MirOS Manual: DB_File(3p)


ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

NAME

     DB_File - Perl5 access to Berkeley DB version 1.x

SYNOPSIS

      use DB_File;

      [$X =] tie %hash,  'DB_File', [$filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_HASH] ;
      [$X =] tie %hash,  'DB_File', $filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_BTREE ;
      [$X =] tie @array, 'DB_File', $filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_RECNO ;

      $status = $X->del($key [, $flags]) ;
      $status = $X->put($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
      $status = $X->get($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
      $status = $X->seq($key, $value, $flags) ;
      $status = $X->sync([$flags]) ;
      $status = $X->fd ;

      # BTREE only
      $count = $X->get_dup($key) ;
      @list  = $X->get_dup($key) ;
      %list  = $X->get_dup($key, 1) ;
      $status = $X->find_dup($key, $value) ;
      $status = $X->del_dup($key, $value) ;

      # RECNO only
      $a = $X->length;
      $a = $X->pop ;
      $X->push(list);
      $a = $X->shift;
      $X->unshift(list);
      @r = $X->splice(offset, length, elements);

      # DBM Filters
      $old_filter = $db->filter_store_key  ( sub { ... } ) ;
      $old_filter = $db->filter_store_value( sub { ... } ) ;
      $old_filter = $db->filter_fetch_key  ( sub { ... } ) ;
      $old_filter = $db->filter_fetch_value( sub { ... } ) ;

      untie %hash ;
      untie @array ;

DESCRIPTION

     DB_File is a module which allows Perl programs to make use
     of the facilities provided by Berkeley DB version 1.x (if
     you have a newer version of DB, see "Using DB_File with
     Berkeley DB version 2 or greater"). It is assumed that you
     have a copy of the Berkeley DB manual pages at hand when
     reading this documentation. The interface defined here mir-
     rors the Berkeley DB interface closely.

     Berkeley DB is a C library which provides a consistent
     interface to a number of database formats.  DB_File provides

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           1

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     an interface to all three of the database types currently
     supported by Berkeley DB.

     The file types are:

     DB_HASH
          This database type allows arbitrary key/value pairs to
          be stored in data files. This is equivalent to the
          functionality provided by other hashing packages like
          DBM, NDBM, ODBM, GDBM, and SDBM. Remember though, the
          files created using DB_HASH are not compatible with any
          of the other packages mentioned.

          A default hashing algorithm, which will be adequate for
          most applications, is built into Berkeley DB. If you do
          need to use your own hashing algorithm it is possible
          to write your own in Perl and have DB_File use it
          instead.

     DB_BTREE
          The btree format allows arbitrary key/value pairs to be
          stored in a sorted, balanced binary tree.

          As with the DB_HASH format, it is possible to provide a
          user defined Perl routine to perform the comparison of
          keys. By default, though, the keys are stored in lexi-
          cal order.

     DB_RECNO
          DB_RECNO allows both fixed-length and variable-length
          flat text files to be manipulated using the same
          key/value pair interface as in DB_HASH and DB_BTREE.
          In this case the key will consist of a record (line)
          number.

     Using DB_File with Berkeley DB version 2 or greater

     Although DB_File is intended to be used with Berkeley DB
     version 1, it can also be used with version 2, 3 or 4. In
     this case the interface is limited to the functionality pro-
     vided by Berkeley DB 1.x. Anywhere the version 2 or greater
     interface differs, DB_File arranges for it to work like ver-
     sion 1. This feature allows DB_File scripts that were built
     with version 1 to be migrated to version 2 or greater
     without any changes.

     If you want to make use of the new features available in
     Berkeley DB 2.x or greater, use the Perl module BerkeleyDB
     instead.

     Note: The database file format has changed multiple times in
     Berkeley DB version 2, 3 and 4. If you cannot recreate your

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           2

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     databases, you must dump any existing databases with either
     the "db_dump" or the "db_dump185" utility that comes with
     Berkeley DB. Once you have rebuilt DB_File to use Berkeley
     DB version 2 or greater, your databases can be recreated
     using "db_load". Refer to the Berkeley DB documentation for
     further details.

