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TUWF::Intro Documentation


TUWF::Intro - A cookbook-style introduction to TUWF.


The main TUWF documentation already has a short introduction and is a good reference, but it doesn't really tell you how to get started on a simple website. This document lists a bunch of examples, starting from the basics, that will show you the general principles and philosophy behind TUWF.

This is a documentation-only module, a use TUWF::Intro; will not work.


A single-file website

What sets TUWF apart from many other modern web frameworks is that it does not assume a directory structure for your project. There is, by default, no "TUWF configuration file" and no public/ directory where TUWF will serve files from. A TUWF website is more like an old CGI script: You write a script, and that script is the website. Here is the script for a complete TUWF website:


use strict;
use warnings;

# Load the TUWF module. In this case we also import the 'Txt' function from
# TUWF::XML, which allows us to easily output text.
use TUWF 'Txt';

# Register a request handler for the root path.
TUWF::get '/' => sub {
  # Output some text
  Txt 'Hello, World.';

# And now 'run' the website. This should always be the last thing in the script.

That's it. Save that to and you have a website that will show an Hello world page. If you have HTTP::Server::Simple installed, you can run the script on the command line to start a local web server on port 3000. You can also point your web server to the script to serve it through CGI or FastCGI. See the Server configuration documentation for such configuration examples.

Request handlers & request data

The previous example had a request handler for /, which means that the subroutine (handler) is called whenever there is a GET request for the root path. You can also register a handler for other HTTP methods:

TUWF::post '/' => sub { .. };
TUWF::put '/' => sub { .. };
TUWF::any ['GET', 'HEAD', 'POST'], '/' => sub { .. };

And for different paths:

TUWF::get '/about' => sub { .. };
TUWF::post '/forum/create-thread' => sub { .. };

You can also use regular expressions. The sub-expressions are available through tuwf->capture():

TUWF::get qr{/user/(.+)} => sub {
  my $username = tuwf->capture(1);

# Or, using named captures:
TUWF::get qr{/user/(?<username>.+)} => sub {
  my $username = tuwf->capture('username');

The tuwf function that you see above gives you access to the global TUWF Object. This object has many useful methods to get request data, generate a response, access a database, and other utilities that come in handy. Here's a few examples to get information from the request:

TUWF::get '/' => sub {
  my $path = tuwf->reqPath;     # Returns '/' for this handler
  my $method = tuwf->reqMethod; # Returns 'GET'
  my $ip = tuwf->reqIP;         # Returns the users' IP address

  # Returns the value of the cookie named 'auth',
  # or undef if no such cookie was sent.
  my $auth = tuwf->reqCookie('auth');

Other request methods can be found in TUWF::Request.

Generating a response

A request handler typically generates a response to send back to the client. There are a few different ways to do so. Let's start with the low-level tools provided by TUWF::Response; This example does the same as the Hello world example we started with:

TUWF::get '/' => sub {
  # Set the HTTP response code.
  # This is a silly example, as '200' is the default.

  # Set a HTTP header.
  tuwf->resHeader('Cache-Control' => 'no-cache');

  # Write some text to the HTTP body.
  my $fd = tuwf->resFd;
  print $fd 'Hello, World.';

resFd gives you a UTF-8-enabled file handle where you can write a textual HTTP body to. You typically don't want to use it, though. There are more convenient alternatives available for different types of output. The recommended approach of generating dynamic HTML and XML is to use TUWF::XML, which can be used directly:

use TUWF ':Html5';

# A convenience function that serves as our HTML template. Let's use
# title-case function naming here for HTML-generating functions.
sub Framework {
  my %options = @_;
  Html sub {
    Head sub {
      Title $options->{title};
    Body sub {
      H1 $options->{title};
      Div id => 'main', $options->{body};

TUWF::get '/' => sub {
  Framework title => 'Main page', body => sub {
    Txt 'This is the body of the main page';

A note on naming conventions: The above example uses Title case for functions that generate HTML. This is a convenient scheme to avoid naming clashes with other functions and to make it clear what the function is doing, but you're not forced to use this convention. TUWF::XML can export HTML generation functions with different naming conventions as well.

If the example seems overly magical to you, don't worry, the rules for converting that DSL-like code into proper HTML are all explained in TUWF::XML. If you prefer something less magical, you can still use any templating system of your choice. Here's an example with HTML::Template::Pro:

use TUWF;
use HTML::Template::Pro;

TUWF::get '/' => sub {
  my $tpl = HTML::Template::Pro->new(filename => 'templates/main.tmpl');
  $tpl->param(title => 'Main page');
  $tpl->param(body => 'This is the body of the main page');

See "Extending TUWF" below for ways to fully integrate alternative templating systems in TUWF.

Growing beyond a single file

It's surprising how much you can already do with a single-file website, but some projects are too large keep cramming all functionality into a single file. In those cases, you'll want to have a directory structure for your project and ways to split up assets and functionality into multiple files. TUWF does not enforce a directory structure, so we're free to think of something on our own. Let's go with the following relatively standard structure:

├── bin/
│   └──
├── lib/
│   └── MyProject/
│       ├──
│       └──
└── public/
    ├── logo.svg
    ├── scripts.js
    └── style.css

Here, would be our main TUWF script. It doesn't have to do much by itself, it would only have to load the right code, and initialize TUWF. Here's what it could look like:


use strict;
use warnings;
use FindBin '$Bin';
use TUWF;

# Make sure we can load modules from our 'lib' directory.
use lib '$Bin/../lib';

# Setup a 'before' hook that intercepts requests for static assets.
TUWF::hook before => sub {
  tuwf->done if tuwf->resFile("$Bin/../public", tuwf->reqPath);

# Load our Perl modules
require MyProject::Homepage;
require MyProject::Articles;

# And run!

Now, all request handlers can go into the files in lib/. Here's an example lib/MyProject/

package MyProject::Homepage;

use strict;
use warnings;
use TUWF 'Html5';

TUWF::get '/' => sub {
  H1 sprintf 'Hello from %s!', __PACKAGE__;


Maintaining the necessary require MyProject::.. lines for all modules in the project may get tiring for large websites. TUWF comes with a convenient function to recursively load all modules in a project:

TUWF::set import_modules => 0; # Disable legacy import behavior.
TUWF::load_recursive 'MyProject';


There are many other possible topics to cover. This chapter lists a few examples for slightly more advanced scenarios, but this document in by no means complete. Check out the documentation for individual TUWF modules to learn more about their functionality.

Extending TUWF

TUWF is a very minimal framework. It's more of a small set of tools than a full-blown framework which holds all the answers for every scenario you'll encounter. If you need anything that's not directly provided by TUWF, there's a simple way to extend it: You can easily add methods and data to the main tuwf object.

For example, to simplify the earlier example where we used HTML::Template::Pro in a request handler, we might want to move the template handling code in a separate method and make that method part of TUWF:

use HTML::Template::Pro;

sub TUWF::Object::template {
  my($tuwf, $template, %params) = @_;
  my $tpl = HTML::Template::Pro->new(filename => "templates/$template.tmpl");

This method can be defined in the main TUWF script or in any other project file. It can be used from a request handler as follows:

TUWF::get '/' => sub {
    title => 'Main page',
    body => 'This is the body of the main page'


TUWF, TUWF::DB, TUWF::Misc, TUWF::Request, TUWF::Response, TUWF::XML.

The homepage of TUWF can be found at


Copyright (c) 2008-2019 Yoran Heling.

This module is part of the TUWF framework and is free software available under the liberal MIT license. See the COPYING file in the TUWF distribution for the details.


Yoran Heling <>