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# NAME

Validation::Class - Simple Object System, Data Validation and Modeling Framework

# VERSION

version 7.00_02

# SYNOPSIS

    package MyVal::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    # rules mixin
    

    mxn basic       => {
        required    => 1,
        max_length  => 255,
        filters     => [qw/trim strip/]
    }; 
    

    # attr(s) w/rules
    

    fld id          => {
        mixin       => 'basic',
        max_length  => 11,
        required    => 0
    };
    

    fld name        => {
        mixin       => 'basic',
        min_length  => 2
    };
    

    fld email       => {
        mixin       => 'basic',
        min_length  => 3
    };
    

    fld login       => {
        mixin       => 'basic',
        min_length  => 5
    };
    

    fld password    => {
        mixin       => 'basic',
        min_length  => 5,
        min_symbols => 1
    };
    

    # just an attr
    

    has attitude => 1; 
    

    # self-validating method (even better than method signatures)
    

    mth create  => {
    

        input   => [qw/name email login password/],
        output  => ['+id'],
        

        using   => sub {
            

            my ($self, @args) = @_;
            

            # make sure to set id for output validation
            

        }
    

    }; 
    

    package main;
    

    my $user = MyVal::User->new(name => '...', email => '...');
    

    unless ($user->create) {
    

        # did you forget your login and pass?
    

    }
    

    1;

Validation::Class takes a different approach towards data modeling and
validation, it centralizes data validation rules to ensure consistency through
DRY (dont-repeat-yourself) code.

    use MyApp;
    

    my $params = {
       'user.login' => '...',
       'user.pass' => '...'
    };
    

    my $app = MyApp->new(params => $params);
    

    my $user = $app->class('user'); # instantiated MyApp::User object
    

    unless ($user->validate('login', 'pass')){
    

        # do something with ... $input->errors;
    

    }

# DESCRIPTION

Validation::Class is much more than a robust data validation framework, in-fact
it is more of a data modeling framework and can be used as an alternative to
minimalistic object systems such as [Moo](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Moo), [Mo](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Mo), etc.

Validation::Class aims to provide the building blocks for easily definable
self-validating data models.

When fields (attributes with validation rules) are defined, accessors are
automatically generated to make getting and setting their values much easier.

Methods can be defined using the method keyword to create a self-validating
method, checking the defined input requirements against existing validation rules
before executing the routine, gaining consistency and security.

# KEYWORDS

## attribute

The attribute keyword (or has) creates a class attribute. 

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validate::Class;
    

    attribute 'attitude' => sub {
        

        return $self->bothered ? 1 : 0 
        

    };
    

    1;

The attribute keyword takes two arguments, the attribute name and a constant or
coderef that will be used as its default value.

## build

The build keyword (or bld) registers a coderef to be run at instantiation much
in the same way the common BUILD routine is used in modern-day OO systems.

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    build sub {
        

        my $self = shift;
        

        # ... do something
        

    };

The build keyword takes one argument, a coderef which is passed the instantiated
class object.

## directive

The directive keyword (or dir) creates custom validator directives to be used in
your field definitions. It is a means of extending the pre-existing directives
table before runtime and is ideal for creating custom directive extension
packages to be used in all your classes.

    package MyApp::Directives;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    use Data::Validate::Email;
    

    directive 'is_email' => sub {
    

        my ($dir, $value, $field, $self) = @_;
        

        my $validator = Data::Validate::Email->new;
        

        unless ($validator->is_email($value)) {
        

            my $handle = $field->{label} || $field->{name};
            

            $self->errors->add_error("$handle must be a valid email address");
            

            return 0;
        

        }
        

        return 1;
    

    };
    

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validate::Class;
    use MyApp::Directives;
    

    field 'email' => {
        is_email => 1,
        ...
    };
    

    1;

The directive keyword takes two arguments, the name of the directive and a
coderef which will be used to validate the associated field. The coderef is
passed four ordered parameters, the value of directive, the value of the
field (parameter value), the field object (hashref), and the instantiated class
object. The validator MUST return true or false.

Additionally, if you only desire to extend the list of acceptable directives,
you can create a no-op by simply returning true, e.g.:

    directive 'new_addition' => sub {1};

## field

The field keyword (or fld) creates an attribute with validation rules for reuse
in code. The field keyword may also correspond with the parameter name expected to
be passed to your validation class.