     Please read "COPYRIGHT" before using version 2.x or greater
     of Berkeley DB with DB_File.

     Interface to Berkeley DB

     DB_File allows access to Berkeley DB files using the tie()
     mechanism in Perl 5 (for full details, see "tie()" in perl-
     func). This facility allows DB_File to access Berkeley DB
     files using either an associative array (for DB_HASH &
     DB_BTREE file types) or an ordinary array (for the DB_RECNO
     file type).

     In addition to the tie() interface, it is also possible to
     access most of the functions provided in the Berkeley DB API
     directly. See "THE API INTERFACE".

     Opening a Berkeley DB Database File

     Berkeley DB uses the function dbopen() to open or create a
     database. Here is the C prototype for dbopen():

           DB*
           dbopen (const char * file, int flags, int mode,
                   DBTYPE type, const void * openinfo)

     The parameter "type" is an enumeration which specifies which
     of the 3 interface methods (DB_HASH, DB_BTREE or DB_RECNO)
     is to be used. Depending on which of these is actually
     chosen, the final parameter, openinfo points to a data
     structure which allows tailoring of the specific interface
     method.

     This interface is handled slightly differently in DB_File.
     Here is an equivalent call using DB_File:

             tie %array, 'DB_File', $filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_HASH ;

     The "filename", "flags" and "mode" parameters are the direct
     equivalent of their dbopen() counterparts. The final parame-
     ter $DB_HASH performs the function of both the "type" and
     "openinfo" parameters in dbopen().

     In the example above $DB_HASH is actually a pre-defined
     reference to a hash object. DB_File has three of these pre-
     defined references. Apart from $DB_HASH, there is also

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           3

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     $DB_BTREE and $DB_RECNO.

     The keys allowed in each of these pre-defined references is
     limited to the names used in the equivalent C structure. So,
     for example, the $DB_HASH reference will only allow keys
     called "bsize", "cachesize", "ffactor", "hash", "lorder" and
     "nelem".

     To change one of these elements, just assign to it like
     this:

             $DB_HASH->{'cachesize'} = 10000 ;

     The three predefined variables $DB_HASH, $DB_BTREE and
     $DB_RECNO are usually adequate for most applications.  If
     you do need to create extra instances of these objects, con-
     structors are available for each file type.

     Here are examples of the constructors and the valid options
     available for DB_HASH, DB_BTREE and DB_RECNO respectively.

          $a = new DB_File::HASHINFO ;
          $a->{'bsize'} ;
          $a->{'cachesize'} ;
          $a->{'ffactor'};
          $a->{'hash'} ;
          $a->{'lorder'} ;
          $a->{'nelem'} ;

          $b = new DB_File::BTREEINFO ;
          $b->{'flags'} ;
          $b->{'cachesize'} ;
          $b->{'maxkeypage'} ;
          $b->{'minkeypage'} ;
          $b->{'psize'} ;
          $b->{'compare'} ;
          $b->{'prefix'} ;
          $b->{'lorder'} ;

          $c = new DB_File::RECNOINFO ;
          $c->{'bval'} ;
          $c->{'cachesize'} ;
          $c->{'psize'} ;
          $c->{'flags'} ;
          $c->{'lorder'} ;
          $c->{'reclen'} ;
          $c->{'bfname'} ;

     The values stored in the hashes above are mostly the direct
     equivalent of their C counterpart. Like their C counter-
     parts, all are set to a default values - that means you
     don't have to set all of the values when you only want to

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           4

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     change one. Here is an example:

          $a = new DB_File::HASHINFO ;
          $a->{'cachesize'} =  12345 ;
          tie %y, 'DB_File', "filename", $flags, 0777, $a ;

     A few of the options need extra discussion here. When used,
     the C equivalent of the keys "hash", "compare" and "prefix"
     store pointers to C functions. In DB_File these keys are
     used to store references to Perl subs. Below are templates
     for each of the subs:

         sub hash
         {
             my ($data) = @_ ;
             ...
             # return the hash value for $data
             return $hash ;
         }

         sub compare
         {
             my ($key, $key2) = @_ ;
             ...
             # return  0 if $key1 eq $key2
             #        -1 if $key1 lt $key2
             #         1 if $key1 gt $key2
             return (-1 , 0 or 1) ;
         }

         sub prefix
         {
             my ($key, $key2) = @_ ;
             ...
             # return number of bytes of $key2 which are
             # necessary to determine that it is greater than $key1
             return $bytes ;
         }

     See "Changing the BTREE sort order" for an example of using
     the "compare" template.

