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Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2019



UNIVERSAL - base class for ALL classes (blessed references)


$is_io    = $fd->isa("IO::Handle");
$is_io    = Class->isa("IO::Handle");

$does_log = $obj->DOES("Logger");
$does_log = Class->DOES("Logger");

$sub      = $obj->can("print");
$sub      = Class->can("print");

$sub      = eval { $ref->can("fandango") };
$ver      = $obj->VERSION;

# but never do this!
$is_io    = UNIVERSAL::isa($fd, "IO::Handle");
$sub      = UNIVERSAL::can($obj, "print");


Perl Programmers Reference Guide                                  UNIVERSAL(3)

       UNIVERSAL - base class for ALL classes (blessed references)

           $is_io    = $fd->isa("IO::Handle");
           $is_io    = Class->isa("IO::Handle");

           $does_log = $obj->DOES("Logger");
           $does_log = Class->DOES("Logger");

           $sub      = $obj->can("print");
           $sub      = Class->can("print");

           $sub      = eval { $ref->can("fandango") };
           $ver      = $obj->VERSION;

           # but never do this!
           $is_io    = UNIVERSAL::isa($fd, "IO::Handle");
           $sub      = UNIVERSAL::can($obj, "print");

       "UNIVERSAL" is the base class from which all blessed references
       inherit.  See perlobj.

       "UNIVERSAL" provides the following methods:

       "$obj->isa( TYPE )"
       "CLASS->isa( TYPE )"
       "eval { VAL->isa( TYPE ) }"

               is a package name

               is a blessed reference or a package name

               is a package name

               is any of the above or an unblessed reference

           When used as an instance or class method ("$obj->isa( TYPE )"),
           "isa" returns true if $obj is blessed into package "TYPE" or
           inherits from package "TYPE".

           When used as a class method ("CLASS->isa( TYPE )", sometimes
           referred to as a static method), "isa" returns true if "CLASS"
           inherits from (or is itself) the name of the package "TYPE" or
           inherits from package "TYPE".

           If you're not sure what you have (the "VAL" case), wrap the method
           call in an "eval" block to catch the exception if "VAL" is

           If you want to be sure that you're calling "isa" as a method, not a
           class, check the invocand with "blessed" from Scalar::Util first:

             use Scalar::Util 'blessed';

             if ( blessed( $obj ) && $obj->isa("Some::Class") ) {

       "$obj->DOES( ROLE )"
       "CLASS->DOES( ROLE )"
           "DOES" checks if the object or class performs the role "ROLE".  A
           role is a named group of specific behavior (often methods of
           particular names and signatures), similar to a class, but not
           necessarily a complete class by itself.  For example, logging or
           serialization may be roles.

           "DOES" and "isa" are similar, in that if either is true, you know
           that the object or class on which you call the method can perform
           specific behavior.  However, "DOES" is different from "isa" in that
           it does not care how the invocand performs the operations, merely
           that it does.  ("isa" of course mandates an inheritance
           relationship.  Other relationships include aggregation, delegation,
           and mocking.)

           By default, classes in Perl only perform the "UNIVERSAL" role, as
           well as the role of all classes in their inheritance.  In other
           words, by default "DOES" responds identically to "isa".

           There is a relationship between roles and classes, as each class
           implies the existence of a role of the same name.  There is also a
           relationship between inheritance and roles, in that a subclass that
           inherits from an ancestor class implicitly performs any roles its
           parent performs.  Thus you can use "DOES" in place of "isa" safely,
           as it will return true in all places where "isa" will return true
           (provided that any overridden "DOES" and "isa" methods behave

       "$obj->can( METHOD )"
       "CLASS->can( METHOD )"
       "eval { VAL->can( METHOD ) }"
           "can" checks if the object or class has a method called "METHOD".
           If it does, then it returns a reference to the sub.  If it does
           not, then it returns undef.  This includes methods inherited or
           imported by $obj, "CLASS", or "VAL".

           "can" cannot know whether an object will be able to provide a
           method through AUTOLOAD (unless the object's class has overridden
           "can" appropriately), so a return value of undef does not
           necessarily mean the object will not be able to handle the method
           call. To get around this some module authors use a forward
           declaration (see perlsub) for methods they will handle via
           AUTOLOAD. For such 'dummy' subs, "can" will still return a code
           reference, which, when called, will fall through to the AUTOLOAD.
           If no suitable AUTOLOAD is provided, calling the coderef will cause
           an error.

           You may call "can" as a class (static) method or an object method.

           Again, the same rule about having a valid invocand applies -- use
           an "eval" block or "blessed" if you need to be extra paranoid.

       "VERSION ( [ REQUIRE ] )"
           "VERSION" will return the value of the variable $VERSION in the
           package the object is blessed into. If "REQUIRE" is given then it
           will do a comparison and die if the package version is not greater
           than or equal to "REQUIRE", or if either $VERSION or "REQUIRE" is
           not a "lax" version number (as defined by the version module).

           The return from "VERSION" will actually be the stringified version
           object using the package $VERSION scalar, which is guaranteed to be
           equivalent but may not be precisely the contents of the $VERSION
           scalar.  If you want the actual contents of $VERSION, use
           $CLASS::VERSION instead.

           "VERSION" can be called as either a class (static) method or an
           object method.

       NOTE: "can" directly uses Perl's internal code for method lookup, and
       "isa" uses a very similar method and cache-ing strategy. This may cause
       strange effects if the Perl code dynamically changes @ISA in any

       You may add other methods to the UNIVERSAL class via Perl or XS code.
       You do not need to "use UNIVERSAL" to make these methods available to
       your program (and you should not do so).


       Previous versions of this documentation suggested using "isa" as a
       function to determine the type of a reference:

         $yes = UNIVERSAL::isa($h, "HASH");
         $yes = UNIVERSAL::isa("Foo", "Bar");

       The problem is that this code would never call an overridden "isa"
       method in any class.  Instead, use "reftype" from Scalar::Util for the
       first case:

         use Scalar::Util 'reftype';

         $yes = reftype( $h ) eq "HASH";

       and the method form of "isa" for the second:

         $yes = Foo->isa("Bar");

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | runtime/perl-526      |
       |Stability      | Pass-through volatile |
       This software was built from source available at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original community
       source was downloaded from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.perl.org/.

perl v5.26.3                      2018-03-01                      UNIVERSAL(3)