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Printing POD info to terminal window without exiting

by cr8josh (Sexton)
on Aug 04, 2021 at 22:18 UTC ( #11135611=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

cr8josh has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:


I'm new to POD documentation, and am using GetOpt::Long and "HelpMessage" to give usage info to a user. My problem is that HelpMessage exits my script. I want to be able to print my POD info to the terminal window, and not exit my script. I looked into Pod2Usage as well but it also exits.

For example, if the user enters --help, the script shows help/usage info but then continues running.

Many thanks in advance.

EDIT: Answered my own question. It turns out that Pod2Usage won't exit if you call it with

pod2usage(-exitval => 'NOEXIT');

And HelpMessage works with the same invocation:

HelpMessage(-exitval => 'NOEXIT');

My reading of the docs ("pod2usage($exitstatus))" was that the following should work as well, but it doesn't, which caused my confusion:


  • Comment on Printing POD info to terminal window without exiting

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Re: Printing POD info to terminal window without exiting
by GrandFather (Saint) on Aug 05, 2021 at 02:44 UTC

    Note that for a command line script/app expected behavior is that the app/script exits after dumping help given --help on the command line. Maybe you would be better to use something like --hints instead where you want to dump the help and continue?

    Optimising for fewest key strokes only makes sense transmitting to Pluto or beyond
Re: Printing POD info to terminal window without exiting
by davido (Cardinal) on Aug 05, 2021 at 15:04 UTC

    You already answered your own question by following up to state that -exitval => 'NOEXIT' works. I had found this to work just fine, as well. But it wouldn't be Perl if it didn't arouse curiosity. I was curious if I could override CORE::GLOBAL::exit effectively. Turns out I can (though this isn't to say I should):

    #!/usr/bin/env perl use strict; use warnings; our $override_exit = 0; BEGIN { no warnings 'redefine'; *CORE::GLOBAL::exit = sub :prototype(;$) { if ($override_exit) { warn "EXIT_OVERRIDE\n"; } else { CORE::exit($_[0] // 0); } }; } use Pod::Usage; { local $override_exit = 1; print "Calling pod2usage(1)\n"; pod2usage(1); print "We are still here after overriding exit.\n"; } print "calling pod2usage with -exitval => 'NOEXIT'\n"; pod2usage(-exitval => 'NOEXIT'); print "We are still here after using -exitval => 'NOEXIT'.\n";

    This produces the following output:

    Calling pod2usage(1) EXIT_OVERRIDE We are still here after overriding exit. calling pod2usage with -exitval => 'NOEXIT' We are still here after using -exitval => 'NOEXIT'.

    So this demonstrates that NOEXIT works, and that overriding CORE::GLOBAL::exit can work.


Re: Printing POD info to terminal window without exiting
by perlfan (Vicar) on Aug 08, 2021 at 02:20 UTC
    Given that you should exit when this occurs, I tend do use effective, system(qq{perldoc $0});. Of course on debian based systems perldoc is not installed by default (unfortunately); so a check for perldoc may be prudent.
      system(qq{perldoc $0});

      Sorry, but no. I have much respect for TIMTOWTDI, but given that Pod::Usage has been in the Perl core for over 20 years and the question was already solved in the OP, then a solution that calls an external program that may not be installed, is brittle in other ways (PATH and $0), doesn't do the same thing as the OP is asking, and introduces a potential security vulnerability ($0 can be assigned to), is the Wrong Way.

        Explain to me your objection. Pod::Usage seems to rely on underlying "formatters", including perldoc. Does your object rely simply on the hypothetical that $0 can be reassigned or that there exist linux distros that include perl but not perldoc by default, like Debian?

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