     If you are using the DB_RECNO interface and you intend mak-
     ing use of "bval", you should check out "The 'bval' Option".

     Default Parameters

     It is possible to omit some or all of the final 4 parameters
     in the call to "tie" and let them take default values. As
     DB_HASH is the most common file format used, the call:

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           5

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         tie %A, "DB_File", "filename" ;

     is equivalent to:

         tie %A, "DB_File", "filename", O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH ;

     It is also possible to omit the filename parameter as well,
     so the call:

         tie %A, "DB_File" ;

     is equivalent to:

         tie %A, "DB_File", undef, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH ;

     See "In Memory Databases" for a discussion on the use of
     "undef" in place of a filename.

     In Memory Databases

     Berkeley DB allows the creation of in-memory databases by
     using NULL (that is, a "(char *)0" in C) in place of the
     filename.  DB_File uses "undef" instead of NULL to provide
     this functionality.

DB_HASH

     The DB_HASH file format is probably the most commonly used
     of the three file formats that DB_File supports. It is also
     very straightforward to use.

     A Simple Example

     This example shows how to create a database, add key/value
     pairs to the database, delete keys/value pairs and finally
     how to enumerate the contents of the database.

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;
         our (%h, $k, $v) ;

         unlink "fruit" ;
         tie %h, "DB_File", "fruit", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_HASH
             or die "Cannot open file 'fruit': $!\n";

         # Add a few key/value pairs to the file
         $h{"apple"} = "red" ;
         $h{"orange"} = "orange" ;
         $h{"banana"} = "yellow" ;
         $h{"tomato"} = "red" ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           6

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         # Check for existence of a key
         print "Banana Exists\n\n" if $h{"banana"} ;

         # Delete a key/value pair.
         delete $h{"apple"} ;

         # print the contents of the file
         while (($k, $v) = each %h)
           { print "$k -> $v\n" }

         untie %h ;

     here is the output:

         Banana Exists

         orange -> orange
         tomato -> red
         banana -> yellow

     Note that the like ordinary associative arrays, the order of
     the keys retrieved is in an apparently random order.

DB_BTREE

     The DB_BTREE format is useful when you want to store data in
     a given order. By default the keys will be stored in lexical
     order, but as you will see from the example shown in the
     next section, it is very easy to define your own sorting
     function.

     Changing the BTREE sort order

     This script shows how to override the default sorting algo-
     rithm that BTREE uses. Instead of using the normal lexical
     ordering, a case insensitive compare function will be used.

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my %h ;

         sub Compare
         {
             my ($key1, $key2) = @_ ;
             "\L$key1" cmp "\L$key2" ;
         }

         # specify the Perl sub that will do the comparison
         $DB_BTREE->{'compare'} = \&Compare ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           7

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         unlink "tree" ;
         tie %h, "DB_File", "tree", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open file 'tree': $!\n" ;

         # Add a key/value pair to the file
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
         $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;
         $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;
         $h{'duck'}  = 'donald' ;

         # Delete
         delete $h{"duck"} ;

         # Cycle through the keys printing them in order.
         # Note it is not necessary to sort the keys as
         # the btree will have kept them in order automatically.
         foreach (keys %h)
           { print "$_\n" }

         untie %h ;

     Here is the output from the code above.

         mouse
         Smith
         Wall

     There are a few point to bear in mind if you want to change
     the ordering in a BTREE database:

     1.   The new compare function must be specified when you
          create the database.

     2.   You cannot change the ordering once the database has
          been created. Thus you must use the same compare func-
          tion every time you access the database.