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    field 'login' => {
        required   => 1,
        min_length => 1,
        max_length => 255,
        ...
    };

The field keyword takes two arguments, the field name and a hashref of key/values
pairs known as directives.

Protip: Fields are used to validate constant and array data, not hashrefs and
objects. Don't try to use fields like attributes (use the has keyword instead).

## filter

The filter keyword (or flt) creates custom filters to be used in your field
definitions. It is a means of extending the pre-existing filters table before
runtime and is ideal for creating custom directive extension packages to be used
in all your classes.

    package MyApp::Directives;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    filter 'flatten' => sub {
        

        $_[0] =~ s/[\t\r\n]+/ /g;
        $_[0] # return
    

    };
    

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validate::Class;
    use MyApp::Directives;
    

    field 'description' => {
        filters => ['trim', 'flatten'],
        ...
    };
    

    1;

The filter keyword takes two arguments, the name of the filter and a
coderef which will be used to filter the value the associated field. The coderef
is passed the value of the field and that value MUST be operated on directly.
The coderef should also return the transformed value.

## load

The load keyword (or set), which can also be used as a method, provides options
for extending the current class by attaching other [Validation::Class](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Validation::Class) classes
as relatives, roles, plugins, etc. The process of applying roles to the current
class mainly involve copying the role's methods and configuration.

    package MyApp;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    # load stuff (extend MyApp)
    

    load {
        ...
    };
    

    1;

The `load.classes` option, can be a constant or arrayref and uses [Module::Find](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Module::Find)
to load __all__ child classes (in-all-subdirectories) for convenient access
through the class() method. Existing parameters and configuration options are
passed to the child class' constructor. All attributes can be easily overwritten
using the attribute's accessors on the child class. These child classes are
often referred to as relatives. This option accepts a constant or an arrayref of
constants.

    package MyApp;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    # load all child classes
    

    load {
        classes => [
            __PACKAGE__
        ]
    };
    

    package main;
    

    my $app = MyApp->new;
    

    my $rel = $app->class('relative'); # new MyApp::Relative object
    

    my $rel = $app->class('data_source'); # MyApp::DataSource
    my $rel = $app->class('datasource-first'); # MyApp::Datasource::First
    

    1;

The `load.plugins` option is used to load plugins that support Validation::Class. 
A Validation::Class plugin is little more than a class that implements a "new"
method that extends the associated validation class object. As usual, an official
Validation::Class plugin can be referred to using shorthand while custom plugins
are called by prefixing a plus symbol to the fully-qualified plugin name. Learn
more about plugins at [Validation::Class::Intro](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Validation::Class::Intro). This option accepts a
constant or an arrayref of constants.

    package MyVal;
    

    load {
        plugins => [
            'CPANPlugin', # Validation::Class::Plugin::CPANPlugin
            '+MyVal::Plugin'
        ]
    };
    

    1;

The `load.roles` option is used to load and inherit functionality from child
classes, these classes should be used and thought-of as roles. Any validation
class can be used as a role with this option. This option accepts a constant or
an arrayref of constants.

    package MyVal::User;
    

    load {
        roles => [
            'MyVal::Person'
        ]
    };
    

    1;

## method

The method keyword (or mth) is used to create an auto-validating method. Similar
to method signatures, an auto-validating method can leverage pre-existing
validation rules and profiles to ensure a method has the required data necessary
to proceed.

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    method 'register' => {
    

        input  => ['name', '+email', 'login', '+password'],
        output => ['+id'], # optional output validation, dies on failure
        using  => sub {
        

            my ($self, @args) = @_;
            

            # .... do something registrationy
            

            $self->id(...); # set the ID field for output validation
            

            return $self;
        

        }
    

    };
    

    package main;
    

    my $user = MyApp::User->new(params => $params);
    

    if ($user->register) {
        ...
    }
    

    1;

The method keyword takes two arguments, the name of the method to be created
and a hashref of required key/value pairs. The hashref must have an "input"
variable whose value is either an arrayref of fields to be validated,
or a constant value which matches a validation profile name. The hashref must
also have a "using" variable whose value is a coderef which will be executed upon
successfully validating the input. Whether and what the method returns is yours
to decide.

