Moose::Cookbook::Basics::Genome_OverloadingSubtypesAndCoercion

Section: User Contributed Perl Documentation (3)
Updated: 2018-05-16
Page Index
 

NAME

Moose::Cookbook::Basics::Genome_OverloadingSubtypesAndCoercion - Operator overloading, subtypes, and coercion  

VERSION

version 2.2011  

SYNOPSIS

  package Human;

  use Moose;
  use Moose::Util::TypeConstraints;

  subtype 'Sex'
      => as 'Str'
      => where { $_ =~ m{^[mf]$}s };

  has 'sex'    => ( is => 'ro', isa => 'Sex', required => 1 );

  has 'mother' => ( is => 'ro', isa => 'Human' );
  has 'father' => ( is => 'ro', isa => 'Human' );

  use overload '+' => \&_overload_add, fallback => 1;

  sub _overload_add {
      my ( $one, $two ) = @_;

      die('Only male and female humans may create children')
          if ( $one->sex() eq $two->sex() );

      my ( $mother, $father )
          = ( $one->sex eq 'f' ? ( $one, $two ) : ( $two, $one ) );

      my $sex = 'f';
      $sex = 'm' if ( rand() >= 0.5 );

      return Human->new(
          sex    => $sex,
          mother => $mother,
          father => $father,
      );
  }

 

DESCRIPTION

This Moose cookbook recipe shows how operator overloading, coercion, and subtypes can be used to mimic the human reproductive system (well, the selection of genes at least).  

INTRODUCTION

Our "Human" class uses operator overloading to allow us to ``add'' two humans together and produce a child. Our implementation does require that the two objects be of opposite sex. Remember, we're talking about biological reproduction, not marriage.

While this example works as-is, we can take it a lot further by adding genes into the mix. We'll add the two genes that control eye color, and use overloading to combine the genes from the parent to model the biology.  

What is Operator Overloading?

Overloading is not a Moose-specific feature. It's a general OO concept that is implemented in Perl with the "overload" pragma. Overloading lets objects do something sane when used with Perl's built in operators, like addition ("+") or when used as a string.

In this example we overload addition so we can write code like "$child = $mother + $father".  

GENES

There are many genes which affect eye color, but there are two which are most important, gey and bey2. We will start by making a class for each gene.  

Human::Gene::bey2

  package Human::Gene::bey2;

  use Moose;
  use Moose::Util::TypeConstraints;

  type 'bey2_color' => where { $_ =~ m{^(?:brown|blue)$} };

  has 'color' => ( is => 'ro', isa => 'bey2_color' );

This class is trivial. We have a type constraint for the allowed colors, and a "color" attribute.  

Human::Gene::gey

  package Human::Gene::gey;

  use Moose;
  use Moose::Util::TypeConstraints;

  type 'gey_color' => where { $_ =~ m{^(?:green|blue)$} };

  has 'color' => ( is => 'ro', isa => 'gey_color' );

This is nearly identical to the "Humane::Gene::bey2" class, except that the gey gene allows for different colors.  

EYE COLOR

We could just give four attributes (two of each gene) to the "Human" class, but this is a bit messy. Instead, we'll abstract the genes into a container class, "Human::EyeColor". Then a "Human" can have a single "eye_color" attribute.

  package Human::EyeColor;

  use Moose;
  use Moose::Util::TypeConstraints;

  coerce 'Human::Gene::bey2'
      => from 'Str'
          => via { Human::Gene::bey2->new( color => $_ ) };

  coerce 'Human::Gene::gey'
      => from 'Str'
          => via { Human::Gene::gey->new( color => $_ ) };

  has [qw( bey2_1 bey2_2 )] =>
      ( is => 'ro', isa => 'Human::Gene::bey2', coerce => 1 );

  has [qw( gey_1 gey_2 )] =>
      ( is => 'ro', isa => 'Human::Gene::gey', coerce => 1 );

The eye color class has two of each type of gene. We've also created a coercion for each class that coerces a string into a new object. Note that a coercion will fail if it attempts to coerce a string like ``indigo'', because that is not a valid color for either type of gene.

