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File::HomeDir(3)      User Contributed Perl Documentation     File::HomeDir(3)



NAME
       File::HomeDir - Find your home and other directories, on any platform

SYNOPSIS
         use File::HomeDir;

         # Modern Interface (Current User)
         $home    = File::HomeDir->my_home;
         $desktop = File::HomeDir->my_desktop;
         $docs    = File::HomeDir->my_documents;
         $music   = File::HomeDir->my_music;
         $pics    = File::HomeDir->my_pictures;
         $videos  = File::HomeDir->my_videos;
         $data    = File::HomeDir->my_data;

         # Modern Interface (Other Users)
         $home    = File::HomeDir->users_home('foo');
         $desktop = File::HomeDir->users_desktop('foo');
         $docs    = File::HomeDir->users_documents('foo');
         $music   = File::HomeDir->users_music('foo');
         $pics    = File::HomeDir->users_pictures('foo');
         $video   = File::HomeDir->users_videos('foo');
         $data    = File::HomeDir->users_data('foo');

         # Legacy Interfaces
         print "My dir is ", home(), " and root's is ", home('root'), "\n";
         print "My dir is $~{''} and root's is $~{root}\n";
         # These both print the same thing, something like:
         #  "My dir is /home/user/mojo and root's is /"

DESCRIPTION
       File::HomeDir is a module for dealing with issues relating to the location of directories that are "owned" by a
       user, primarily your user, and to solve these issues consistently across a wide variety of platforms.

       Thus, a single API is presented that can find your resources on any platform.

       This module provides two main interfaces.

       The first is a modern File::Spec-style interface with a consistent OO API and different implementation modules
       to support various platforms. You are strongly recommended to use this interface.

       The second interface is for legacy support of the original 0.07 interface that exported a "home()" function by
       default and tied the "%~" variable.

       It is generally not recommended that you use this interface, but due to back-compatibility reasons they will
       remain supported until at least 2010.

       After this date, the home() function will remain, but we will consider deprecating the (namespace-polluting)
       "%~" tied hash, to be removed by 2015 (maintaining the general Perl convention of a 10 year support period for
       legacy APIs potentially or actually in common use).

       Platform Neutrality

       In the Unix world, many different types of data can be mixed together in your home directory (although on some
       Unix platforms this is no longer the case, particularly for "desktop"-oriented platforms).

       On some non-Unix platforms, seperate directories are allocated for different types of data and have been for a
       long time.

       When writing applications on top of File::HomeDir, you should thus always try to use the most specific method
       you can. User documents should be saved in "my_documents", data that supports an application but isn't normally
       editing by the user directory should go into "my_data".

       On platforms that do not make any distinction, all these different methods will harmlessly degrade to the main
       home directory, but on platforms that care File::HomeDir will always try to Do The Right Thing(tm).

METHODS
       Two types of methods are provided. The "my_method" series of methods for finding resources for the current
       user, and the "users_method" (read as "user's method") series for finding resources for arbitrary users.

       This split is necesary, as on most platforms it is much easier to find information about the current user com-
       pared to other users, and indeed on a number you cannot find out information such as "users_desktop" at all,
       due to security restrictions.

       All methods will double check (using a "-d" test) that a directory actually exists before returning it, so you
       may trust in the values that are returned (subject to the usual caveats of race conditions of directories being
       deleted at the moment between a directory being returned and you using it).

       However, because in some cases platforms may not support the concept of home directories at all, any method may
       return "undef" (both in scalar and list context) to indicate that there is no matching directory on the system.

       For example, most untrusted 'nobody'-type users do not have a home directory. So any modules that are used in a
       CGI application that at some level of recursion use your code, will result in calls to File::HomeDir returning
       undef, even for a basic home() call.

       my_home

       The "my_home" method takes no arguments and returns the main home/profile directory for the current user.

       If the distinction is important to you, the term "current" refers to the real user, and not the effective user.

       This is also the case for all of the other "my" methods.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a home directory, or dies on
       error.

       my_desktop

       The "my_desktop" method takes no arguments and returns the "desktop" directory for the current user.

       Due to the diversity and complexity of implementions required to deal with implementing the required function-
       ality fully and completely, for the moment "my_desktop" is not going to be implemented.

       That said, I am extremely interested in code to implement "my_desktop" on Unix, as long as it is capable of
       dealing (as the Windows implementation does) with internationalisation. It should also avoid false positive
       results by making sure it only returns the appropriate directories for the appropriate platforms.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a desktop directory, or dies
       on error.

       my_documents

       The "my_documents" method takes no arguments and returns the directory (for the current user) where the user's
       documents are stored.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a documents directory, or
       dies on error.

       my_music

       The "my_music" method takes no arguments and returns the directory where the current user's music is stored.

       No bias is made to any particular music type or music program, rather the concept of a directory to hold the
       user's music is made at the level of the underlying operating system or (at least) desktop environment.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a suitable directory, or dies
       on error.

       my_pictures

       The "my_pictures" method takes no arguments and returns the directory where the current user's pictures are
       stored.

