PERLPOD(1)       Perl Programmers Reference Guide      PERLPOD(1)

NNAAMMEE
       perlpod - plain old documentation

DDEESSCCRRIIPPTTIIOONN
       A pod-to-whatever translator reads a pod file paragraph by
       paragraph, and translates it to the appropriate output
       format.  There are three kinds of paragraphs: verbatim,
       command, and ordinary text.

       VVeerrbbaattiimm PPaarraaggrraapphh

       A verbatim paragraph, distinguished by being indented
       (that is, it starts with space or tab).  It should be
       reproduced exactly, with tabs assumed to be on 8-column
       boundaries.  There are no special formatting escapes, so
       you can't italicize or anything like that.  A \ means \,
       and nothing else.

       CCoommmmaanndd PPaarraaggrraapphh

       All command paragraphs start with "=", followed by an
       identifier, followed by arbitrary text that the command
       can use however it pleases.  Currently recognized commands
       are

           =head1 heading
           =head2 heading
           =item text
           =over N
           =back
           =cut
           =pod
           =for X
           =begin X
           =end X

       =pod

       =cut
           The "=pod" directive does nothing beyond telling the
           compiler to lay off parsing code through the next
           "=cut".  It's useful for adding another paragraph to
           the doc if you're mixing up code and pod a lot.

       =head1

       =head2
           Head1 and head2 produce first and second level
           headings, with the text in the same paragraph as the
           "=headn" directive forming the heading description.

       =over

       =back

       =item
           Item, over, and back require a little more
           explanation: "=over" starts a section specifically for
           the generation of a list using "=item" commands. At
           the end of your list, use "=back" to end it. You will
           probably want to give "4" as the number to "=over", as
           some formatters will use this for indentation.  This
           should probably be a default. Note also that there are
           some basic rules to using =item: don't use them
           outside of an =over/=back block, use at least one
           inside an =over/=back block, you don't _have_ to
           include the =back if the list just runs off the
           document, and perhaps most importantly, keep the items
           consistent: either use "=item *" for all of them, to
           produce bullets, or use "=item 1.", "=item 2.", etc.,
           to produce numbered lists, or use "=item foo", "=item
           bar", etc., i.e., things that looks nothing like
           bullets or numbers. If you start with bullets or
           numbers, stick with them, as many formatters use the
           first "=item" type to decide how to format the list.

       =for

       =begin

       =end
           For, begin, and end let you include sections that are
           not interpreted as pod text, but passed directly to
           particular formatters. A formatter that can utilize
           that format will use the section, otherwise it will be
           completely ignored.  The directive "=for" specifies
           that the entire next paragraph is in the format
           indicated by the first word after "=for", like this:

            =for html <br>
             <p> This is a raw HTML paragraph </p>

           The paired commands "=begin" and "=end" work very
           similarly to "=for", but instead of only accepting a
           single paragraph, all text from "=begin" to a
           paragraph with a matching "=end" are treated as a
           particular format.

           Here are some examples of how to use these:

            =begin html

            <br>Figure 1.<IMG SRC="figure1.png"><br>

            =end html

            =begin text

              ---------------
              |  foo        |
              |        bar  |
              ---------------

            ^^^^ Figure 1. ^^^^

            =end text

           Some format names that formatters currently are known
           to accept include "roff", "man", "latex", "tex",
           "text", and "html". (Some formatters will treat some
           of these as synonyms.)

           And don't forget, when using any command, that the
           command lasts up until the end of the ppaarraaggrraapphh, not
           the line. Hence in the examples below, you can see the
           empty lines after each command to end its paragraph.