As an aside, you can see that we can define several identical attributes at once by supplying an array reference of names as the first argument to "has".

We also need a method to calculate the actual eye color that results from a set of genes. The bey2 brown gene is dominant over both blue and green. The gey green gene is dominant over blue.

  sub color {
      my ($self) = @_;

      return 'brown'
          if ( $self->bey2_1->color() eq 'brown'
          or $self->bey2_2->color() eq 'brown' );

      return 'green'
          if ( $self->gey_1->color() eq 'green'
          or $self->gey_2->color() eq 'green' );

      return 'blue';
  }

We'd like to be able to treat a "Human::EyeColor" object as a string, so we define a string overloading for the class:

  use overload '""' => \&color, fallback => 1;

Finally, we need to define overloading for addition. That way we can add together two "Human::EyeColor" objects and get a new one with a new (genetically correct) eye color.

  use overload '+' => \&_overload_add, fallback => 1;

  sub _overload_add {
      my ( $one, $two ) = @_;

      my $one_bey2 = 'bey2_' . _rand2();
      my $two_bey2 = 'bey2_' . _rand2();

      my $one_gey = 'gey_' . _rand2();
      my $two_gey = 'gey_' . _rand2();

      return Human::EyeColor->new(
          bey2_1 => $one->$one_bey2->color(),
          bey2_2 => $two->$two_bey2->color(),
          gey_1  => $one->$one_gey->color(),
          gey_2  => $two->$two_gey->color(),
      );
  }

  sub _rand2 {
      return 1 + int( rand(2) );
  }

When two eye color objects are added together, the "_overload_add()" method will be passed two "Human::EyeColor" objects. These are the left and right side operands for the "+" operator. This method returns a new "Human::EyeColor" object.  

ADDING EYE COLOR TO Humans

Our original "Human" class requires just a few changes to incorporate our new "Human::EyeColor" class.

  use List::SomeUtils qw( zip );

  coerce 'Human::EyeColor'
      => from 'ArrayRef'
      => via { my @genes = qw( bey2_1 bey2_2 gey_1 gey_2 );
               return Human::EyeColor->new( zip( @genes, @{$_} ) ); };

  has 'eye_color' => (
      is       => 'ro',
      isa      => 'Human::EyeColor',
      coerce   => 1,
      required => 1,
  );

We also need to modify "_overload_add()" in the "Human" class to account for eye color:

  return Human->new(
      sex       => $sex,
      eye_color => ( $one->eye_color() + $two->eye_color() ),
      mother    => $mother,
      father    => $father,
  );

 

CONCLUSION

The three techniques we used, overloading, subtypes, and coercion, combine to provide a powerful interface.

If you'd like to learn more about overloading, please read the documentation for the overload pragma.

To see all the code we created together, take a look at t/recipes/basics_genome_overloadingsubtypesandcoercion.t.  

NEXT STEPS

Had this been a real project we'd probably want:
Better Randomization with Crypt::Random
Characteristic Base Class
Mutating Genes
More Characteristics
Artificial Life
 

AUTHORS

Stevan Little <stevan.little@iinteractive.com>
Dave Rolsky <autarch@urth.org>
Jesse Luehrs <doy@tozt.net>
Shawn M Moore <code@sartak.org>
יובל קוג'מן (Yuval Kogman) <nothingmuch@woobling.org>
Karen Etheridge <ether@cpan.org>
Florian Ragwitz <rafl@debian.org>
Hans Dieter Pearcey <hdp@weftsoar.net>
Chris Prather <chris@prather.org>
Matt S Trout <mst@shadowcat.co.uk>
 

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

License details are at: <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/>


 

Index

NAME
VERSION
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
INTRODUCTION
What is Operator Overloading?
GENES
Human::Gene::bey2
Human::Gene::gey
EYE COLOR
ADDING EYE COLOR TO Humans
CONCLUSION
NEXT STEPS
AUTHORS
COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE
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