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Perl 5 version 14.1 documentation
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Module::Load - runtime require of both modules and files


  1. use Module::Load;
  2. my $module = 'Data:Dumper';
  3. load Data::Dumper; # loads that module
  4. load 'Data::Dumper'; # ditto
  5. load $module # tritto
  6. my $script = 'some/'
  7. load $script;
  8. load 'some/'; # use quotes because of punctuations
  9. load thing; # try 'thing' first, then ''
  10. load CGI, ':standard' # like 'use CGI qw[:standard]'


load eliminates the need to know whether you are trying to require either a file or a module.

If you consult perldoc -f require you will see that require will behave differently when given a bareword or a string.

In the case of a string, require assumes you are wanting to load a file. But in the case of a bareword, it assumes you mean a module.

This gives nasty overhead when you are trying to dynamically require modules at runtime, since you will need to change the module notation (Acme::Comment ) to a file notation fitting the particular platform you are on.

load eliminates the need for this overhead and will just DWYM.


load has the following rules to decide what it thinks you want:

  • If the argument has any characters in it other than those matching \w , : or ', it must be a file

  • If the argument matches only [\w:'], it must be a module

  • If the argument matches only \w , it could either be a module or a file. We will try to find first in @INC and if that fails, we will try to find file in @INC. If both fail, we die with the respective error messages.


Because of a bug in perl (#19213), at least in version 5.6.1, we have to hardcode the path separator for a require on Win32 to be /, like on Unix rather than the Win32 \ . Otherwise perl will not read its own %INC accurately double load files if they are required again, or in the worst case, core dump.

Module::Load cannot do implicit imports, only explicit imports. (in other words, you always have to specify explicitly what you wish to import from a module, even if the functions are in that modules' @EXPORT )


Thanks to Jonas B. Nielsen for making explicit imports work.


Please report bugs or other issues to <<gt>.


This module by Jos Boumans <>.


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