May 26, 2018

Abstract document tree for Perl POD documents

PODAbstract provides a means to load a POD or POD compatible document without direct reference to it’s syntax, and perform manipulations on the abstract syntax tree.

This can be used to support additional features for POD, to format output, to compile into alternative formats, etc.

While Pod looks like a simple format, the specification calls for a number of special cases to be handled, and that makes any software that works on Pod as text more complex than it needs to be. In addition to this, Pod does not lend itself to a natural structured model. This makes it difficult to manipulate without damaging the validity of the document.

PodAbstract solves these problems by loading the document into a structured tree, and providing consistent traversal, searching, manpulation and re-serialisation. Pod related utilities are easy to write using PodAbstract.

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