. A one-line summary of the example You should
	   describe, in	one phrase or sentence,	what the example tries to
	   demonstrate.	You can	skip the summary if the	example	is pretty
	   basic or things are already clear from the "args" alone.

       o   description => STR

	   From	DefHash. Longer	marked up text about the example (e.g.
	   discussion or things	to note), suggested to be formatted to 72

       o   tags	=> ARRAY

	   From	DefHash.

       o   test	=> BOOL	(default: 1)

	   Whether to actually test example or not. Examples are by default
	   run as tests	by a test module (e.g. Perl module Test::Rinci.
	   Setting this	to 0 disables this example from	being included in a

	   TODO: more detailed testing instruction (e.g. only test in release
	   candidate, or under certain environment flag, etc).


	# part of metadata for Math::is_prime function
	examples => [
		args =>	{num=>10},
		result => 0,
		# summary no needed here, already clear.
		args =>	{},
		result => 400,
		summary	=> 'Num	argument is required',

		argv =>	[-5],
		result => 1,
		summary	=> 'Also works for negative integers',

       Another example demonstrating "src" for a function called

	examples => [
		src => 'for c in `list-countries`; do wget$c;	done',
		src_plang => 'bash',
		src => <<'EOT',
	my $res	= list_countries(detail	=> 1, sort=>['-popsize']);
	die "Can't list	countries: $res->[0] - $res->[1]" unless $res->[0] == 200;
	my $i =	0;
	for my $c (@{ $res->[2]	}) { $i++; say "$i. $_->{name}'s population: $_->{popsize}";
		src_plang => 'perl',

   Property: features => HASH
       The "features" property is a deffhash. It allows	functions to express
       their features. Each hash key contains feature name, which must only
       contain letters/numbers/underscores.

       Below is	the list of defined features. New feature names	may be defined
       by extension.

       o   feature: reverse => BOOL (default: 0)

	   If set to true, specifies that function supports reverse operation.
	   To reverse, caller can add special argument "-reverse". For

	    $SPEC{triple} = {
		v => 1.1,
		args	 => {num=>{schema=>'num*'}},
		features => {reverse=>1}
	    sub	triple {
		my %args = @_;
		my $num	 = $args{num};
		[200, "OK", $args{-reverse} ? $num/3 : $num*3];

	    triple(num=>12);		  # => 36
	    triple(num=>12, -reverse=>1); # =>	4

       o   feature: tx => HASH

	   Default is none. Specify transactional support, as specified	in
	   Rinci::Transaction. Value is	a hash containing these	keys: "v"
	   (int, protocol version, default if not specified is 1).

	   Please see Rinci::Transaction for more details on transaction.

       o   feature: dry_run => bool|hash

	   If set to a true value, specifies that function supports dry-run
	   (simulation)	mode. Can also be set to a hash	like this:
	   "<{default="1}>> to mean that function supports dry-run and the
	   default is dry-run mode. Example:

	    use	Log::Any '$log';

	    $SPEC{rmre}	= {
		summary	 => 'Delete files in curdir matching a regex',
		args	 => {re=>{schema=>'str*'}},
		features => {dry_run=>1}
	    sub	rmre {
		my %args    = @_;
		my $re	    = qr/$args{re}/;
		my $dry_run = $args{-dry_run};

		opendir	my($dir), ".";
		while (my $f = readdir($dir)) {
		    next unless	$f =~ $re;
		    $log->info("Deleting $f ...");
		    next if $dry_run;
		    unlink $f;
		[200, "OK"];

	   The above Perl function delete files, but if	passed argument
	   "-dry_run" => 1 (simulation mode), will not actually	delete files,
	   only	display	what files match the criteria and would	have be

	   Specifying a	function as supporting dry_run means, among others:

	   o   If dry_run is requested,	function will have no side effects

	       It will behave like a pure function, and	thus have the
	       properties of a pure function.

       o   feature: pure => BOOL (default: 0)

	   If set to true, specifies that function is "pure" and has no	"side
	   effects" (these are terms from functional programming / computer
	   science). Having a side effect means	changing something, somewhere
	   (e.g. setting the value of a	global variable, modifies its
	   arguments, writing some data	to disk, changing system date/time,
	   etc.) Specifying a function as pure means, among others:

	   o   it can safely be	inculded in transaction	without	recording in

	   o   it can safely be	included during	dry run;

       o   feature: immutable => BOOL

	   Default is false. If	set to true, specifies that function always
	   returns the same result when	given the same argument	values.	This
	   enables optimization	like memoization. An example of	an immutable
	   function is "sub { $_[0]+$_[1] }" where its results only depend on
	   the arguments. Example of a mutable function	would be "rand()" or
	   "read()" that reads contents	from a file.

       o   feature: idempotent => BOOL

	   Default is false. If	set to true, specifies that function is
	   idempotent.	Idempotency means that repeated	invocation of a
	   function (each with the same	arguments) will	have the same effect
	   as a	single invocation. In other words, extra invocation will not
	   have	any effect.