           Some examples of lists include:

            =over 4

            =item *

            First item

            =item *

            Second item

            =back

            =over 4

            =item Foo()

            Description of Foo function

            =item Bar()

            Description of Bar function

            =back

       OOrrddiinnaarryy BBlloocckk ooff TTeexxtt

       It will be filled, and maybe even justified.  Certain
       interior sequences are recognized both here and in
       commands:

           I<text>     italicize text, used for emphasis or variables
           B<text>     embolden text, used for switches and programs
           S<text>     text contains non-breaking spaces
           C<code>     literal code
           L<name>     A link (cross reference) to name
                           L<name>             manual page
                           L<name/ident>       item in manual page
                           L<name/"sec">       section in other manual page
                           L<"sec">            section in this manual page
                                               (the quotes are optional)
                           L</"sec">           ditto
                       same as above but only 'text' is used for output.
                       (Text can not contain the characters '/' and '|',
                       and should contain matched '<' or '>')
                           L<text|name>
                           L<text|name/ident>
                           L<text|name/"sec">
                           L<text|"sec">
                           L<text|/"sec">

           F<file>     Used for filenames
           X<index>    An index entry
           Z<>         A zero-width character
           E<escape>   A named character (very similar to HTML escapes)
                           E<lt>               A literal <
                           E<gt>               A literal >
                           E<sol>              A literal /
                           E<verbar>           A literal |
                           (these are optional except in other interior
                            sequences and when preceded by a capital letter)
                           E<n>                Character number n (probably in ASCII)
                           E<html>             Some non-numeric HTML entity, such
                                               as E<Agrave>

       TThhee IInntteenntt

       That's it.  The intent is simplicity, not power.  I wanted
       paragraphs to look like paragraphs (block format), so that
       they stand out visually, and so that I could run them
       through fmt easily to reformat them (that's F7 in my
       version of vvii).  I wanted the translator (and not me) to
       worry about whether " or ' is a left quote or a right
       quote within filled text, and I wanted it to leave the
       quotes alone, dammit, in verbatim mode, so I could slurp
       in a working program, shift it over 4 spaces, and have it
       print out, er, verbatim.  And presumably in a constant
       width font.

       In particular, you can leave things like this verbatim in
       your text:

           Perl
           FILEHANDLE
           $variable
           function()
           manpage(3r)

       Doubtless a few other commands or sequences will need to
       be added along the way, but I've gotten along surprisingly
       well with just these.

       Note that I'm not at all claiming this to be sufficient
       for producing a book.  I'm just trying to make an idiot-
       proof common source for nroff, TeX, and other markup
       languages, as used for online documentation.  Translators
       exist for ppoodd22mmaann  (that's for nroff(1) and troff(1)),
       ppoodd22tteexxtt, ppoodd22hhttmmll, ppoodd22llaatteexx, and ppoodd22ffmm.

       EEmmbbeeddddiinngg PPooddss iinn PPeerrll MMoodduulleess

       You can embed pod documentation in your Perl scripts.
       Start your documentation with a "=head1" command at the
       beginning, and end it with a "=cut" command.  Perl will
       ignore the pod text.  See any of the supplied library
       modules for examples.  If you're going to put your pods at
       the end of the file, and you're using an __END__ or
       __DATA__ cut mark, make sure to put an empty line there
       before the first pod directive.

           __END__

           =head1 NAME

           modern - I am a modern module

       If you had not had that empty line there, then the
       translators wouldn't have seen it.

       CCoommmmoonn PPoodd PPiittffaallllss

       o   Pod translators usually will require paragraphs to be
           separated by completely empty lines.  If you have an
           apparently empty line with some spaces on it, this can
           cause odd formatting.

       o   Translators will mostly add wording around a L<> link,
           so that L<foo(1)> becomes "the foo(1) manpage", for
           example (see ppoodd22mmaann for details).  Thus, you
           shouldn't write things like the L<foo> manpage, if you
           want the translated document to read sensibly.

           If you don need or want total control of the text used
           for a link in the output use the form L<show this
           text|foo> instead.

       o   The script pod/checkpods.PL in the Perl source
           distribution provides skeletal checking for lines that
           look empty but aren't oonnllyy, but is there as a
           placeholder until someone writes Pod::Checker.  The
           best way to check your pod is to pass it through one
           or more translators and proofread the result, or print
           out the result and proofread that.  Some of the
           problems found may be bugs in the translators, which
           you may or may not wish to work around.

SSEEEE AALLSSOO
       the pod2man manpage and the section on PODs: Embedded
       Documentation in the perlsyn manpage

AAUUTTHHOORR
       Larry Wall

27/Mar/1999            perl 5.005, patch 03                     1