     3    Duplicate keys are entirely defined by the comparison
          function. In the case-insensitive example above, the
          keys: 'KEY' and 'key' would be considered duplicates,
          and assigning to the second one would overwrite the
          first. If duplicates are allowed for (with the R_DUP
          flag discussed below), only a single copy of duplicate
          keys is stored in the database --- so (again with exam-
          ple above) assigning three values to the keys: 'KEY',
          'Key', and 'key' would leave just the first key: 'KEY'
          in the database with three values. For some situations
          this results in information loss, so care should be
          taken to provide fully qualified comparison functions
          when necessary. For example, the above comparison rou-
          tine could be modified to additionally compare case-
          sensitively if two keys are equal in the case

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           8

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

          insensitive comparison:

              sub compare {
                  my($key1, $key2) = @_;
                  lc $key1 cmp lc $key2 ||
                  $key1 cmp $key2;
              }

          And now you will only have duplicates when the keys
          themselves are truly the same. (note: in versions of
          the db library prior to about November 1996, such
          duplicate keys were retained so it was possible to
          recover the original keys in sets of keys that compared
          as equal).

     Handling Duplicate Keys

     The BTREE file type optionally allows a single key to be
     associated with an arbitrary number of values. This option
     is enabled by setting the flags element of $DB_BTREE to
     R_DUP when creating the database.

     There are some difficulties in using the tied hash interface
     if you want to manipulate a BTREE database with duplicate
     keys. Consider this code:

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my ($filename, %h) ;

         $filename = "tree" ;
         unlink $filename ;

         # Enable duplicate records
         $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

         tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

         # Add some key/value pairs to the file
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key and value
         $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;
         $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;

         # iterate through the associative array
         # and print each key/value pair.
         foreach (sort keys %h)
           { print "$_  -> $h{$_}\n" }

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                           9

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         untie %h ;

     Here is the output:

         Smith   -> John
         Wall    -> Larry
         Wall    -> Larry
         Wall    -> Larry
         mouse   -> mickey

     As you can see 3 records have been successfully created with
     key "Wall" - the only thing is, when they are retrieved from
     the database they seem to have the same value, namely
     "Larry". The problem is caused by the way that the associa-
     tive array interface works. Basically, when the associative
     array interface is used to fetch the value associated with a
     given key, it will only ever retrieve the first value.

     Although it may not be immediately obvious from the code
     above, the associative array interface can be used to write
     values with duplicate keys, but it cannot be used to read
     them back from the database.

     The way to get around this problem is to use the Berkeley DB
     API method called "seq".  This method allows sequential
     access to key/value pairs. See "THE API INTERFACE" for
     details of both the "seq" method and the API in general.

     Here is the script above rewritten using the "seq" API
     method.

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my ($filename, $x, %h, $status, $key, $value) ;

         $filename = "tree" ;
         unlink $filename ;

         # Enable duplicate records
         $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

         $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

         # Add some key/value pairs to the file
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key and value
         $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;
         $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          10

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         # iterate through the btree using seq
         # and print each key/value pair.
         $key = $value = 0 ;
         for ($status = $x->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;
              $status == 0 ;
              $status = $x->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) )
           {  print "$key -> $value\n" }

         undef $x ;
         untie %h ;

     that prints:

         Smith   -> John
         Wall    -> Brick
         Wall    -> Brick
         Wall    -> Larry
         mouse   -> mickey

     This time we have got all the key/value pairs, including the
     multiple values associated with the key "Wall".

     To make life easier when dealing with duplicate keys,
     DB_File comes with a few utility methods.

     The get_dup() Method

     The "get_dup" method assists in reading duplicate values
     from BTREE databases. The method can take the following
     forms:

         $count = $x->get_dup($key) ;
         @list  = $x->get_dup($key) ;
         %list  = $x->get_dup($key, 1) ;

     In a scalar context the method returns the number of values
     associated with the key, $key.

     In list context, it returns all the values which match $key.
     Note that the values will be returned in an apparently ran-
     dom order.

     In list context, if the second parameter is present and
     evaluates TRUE, the method returns an associative array. The
     keys of the associative array correspond to the values that
     matched in the BTREE and the values of the array are a count
     of the number of times that particular value occurred in the
     BTREE.