	   Some	operations, like reading a database row	or a file's content,
	   is inherently idempotent (or	to be exact nullipotent). Another
	   example is setting or updating an entity to some specific value, or
	   deleting some entity. Repeated invocation of	the operation will
	   still sets the entity to the	same value, or still deletes the

	   Some	other operations are inherently	non-idempotent,	for example
	   sending an email. Repeated invocation will cause multiple emails to
	   be sent.

	   Yet some other operations are non-idempotent, but can be made
	   idempotent simply by	checking whether the target object(s) has
	   (have) reached the final desired state, (optionally additionally
	   also	checking whether they are in the correct original state	to
	   begin with).	For example, a function	that renames a file can	record
	   the original	file that was renamed (its MD5 checksum, size, or what
	   not)	or perhaps record the action in	a history database or flag
	   file, and refuse to rename again if the file	to be renamed is not
	   the original	file.

       o   feature: check_arg => bool

	   Default is false. If	set to true, specifies that function supports
	   the action of checking only a single	argument. Usually useful when
	   doing form processing, where	we want	to check only a	single form
	   field (function argument). To check a single	argument, one passes
	   "-action" special argument with the value of	"check_arg" and	also
	   passes the argument she wants to check. Function should check that
	   argument and	immediately return 200 status upon success, or 400
	   upon	validation failure.

   Property: deps => HASH
       This property specifies function's dependencies to various things. It
       is a hash of dep	types and values. Some dep types are special: "all",
       "any", and "none".

	deps =>	{
	    all	=> [
	    any	=> [
	    none => [

       A dependency can	be of any type:	another	function, environment
       variables, programs, OS software	packages, etc. It is up	to the
       dependency checker library to make use of this information.

       For the dependencies to be declared as satisfied, all of	the clauses
       must be satisfied.

       Below is	the list of defined dependency types. New dependency type may
       be defined by an	extension.

       o   dep:	env => STR

	   Require that	an environment variable	exists and is true, where true
	   is in the Perl sense	(not an	empty string or	"0"; " " and "0.0" are
	   both	true). Example:

	    env	=> 'HTTPS'

       o   dep:	prog =>	STR

	   Require that	a program exists. If STR doesn't contain path
	   separator character '/' it will be searched in PATH.	Windows
	   filesystem should also use Unix-style path, e.g. "C:/Program

	    prog => 'rsync'   #	any rsync found	on PATH
	    prog => '/bin/su' #	won't accept any other su

       o   dep:	pkg => STR

	   Specify dependency on a Riap	package. STR must be a valid Riap
	   package URI string. Checker can check that requesting "info"	on
	   this	URI succeeds and the type is indeed "package". Example:

	    pkg	=> '/Foo/'

       o   dep:	func =>	STR

	   Specify dependency on a Riap	function. STR must be a	valid Riap
	   function URI	string.	Checker	can check that requesting "info" on
	   this	URI succeeds and the type is indeed "package". Example:

	    pkg	=> '/Foo/somefunc'
	    pkg	=> ''

       o   dep:	code =>	CODE

	   Require that	anonymous function returns a true value	after called,
	   where the notion of true depends on the host	language. Example in

	    code => sub	{$>}  #	i am not being run as root

	   Example in Ruby:

	    "code" => { Process.euid >	0 }  # i am not	being run as root

       o   dep:	tmp_dir	=> BOOL

	   If set to 1,	specify	that function requires temporary directory.
	   Caller should provide path to this using special argument

       o   dep:	trash_dir => BOOL

	   If set to 1,	specify	that function requires trash directory.	Trash
	   is not unlike a temporary directory.	Caller should provide path to
	   trash directory using special argument "-trash_dir".

	   Trash directory can be provided, e.g. by transaction	manager	(see

       o   dep:	all => [DEPHASH, ...]

	   A "meta" type that allows several dependencies to be	joined
	   together in a logical-AND fashion. All dependency hashes must be
	   satisfied. For example, to declare a	dependency to several programs
	   and an environment variable:

	    all	=> [
		{prog => 'rsync'},
		{prog => 'tar'},
		{env  => 'FORCE'},

       o   dep:	any => [DEPHASH, ...]

	   Like	"all", but specify a logical-OR	relationship. Any one of the
	   dependencies	will suffice. For example, to specify requirement to
	   alternative Perl modules:

	    or => [
		{perl_module =>	'HTTP::Daemon'},
		{perl_module =>	'HTTP::Daemon::SSL'},

       o   dep:	none =>	[DEPHASH, ...]

