Attributes: powerful Perl syntax you might not know

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An anonymous monk at PerlMonks asks How is this Perl?.

sub end : ActionClass('RenderView') {}

As it turns out, they're attributes, one of the newer and less well understood additions to Perl. You won't see them everywhere, but they're starting to appear in a number of places; many people -- including the anonymous perlmonk -- first encounter them in the Catalyst MVC framework.

Attributes allow you to add extra semantics to any Perl subroutine or variable. The typical example -- given in both the perlmonks thread linked above, and in the Attribute::Handlers docs linked below, is an attribute :Loud which makes any subroutine called with it behave as if it only knew how to shout:

sub greet : Loud {
    print "Good morning.\n";


... prints "GOOD MORNING";

You can also declare variables using attributes:

my $greeting : Loud;

To learn more about attributes and how to write them:

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