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This tutorial is intended as a complement to the Embperl documentation, not a replacement. We assume a basic familiarity with Apache, mod_perl, and Perl, and the Embperl documentation. No prior experience with EmbperlObject is assumed. The real purpose here is to give a clearer idea of how EmbperlObject can help you to build large websites. We give example code which could serve as a starting template for your own projects, and hints about best practices which have come out of real experience using the toolkit. As always, there is more than one way to do it!

Since EmbperlObject is an evolving tool, it is likely that these design patterns will evolve over time, and it is recommended that the reader check back on the Embperl website for new versions from time to time.

Motivation: Constructing Modular Websitestop

Embperl is a tool which allows you to embed Perl code in your HTML documents. As such, it could by itself handle just about everything you need to do with your website. So what is the point of EmbperlObject? What does it give us that we don't already get with basic Embperl?

As often seems to be the case with Perl, the answer has to do with laziness. We would all like the task of building websites to be as simple as possible. Anyone who has had to build a non-trivial site using pure HTML will have quickly experienced the irritation of having to copy-and-paste common code between documents - stuff like navigation bars and table formats. We have probably all wished for an "include" HTML tag. EmbperlObject goes a long way toward solving this problem, without requiring the developer to resort to a lot of customized Perl code.

In a nutshell, EmbperlObject extends Embperl by enabling the construction of websites in a modular, or object-oriented, fashion. I am using the term "object-oriented" (OO) loosely here in the context of inheritance and overloading, but you don't really need to know anything about the OO paradigm to benefit from EmbperlObject. As you will see from this short tutorial, it is possible to benefit from using EmbperlObject with even a minimal knowledge of Perl. With just a little instruction, in fact, pure HTML coders could use it to improve their website architecture. Having said that, however, EmbperlObject also provides for more advanced OO functionality, as we'll see later.

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