Optionally the required hashref can have an "output" variable whose value is
either an arrayref of fields to be validated, or a constant value which matches
a validation profile name which will be used to perform data validation __after__
the coderef has been executed. Please note that output validation failure will
cause the program to die, the premise behind this decision is based on the
assumption that given successfully validated input a routine's output should be
predictable and if an error occurs it is most-likely a program error as opposed
to a user error.

See the ignore_failure and report_failure switch to control how method input
validation failures are handled.

## mixin

The mixin keyword (or mxn) creates a validation rules template that can be
applied to any field using the mixin directive. Mixin directives are processed
first so existing field directives will override the mixed-in directives.

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    mixin 'constrain' => {
        required   => 1,
        min_length => 1,
        max_length => 255,
        ...
    };
    

    # e.g.
    field 'login' => {
        mixin => 'constrain',
        ...
    };

The mixin keyword takes two arguments, the mixin name and a hashref of key/values
pairs known as directives.

## profile

The profile keyword (or pro) stores a validation profile (coderef) which as in
the traditional use of the term is a sequence of validation routines that validate
data relevant to a specific action. 

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    profile 'signup' => sub {
        

        my ($self, @args) = @_;
        

        return $self->validate(qw(
            +name
            +email
            +email_confirmation
            -login
            +password
            +password_confirmation
        ));
        

    };
    

    package main;
    

    my $user = MyApp::User->new(params => $params);
    

    unless ($user->validate_profile('signup')) {
    

        die $user->errors_to_string;
    

    }

The profile keyword takes two arguments, a profile name and coderef which will
be used to execute a sequence of actions for validation purposes.

# METHODS

## new

The new method instantiates a new class object, it performs a series of actions
(magic) required for the class function properly, and for that reason, this
method should never be overridden. Use the build keyword to hooking into the
instantiation process.

    package MyApp;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    # optionally
    

    build sub {
        

        my ($self) = @_; # is instantiated
        

    };
    

    package main;
    

    my $app = MyApp->new;
    

    ...

## prototype

The prototype method (or proto) returns an instance of the associated class
prototype. The class prototype is responsible for manipulating and validating
the data model (current class). It is not likely that you'll need to access
this method directly.

    package MyApp;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    package main;
    

    my $app = MyApp->new;
    

    my $prototype = $app->prototype;
    

    ...

# THE PROTOTYPE CLASS

This module provides mechanisms (sugar functions to model your data) which allow
you to define self-validating classes. Each class your create is associated with
a *prototype* class which provides data validation functionality and keeps your
class' namespace free from pollution, please see [Validation::Class::Prototype](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Validation::Class::Prototype)
for more information on specific methods, and attributes.

All derived classes will have a prototype-class attached to it which does all
the heavy lifting (regarding validation and error handling). The prototype
injects a few proxy methods into your class which are basically aliases to your
prototype class, however it is possible to access the prototype directly using
the proto/prototype methods.

    package MyApp::User;
    

    use Validation::Class;
    

    package main;
    

    my $user  = MyApp::User->new;
    my $proto = $user->prototype;
    

    $proto->error_count # same as calling $self->error_count

# THE OBJECT SYSTEM

All derived classes will benefit from the light-weight, straight-forward and
simple object system Validation::Class provides. The standard *new* method
should be used to instantiate a new object and the *bld/build* keywords can be
used to hook into the instantiation process. Validation::Class does NOT provide
method modifiers but can be extended with [Class::Method::Modifiers](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Class::Method::Modifiers).

## before

    before foo => sub { ... };

See ["before method(s) => sub { ... }" in Class::Method::Modifiers](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Class::Method::Modifiers#before method(s) => sub { ... }) for full
documentation.

## around

    around foo => sub { ... };

See ["around method(s) => sub { ... }" in Class::Method::Modifiers](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Class::Method::Modifiers#around method(s) => sub { ... }) for full
documentation.

## after

    after foo => sub { ... };

See ["after method(s) => sub { ... }" in Class::Method::Modifiers](http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Class::Method::Modifiers#after method(s) => sub { ... }) for full
documentation.

# AUTHOR

Al Newkirk <anewkirk@ana.io>

# COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

This software is copyright (c) 2011 by Al Newkirk.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.
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