Data::Dump - Pretty printing of data structures


Data::Dump - Pretty printing of data structures


 use Data::Dump qw(dump);
 $str = dump(@list)
 @copy_of_list = eval $str;


This module provides a single function called dump() that takes a list of values as its argument and produces a string as its result. The string contains Perl code that, when evaled, produces a deep copy of the original arguments. The string is formatted for easy reading.

If dump() is called in a void context, then the dump is printed on STDERR instead of being returned.

If you don't like importing a function that overrides Perl's not-so-useful builtin, then you can also import the same function as pp(), mnemonic for ``pretty-print''.


The Data::Dump module grew out of frustration with Sarathy's in-most-cases-excellent Data::Dumper. Basic ideas and some code are shared with Sarathy's module.

The Data::Dump module provides a much simpler interface than Data::Dumper. No OO interface is available and there are no configuration options to worry about (yet :-). The other benefit is that the dump produced does not try to set any variables. It only returns what is needed to produce a copy of the arguments. This means that dump("foo") simply returns "foo", and dump(1..5) simply returns (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).


the Data::Dumper manpage, the Storable manpage


The Data::Dump module is written by Gisle Aas <>, based on Data::Dumper by Gurusamy Sarathy <>.

 Copyright 1998-2000,2003-2004 Gisle Aas.
 Copyright 1996-1998 Gurusamy Sarathy.

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

 Data::Dump - Pretty printing of data structures