     So assuming the database created above, we can use "get_dup"
     like this:

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          11

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my ($filename, $x, %h) ;

         $filename = "tree" ;

         # Enable duplicate records
         $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

         $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

         my $cnt  = $x->get_dup("Wall") ;
         print "Wall occurred $cnt times\n" ;

         my %hash = $x->get_dup("Wall", 1) ;
         print "Larry is there\n" if $hash{'Larry'} ;
         print "There are $hash{'Brick'} Brick Walls\n" ;

         my @list = sort $x->get_dup("Wall") ;
         print "Wall =>      [@list]\n" ;

         @list = $x->get_dup("Smith") ;
         print "Smith =>     [@list]\n" ;

         @list = $x->get_dup("Dog") ;
         print "Dog =>       [@list]\n" ;

     and it will print:

         Wall occurred 3 times
         Larry is there
         There are 2 Brick Walls
         Wall =>     [Brick Brick Larry]
         Smith =>    [John]
         Dog =>      []

     The find_dup() Method

         $status = $X->find_dup($key, $value) ;

     This method checks for the existence of a specific key/value
     pair. If the pair exists, the cursor is left pointing to the
     pair and the method returns 0. Otherwise the method returns
     a non-zero value.

     Assuming the database from the previous example:

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          12

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my ($filename, $x, %h, $found) ;

         $filename = "tree" ;

         # Enable duplicate records
         $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

         $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

         $found = ( $x->find_dup("Wall", "Larry") == 0 ? "" : "not") ;
         print "Larry Wall is $found there\n" ;

         $found = ( $x->find_dup("Wall", "Harry") == 0 ? "" : "not") ;
         print "Harry Wall is $found there\n" ;

         undef $x ;
         untie %h ;

     prints this

         Larry Wall is  there
         Harry Wall is not there

     The del_dup() Method

         $status = $X->del_dup($key, $value) ;

     This method deletes a specific key/value pair. It returns 0
     if they exist and have been deleted successfully. Otherwise
     the method returns a non-zero value.

     Again assuming the existence of the "tree" database

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my ($filename, $x, %h, $found) ;

         $filename = "tree" ;

         # Enable duplicate records
         $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

         $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          13

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         $x->del_dup("Wall", "Larry") ;

         $found = ( $x->find_dup("Wall", "Larry") == 0 ? "" : "not") ;
         print "Larry Wall is $found there\n" ;

         undef $x ;
         untie %h ;

     prints this

         Larry Wall is not there

     Matching Partial Keys

     The BTREE interface has a feature which allows partial keys
     to be matched. This functionality is only available when the
     "seq" method is used along with the R_CURSOR flag.

         $x->seq($key, $value, R_CURSOR) ;

     Here is the relevant quote from the dbopen man page where it
     defines the use of the R_CURSOR flag with seq:

         Note, for the DB_BTREE access method, the returned key is not
         necessarily an exact match for the specified key. The returned key
         is the smallest key greater than or equal to the specified key,
         permitting partial key matches and range searches.

     In the example script below, the "match" sub uses this
     feature to find and print the first matching key/value pair
     given a partial key.

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;
         use Fcntl ;

         my ($filename, $x, %h, $st, $key, $value) ;

         sub match
         {
             my $key = shift ;
             my $value = 0;
             my $orig_key = $key ;
             $x->seq($key, $value, R_CURSOR) ;
             print "$orig_key\t-> $key\t-> $value\n" ;
         }

         $filename = "tree" ;
         unlink $filename ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          14

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
             or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

         # Add some key/value pairs to the file
         $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;
         $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
         $h{'Walls'} = 'Brick' ;
         $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;

         $key = $value = 0 ;
         print "IN ORDER\n" ;
         for ($st = $x->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;
              $st == 0 ;
              $st = $x->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) )

           {  print "$key    -> $value\n" }

         print "\nPARTIAL MATCH\n" ;

         match "Wa" ;
         match "A" ;
         match "a" ;

         undef $x ;
         untie %h ;

     Here is the output:

         IN ORDER
         Smith -> John
         Wall  -> Larry
         Walls -> Brick
         mouse -> mickey

         PARTIAL MATCH
         Wa -> Wall  -> Larry
         A  -> Smith -> John
         a  -> mouse -> mickey

DB_RECNO

     DB_RECNO provides an interface to flat text files. Both
     variable and fixed length records are supported.

