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10.2. Importing Method Groups

The syntax for calling CGI methods can be unwieldy. However, if you choose not to use the object form of CGI.pm, you can import individual methods instead. The "birthday" example shown earlier could be written even more simply as:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl -w

use CGI qw(param header p);

my $bday = param("birthday");

print header('text/plain');
print "Your birthday is $bday.";

By importing the param, header, and p methods into your namespace, you no longer have to use the new constructor (since it is called automatically now), and you don't need to specify a CGI object with every method call.

CGI.pm also lets you import groups of methods, which can make your programs much simpler and more elegant. For example, to import all form-creation methods and all CGI-handling methods:

use CGI qw/:form :cgi/;

The method groups supported by CGI.pm are:

All CGI-handling methods

All methods supplied for backward compatibility with cgi-lib

All form-generation methods

All HTML methods

All HTML 2.0 methods

All HTML 3.0 methods

All methods generating Netscape extensions

All SSL methods

All HTML 2.0, form-generation, and CGI methods

All available methods

You can also define new methods for HTML tag generation by simply listing them on the import line and letting CGI.pm make some educated guesses. For example:

use CGI shortcuts,smell;

print smell {type=>'garlic',
           intensity=>'strong'}, "Scratch here!";

This will cause the following tag to be generated:

<SMELL TYPE="garlic" INTENSITY="strong">Scratch here!</SMELL>

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