	   Specify that	none of	the dependencies must be satisfied for this
	   type	to be satisfied. Example, to specify that the function not run
	   under SUDO or by root:

	    none => [
		{env  => 'SUDO_USER'   },
		{code => sub {$> != 0} },

	   Note	that the above is not equivalent to below:

	    none => [
		{env =>	'SUDO_USER', code => sub {$> !=	0} },

	   which means that if none or only one	of 'env'/'code'	is satisfied,
	   the whole dependency	becomes	a success (since it is negated by
	   'none'). Probably not what you want.

       If you add a new	language-specific dependency type, please prefix it
       with the	language code, e.g. "perl_module", "perl_func",	"ruby_gem",
       "python_egg".  These dependency types have also been defined by some
       existing	tools: "deb" (dependency to a Debian package), "rpm"
       (dependency to an RPM package), "js_url"	(loading a remote JavaScript
       script URL), "file" (existence of a), "perl_run_func" (running a	Perl
       subroutine and getting a	successful enveloped result). Some of these
       might be	declared as part of the	core dependency	types in the future.

   What	is the difference between "summary" or "description" in	the Sah	schema
       and arg specification?

	    args => {
		src => {
		    summary => "Source path",
		    description	=> "...",
		    schema => ["str*", {
			summary	=> "...",
			description => "...",
		dest =>	{
		    summary => "Target path",
		    description	=> "...",
		    schema => ["str*", {
			summary	=> "...",
			description => "...",

       As you can see, each argument has a "summary" and "description",	but
       the schema for each argument also has a "summary" and "description"
       schema clauses. What is the difference and which	should be put into

       The argument specification's "summary" (and "description") describe the
       argument	itself,	in this	example	it says	that "src" means "The source
       path" and "dest"	means "The target path". The argument schema's
       "summary" (and "description") describe the data type and	valid values.
       In this example it could	say, e.g., "a Unix-path	string with a maximum
       length of 255 characters".  In fact, "src" and "dest" are probably of
       the same	type ("Unix path") and can share schema.

	    args => {
		src => {
		    schema => "unix_path",
		dest =>	{
		    schema => "unix_path",

   What	is the difference between setting req=>1 in the	argument specification
       and req=>1 in schema?

	# Note:	remember that in Sah, str* is equivalent to [str => {req=>1}]
	args =>	{
	    a => {	   schema=>"str"  },
	    b => {	   schema=>"str*" },
	    c => { req=>1, schema=>"str"  },
	    d => { req=>1, schema=>"str*" },

       In particular look at "b" and "c". "b" is not a required	argument (no
       req=>1 in the argument spec) but	if it is specified, than it cannot be
       undef/null (since the schema says [str=>{req=>1}], a.k.a	"str*"). On
       the other hand, "c" is a	required argument (req=>1 in the argument
       spec) but you can specify undef/null as the value. The following	are

	func(c=>undef, d=>1);

       But the following are not:

	func(b=>1, d=>1);  # c is not specified
	func(b=>undef, c=>1, d=>1);  # b has undef value
	func(b=>1, c=>1, d=>undef);  # d has undef value

   Should I add	a new metadata property, or add	a new feature name to the
       "features" property, or add a new dependency type to the	"deps"
       If your property	describes a dependency to something, it	should
       definitely be a new dependency type. If your property only describes
       what the	function can do	and does not include any wrapper code, then it
       probably	goes into "features".  Otherwise, it should probably become a
       new metadata property.

       For example, if you want	to declare that	your function can only be run
       under a certain moon phase (e.g.	full moon), it should definitely go as
       a new dependency	type, so it becomes: deps => { moon_phase => 'full' }.

       Another example,	"reverse" is a feature name, because it	just states
       that if we pass "-reverse" => 1 special argument	to a reversible
       function, it can	do a reverse operation.	It doesn't include any wrapper
       code, all functionality is realized by the function itself. On the
       other hand, "timeout" is	a metadata property because it involves	adding
       adding some wrapping code (a timeout mechanism, e.g. an eval() block
       and alarm() in Perl).

       Please visit the	project's homepage at

       Source repository is at <>.

       Please report any bugs or feature requests on the bugtracker website

       When submitting a bug or	request, please	include	a test-file or a patch
       to an existing test-file	that illustrates the bug or desired feature.

       Related specifications: Sah, HTTP/1.1 (RFC 2068)


       perlancar <>

       This software is	copyright (c) 2016 by

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

perl v5.24.1			  2016-12-28		    Rinci::function(3)


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