File::PathList - Find a file within a set of paths


File::PathList - Find a file within a set of paths (like @INC or Java classpaths)


  # Create a basic pathset
  my $inc  = File::PathList->new( \@INC );
  # Again, but with more explicit params
  my $inc2 = File::PathList->new(
        paths => \@INC,
        cache => 1,
  # Get the full (localised) path for a unix-style relative path
  my $file = "foo/bar/baz.txt";
  my $path = $inc->find_file( $file );
  if ( $path ) {
      print "Found '$file' at '$path'\n";
  } else {
      print "Failed to find '$file'\n";


Many systems that map generic relative paths to absolute paths do so with a set of base paths.

For example, perl itself when loading classes first turn a Class::Name into a path like Class/, and thens looks through each element of @INC to find the actual file.

To aid in portability, all relative paths are provided as unix-style relative paths, and converted to the localised version in the process of looking up the path.


The recommended method for extending File::PathList is to add additional topic-specific find methods.

For example, a subclass that was attempting to duplicate the functionality of perl's @INC and module location may wish to add a find_module method.


new \@path | param => $value, ...

The new constructor creates a new File::PathList.

It takes the following options as key/value pairs.

The compulsory paths param should be a reference to an ARRAY of local filesystem paths.

If the optional cache param is set to true, the object will internally cache the results of the file lookups. (false by default)

If the new contructor is provided only a single param, this will be take to mean paths = $param>.

Returns a new File::PathList object, or undef if a valid path set was not provided.


The paths accessor returns the list of paths use to create the File::PathList object.

Returns a list of localised path strings.


The cache accessor indicates whether or not the File::PathList object is caching the results of the file lookups.

find_file $unix_path

The find_file method takes a unix-style relative file path, and iterates through the list of paths, checking for the file in it.

Returns the full path to the file, the false null string '' if the file could not be found, or undef if passed a bad file name.


Bugs should always be submitted via the CPAN bug tracker

For other issues, contact the maintainer


Adam Kennedy <>


Thank you to Phase N ( for permitting the open sourcing and release of this distribution.


Copyright (c) 2005 - 2006 Adam Kennedy. All rights reserved.

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

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.

 File::PathList - Find a file within a set of paths