     In order to make RECNO more compatible with Perl, the array
     offset for all RECNO arrays begins at 0 rather than 1 as in
     Berkeley DB.

     As with normal Perl arrays, a RECNO array can be accessed
     using negative indexes. The index -1 refers to the last ele-
     ment of the array, -2 the second last, and so on. Attempting
     to access an element before the start of the array will
     raise a fatal run-time error.

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          15

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     The 'bval' Option

     The operation of the bval option warrants some discussion.
     Here is the definition of bval from the Berkeley DB 1.85
     recno manual page:

         The delimiting byte to be used to mark  the  end  of  a
         record for variable-length records, and the pad charac-
         ter for fixed-length records.  If no  value  is  speci-
         fied,  newlines  (``\n'')  are  used to mark the end of
         variable-length records and  fixed-length  records  are
         padded with spaces.

     The second sentence is wrong. In actual fact bval will only
     default to "\n" when the openinfo parameter in dbopen is
     NULL. If a non-NULL openinfo parameter is used at all, the
     value that happens to be in bval will be used. That means
     you always have to specify bval when making use of any of
     the options in the openinfo parameter. This documentation
     error will be fixed in the next release of Berkeley DB.

     That clarifies the situation with regards Berkeley DB
     itself. What about DB_File? Well, the behavior defined in
     the quote above is quite useful, so DB_File conforms to it.

     That means that you can specify other options (e.g.
     cachesize) and still have bval default to "\n" for variable
     length records, and space for fixed length records.

     Also note that the bval option only allows you to specify a
     single byte as a delimiter.

     A Simple Example

     Here is a simple example that uses RECNO (if you are using a
     version of Perl earlier than 5.004_57 this example won't
     work -- see "Extra RECNO Methods" for a workaround).

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

         my $filename = "text" ;
         unlink $filename ;

         my @h ;
         tie @h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_RECNO
             or die "Cannot open file 'text': $!\n" ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          16

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         # Add a few key/value pairs to the file
         $h[0] = "orange" ;
         $h[1] = "blue" ;
         $h[2] = "yellow" ;

         push @h, "green", "black" ;

         my $elements = scalar @h ;
         print "The array contains $elements entries\n" ;

         my $last = pop @h ;
         print "popped $last\n" ;

         unshift @h, "white" ;
         my $first = shift @h ;
         print "shifted $first\n" ;

         # Check for existence of a key
         print "Element 1 Exists with value $h[1]\n" if $h[1] ;

         # use a negative index
         print "The last element is $h[-1]\n" ;
         print "The 2nd last element is $h[-2]\n" ;

         untie @h ;

     Here is the output from the script:

         The array contains 5 entries
         popped black
         shifted white
         Element 1 Exists with value blue
         The last element is green
         The 2nd last element is yellow

     Extra RECNO Methods

     If you are using a version of Perl earlier than 5.004_57,
     the tied array interface is quite limited. In the example
     script above "push", "pop", "shift", "unshift" or determin-
     ing the array length will not work with a tied array.

     To make the interface more useful for older versions of
     Perl, a number of methods are supplied with DB_File to simu-
     late the missing array operations. All these methods are
     accessed via the object returned from the tie call.

     Here are the methods:

     $X->push(list) ;
          Pushes the elements of "list" to the end of the array.

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          17

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     $value = $X->pop ;
          Removes and returns the last element of the array.

     $X->shift
          Removes and returns the first element of the array.

     $X->unshift(list) ;
          Pushes the elements of "list" to the start of the
          array.

     $X->length
          Returns the number of elements in the array.

     $X->splice(offset, length, elements);
          Returns a splice of the array.

     Another Example

     Here is a more complete example that makes use of some of
     the methods described above. It also makes use of the API
     interface directly (see "THE API INTERFACE").

