make_method --name=system.identification --helptext='System ID string'
--signature=string --code=ident.pl --output=ident.xpl
This is a simple tool to create the XML descriptive files for
specifying methods to be published by an RPC::XML::Server-based server.
If a server is written such that the methods it exports (or publishes)
are a part of the running code, then there is no need for this tool.
However, in cases where the server may be separate and distinct from
the code (such as an Apache-based RPC server), specifying the routines
and filling in the supporting information can be cumbersome.
One solution that the RPC::XML::Server package offers is the means to
load publishable code from an external file. The file is in a simple
XML dialect that clearly delinates the externally-visible name, the
method signatures, the help text and the code itself. These files may
be created manually, or this tool may be used as an aide.
There are no required arguments, but if there are not sufficient
options passed you will be told by an error message.
The tool recognizes the following options:
Prints a short summary of the options.
Specifies the published name of the method being encoded. This is
the name by which it will be visible to clients of the server.
Specifies a namespace that the code of the method will be evaluated
in, when the XPL file is loaded by a server instance.
Specify the type for the resulting file. "Type" here refers to
whether the container tag used in the resulting XML will specify a
procedure or a method. The default is method. The string is treated
case-independant, and only the first character ("m" or "p") is
Specify a version stamp for the code routine.
If this is passe, the resulting file will include a tag that tells
command line. Not suited for terribly long help strings.
Read the help text for the method from the file specified.
Read the actual code for the routine from the file specified. If
this option is not given, the code is read from the standard input
Write the resulting XML representation to the specified file. If
this option is not given, then the output goes to the standard
output file descriptor.
This is a special, "all-in-one" option. If passed, all other
options are ignored.
The value is used as the base element for reading information from
a file named BASE.base. This file will contain specification of the
name, version, hidden status, signatures and other method
information. Each line of the file should look like one of the
Specify the name of the routine being published. If this line
does not appear, then the value of the --base argument with all
directory elements removed will be used.
Provide a version stamp for the function. If no line matching
this pattern is present, no version tag will be written.
If present, STRING should be either "yes" or "no" (case not
important). If it is "yes", then the method is marked to be
hidden from any introspection API.
This line may appear more than once, and is treated
cumulatively. Other options override previous values if they
appear more than once. The portion following the "Signature:"
part is taken to be a published signature for the method, with
elements separated by whitespace. Each method must have at
least one signature, so a lack of any will cause an error.
Specifies the file from which to read the help text. It is not
an error if no help text is specified.
Specifies the file from which to read the code. Code is assumed
to be Perl, and will be tagged as such in the resulting file.
The output is written to BASE.xpl, preserving the path information
so that the resulting file is right alongside the source files.
This allows constructs such as:
FILE FORMAT AND DTD
The file format for these published routines is a very simple XML
dialect. This is less due to XML being an ideal format than it is the
availability of the parser, given that the RPC::XML::Server class will
already have the parser code in core. Writing a completely new format
would not have gained anything.
The Document Type Declaration for the format can be summarized by:
<!ELEMENT proceduredef (name, namespace?, version?, hidden?,
signature+, help?, code)>
<!ELEMENT methoddef (name, namespace?, version?, hidden?,
signature+, help?, code)>
<!ELEMENT functiondef (name, namespace?, version?, hidden?,
signature+, help?, code)>
<!ELEMENT name (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT namespace (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT version (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT hidden EMPTY>
<!ELEMENT signature (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT help (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT code (#PCDATA)>
<!ATTLIST code language (#PCDATA)>
The file "rpc-method.dtd" that comes with the distribution has some
commentary in addition to the actual specification.
A file is (for now) limited to one definition. This is started by the
one of the opening tags "<methoddef>", "<functiondef>" or
"<proceduredef>". This is followed by exactly one "<name>" container
specifying the method name, an optional version stamp, an optional
hide-from-introspection flag, one or more "<signature>" containers
specifying signatures, an optional "<help>" container with the help
text, then the "<code>" container with the actual program code. All
text should use entity encoding for the symbols:
& C<&> (ampersand)
E<lt> C<<> (less-than)
E<gt> C<>> (greater-than)
The parsing process within the server class will decode the entities.
To make things easier, the tool scans all text elements and encodes the
above entities before writing the file.
The Specification of Code
This is not "Programming 101", nor is it "Perl for the Somewhat Dim".
The code that is passed in via one of the "*.xpl" files gets passed to
"eval" with next to no modification (see below). Thus, badly-written or
The first is the "CDATA" terminator. If it occurs naturally in the
code, it would trigger the end-of-section in the parser. The second is
the familiar Perl token, which is inserted so that the remainder of the
XML document does not clutter up the Perl parser.
The RPC::XML distribution comes with a number of default methods in a
subdirectory called (cryptically enough) "methods". Each of these is
expressed as a set of ("*.base", "*.code", "*.help") files. The
Makefile.PL file configures the resulting Makefile such that these are
used to create "*.xpl" files using this tool, and then install them.
Most problems come out in the form of error messages followed by an
The tool exits with a status of 0 upon success, and 255 otherwise.
I don't much like this approach to specifying the methods, but I liked
my other ideas even less.
Please report any bugs or feature requests to "bug-rpc-xml at
rt.cpan.org", or through the web interface at
<http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=RPC-XML>. I will be
notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your
bug as I make changes.
o RT: CPAN's request tracker
o AnnoCPAN: Annotated CPAN documentation
o CPAN Ratings
o Search CPAN
Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 2.1
The XML-RPC standard is Copyright (c) 1998-2001, UserLand Software,
Inc. See <http://www.xmlrpc.com> for more information about the XML-
Randy J. Ray <email@example.com>
perl v5.14.2 2011-08-15 MAKE_METHOD(1p)
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