Heh. Spare yourself the sarcasm, I haven't used that in real code yet and don't intend to either. It has led me to see a pattern which should have been obvious in retrospect, though. Please see my update on the root node.
I wasn't being sarcastic about using the call_onobj function. I wouldn't have written that specific set of function calls because I don't use Gtk2. I used something similar in some code just yesterday. This is off the top of my head and I didn't use your specific function but it did the same sort of thing. In my case I'm effectively generating my functions and parameters by parsing a file and returning a list of events and parameters for them. It so happens that the general technique of writing your function calls as data is really convenient when parsing stuff. I can take one pass over the data to get my list of events and then just execute the events as code.
[ 'UseFont', 0 ],
[ 'SetDots', 52 ],
[ 'SetScanLines', 300 ],
[ 'AdjustDots', 15 ],
[ 'AdjustScanLines', 2 ],
[ 'Text', 'This is some text to be added to the output ] );
The original query was on a series of hardcoded method calls all onto the same object. This is more general because now the method calls are mutable as data. It benefits two ways - by being more powerful and by not being a mimic for an unrelated sort of thing. I read $obj->UseFont( 0 )->SetDots( 52 )->SetScanLines( 300 )->AdjustDots( 15 )->AdjustScanLines( 2 )->Text( '...' ) as more likely to be a deep object access than anything else. In general, I suspect that I will continue to be surprised when someone writes the preceding and they are all really just successive method calls on the $obj object. I grant that some uses of whitespace can make the chained-self intent more visible to someone who expects that. I don't think it helps anyone who didn't already have this technique in mind. I also think that no only I not be helped, that I will be hindered. The technique with this syntax is a dead end in perl5 and I would like it for people to write concise, clear code without it.