       No bias is made to any particular picture type or picture program, rather the concept of a directory to hold
       the user's pictures is made at the level of the underlying operating system or (at least) desktop environment.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a suitable directory, or dies
       on error.

       my_videos

       The "my_videos" method takes no arguments and returns the directory where the current user's videos are stored.

       No bias is made to any particular video type or video program, rather the concept of a directory to hold the
       user's videos is made at the level of the underlying operating system or (at least) desktop environment.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a suitable directory, or dies
       on error.

       my_data

       The "my_data" method takes no arguments and returns the directory where local applications should stored their
       internal data for the current user.

       Generally an application would create a subdirectory such as ".foo", beneath this directory, and store its data
       there. By creating your directory this way, you get an accurate result on the maximum number of platforms.

       For example, on Unix you get "~/.foo" and on Win32 you get "~/Local Settings/Application Data/.foo"

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if the current user does not have a data directory, or dies on
       error.

       users_home

         $home = File::HomeDir->users_home('foo');

       The "users_home" method takes a single param and is used to locate the parent home/profile directory for an
       identified user on the system.

       While most of the time this identifier would be some form of user name, it is permitted to vary per-platform to
       support user ids or UUIDs as applicable for that platform.

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if that user does not have a home directory, or dies on error.

       users_documents

         $docs = File::HomeDir->users_documents('foo');

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if that user does not have a documents directory, or dies on
       error.

       users_data

         $data = File::HomeDir->users_data('foo');

       Returns the directory path as a string, "undef" if that user does not have a data directory, or dies on error.

FUNCTIONS
       home

         use File::HomeDir;
         $home = home();
         $home = home('foo');
         $home = File::HomeDir::home();
         $home = File::HomeDir::home('foo');

       The "home" function is exported by default and is provided for compatibility with legacy applications. In new
       applications, you should use the newer method-based interface above.

       Returns the directory path to a named user's home/profile directory.

       If provided no param, returns the directory path to the current user's home/profile directory.

TIED INTERFACE
       %~

         $home = $~{""};
         $home = $~{undef};
         $home = $~{$user};
         $home = $~{username};
         print "... $~{''} ...";
         print "... $~{$user} ...";
         print "... $~{username} ...";

       This calls "home($user)" or "home('username')" -- except that if you ask for $~{some_user} and there is no such
       user, it will die.

       Note that this is especially useful in double-quotish strings, like:

            print "Jojo's .newsrc is ", -s "$~{jojo}/.newsrc", "b long!\n";
             # (helpfully dies if there is no user 'jojo')

       If you want to avoid the fatal errors, first test the value of "home('jojo')", which will return undef (instead
       of dying) in case of there being no such user.

       Note, however, that if the hash key is "" or undef (whether thru being a literal "", or a scalar whose value is
       empty-string or undef), then this returns zero-argument "home()", i.e., your home directory:

       Further, please note that because the "%~" hash compulsorily modifies a hash outside of it's namespace, and
       presents an overly simplistic approach to home directories, it is likely to ultimately be removed.

       The interface is currently expected to be formally deprecated from 2010 (but no earlier) and removed from 2015
       (but no earlier). If very heavy use is found in the wild, these plans may be pushed back.

TO DO
       * Become generally clearer on situations in which a user might not have a particular resource.
       * Merge remaining edge case code in File::HomeDir::Win32
       * Add more granularity to Unix, and add support to VMS and other esoteric platforms, so we can consider going
       core.
       * Add consistent support for users_* methods

SUPPORT
       This module is stored in an Open Repository at the following address.

       <http://svn.ali.as/cpan/trunk/File-HomeDir>;

       Write access to the repository is made available automatically to any published CPAN author, and to most other
       volunteers on request.

       If you are able to submit your bug report in the form of new (failing) unit tests, or can apply your fix
       directly instead of submitting a patch, you are strongly encouraged to do so as the author currently maintains
       over 100 modules and it can take some time to deal with non-Critical bug reports or patches.

       This will guarantee that your issue will be addressed in the next release of the module.

       If you cannot provide a direct test or fix, or don't have time to do so, then regular bug reports are still
       accepted and appreciated via the CPAN bug tracker.

       <http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=File-HomeDir>;

       For other issues, for commercial enhancement or support, or to have your write access enabled for the reposi-
       tory, contact the author at the email address above.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
       The biggest acknowledgement must go to Chris Nandor, who wielded his legendary Mac-fu and turned my initial
       fairly ordinary Darwin implementation into something that actually worked properly everywhere, and then donated
       a Mac OS X license to allow it to be maintained properly.

AUTHORS
       Adam Kennedy <adamkATcpan.org>

       Sean M. Burke <sburkeATcpan.org>

       Chris Nandor <cnandorATcpan.org>

       Stephen Steneker <stennieATcpan.org>

SEE ALSO
       File::ShareDir, File::HomeDir::Win32 (legacy)

COPYRIGHT
       Copyright 2005 - 2008 Adam Kennedy.

       Some parts copyright 2000 Sean M. Burke.

       Some parts copyright 2006 Chris Nandor.

       Some parts copyright 2006 Stephen Steneker.

       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.



perl v5.8.8                       2008-10-14                  File::HomeDir(3)