See the current Perl documentation for lib:autouse.
Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:
autouse - postpone load of modules until a function is used
use autouse 'Carp' => qw(carp croak); carp "this carp was predeclared and autoused ";
If the module
Module is already loaded, then the declaration
use autouse 'Module' => qw(func1 func2($;$) Module::func3);
is equivalent to
use Module qw(func1 func2);
func2() with prototype
func3() have no prototypes. (At least if
import, otherwise it is a fatal error.)
If the module
Module is not loaded yet, then the above declaration declares functions
func2() in the current package, and declares a function Module::func3(). When these functions are called, they load the package
Module if needed, and substitute themselves with the correct definitions.
autouse will move important steps of your program's execution from compile time to
runtime. This can
Break the execution of your program if the module you
autoused has some initialization which it expects to be done early.
hide bugs in your code since important checks (like correctness of
prototypes) is moved from compile time to runtime. In particular, if the
prototype you specified on
autouseline is wrong, you will not find it out until the corresponding function is executed. This will be very unfortunate for functions which are not always called (note that for such functions
autouseing gives biggest win, for a workaround see below).
To alleviate the second problem (partially) it is advised to write your scripts like this:
use Module; use autouse Module => qw(carp($) croak(&$)); carp "this carp was predeclared and autoused ";
The first line ensures that the errors in your argument specification are found early. When you ship your application you should comment out the first line, since it makes the second one useless.
Ilya Zakharevich (firstname.lastname@example.org)