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         my (@h, $H, $file, $i) ;
         use DB_File ;
         use Fcntl ;

         $file = "text" ;

         unlink $file ;

         $H = tie @h, "DB_File", $file, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_RECNO
             or die "Cannot open file $file: $!\n" ;

         # first create a text file to play with
         $h[0] = "zero" ;
         $h[1] = "one" ;
         $h[2] = "two" ;
         $h[3] = "three" ;
         $h[4] = "four" ;

         # Print the records in order.
         #
         # The length method is needed here because evaluating a tied
         # array in a scalar context does not return the number of
         # elements in the array.

         print "\nORIGINAL\n" ;
         foreach $i (0 .. $H->length - 1) {
             print "$i: $h[$i]\n" ;
         }

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          18

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         # use the push & pop methods
         $a = $H->pop ;
         $H->push("last") ;
         print "\nThe last record was [$a]\n" ;

         # and the shift & unshift methods
         $a = $H->shift ;
         $H->unshift("first") ;
         print "The first record was [$a]\n" ;

         # Use the API to add a new record after record 2.
         $i = 2 ;
         $H->put($i, "Newbie", R_IAFTER) ;

         # and a new record before record 1.
         $i = 1 ;
         $H->put($i, "New One", R_IBEFORE) ;

         # delete record 3
         $H->del(3) ;

         # now print the records in reverse order
         print "\nREVERSE\n" ;
         for ($i = $H->length - 1 ; $i >= 0 ; -- $i)
           { print "$i: $h[$i]\n" }

         # same again, but use the API functions instead
         print "\nREVERSE again\n" ;
         my ($s, $k, $v)  = (0, 0, 0) ;
         for ($s = $H->seq($k, $v, R_LAST) ;
                  $s == 0 ;
                  $s = $H->seq($k, $v, R_PREV))
           { print "$k: $v\n" }

         undef $H ;
         untie @h ;

     and this is what it outputs:

         ORIGINAL
         0: zero
         1: one
         2: two
         3: three
         4: four

         The last record was [four]
         The first record was [zero]

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          19

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         REVERSE
         5: last
         4: three
         3: Newbie
         2: one
         1: New One
         0: first

         REVERSE again
         5: last
         4: three
         3: Newbie
         2: one
         1: New One
         0: first

     Notes:

     1.   Rather than iterating through the array, @h like this:

              foreach $i (@h)

          it is necessary to use either this:

              foreach $i (0 .. $H->length - 1)

          or this:

              for ($a = $H->get($k, $v, R_FIRST) ;
                   $a == 0 ;
                   $a = $H->get($k, $v, R_NEXT) )

     2.   Notice that both times the "put" method was used the
          record index was specified using a variable, $i, rather
          than the literal value itself. This is because "put"
          will return the record number of the inserted line via
          that parameter.

THE API INTERFACE

     As well as accessing Berkeley DB using a tied hash or array,
     it is also possible to make direct use of most of the API
     functions defined in the Berkeley DB documentation.

     To do this you need to store a copy of the object returned
     from the tie.

             $db = tie %hash, "DB_File", "filename" ;

     Once you have done that, you can access the Berkeley DB API
     functions as DB_File methods directly like this:

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          20

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

             $db->put($key, $value, R_NOOVERWRITE) ;

     Important: If you have saved a copy of the object returned
     from "tie", the underlying database file will not be closed
     until both the tied variable is untied and all copies of the
     saved object are destroyed.

         use DB_File ;
         $db = tie %hash, "DB_File", "filename"
             or die "Cannot tie filename: $!" ;
         ...
         undef $db ;
         untie %hash ;

     See "The untie() Gotcha" for more details.

     All the functions defined in dbopen are available except for
     close() and dbopen() itself. The DB_File method interface to
     the supported functions have been implemented to mirror the
     way Berkeley DB works whenever possible. In particular note
     that:

     +    The methods return a status value. All return 0 on suc-
          cess. All return -1 to signify an error and set $! to
          the exact error code. The return code 1 generally (but
          not always) means that the key specified did not exist
          in the database.

          Other return codes are defined. See below and in the
          Berkeley DB documentation for details. The Berkeley DB
          documentation should be used as the definitive source.

     +    Whenever a Berkeley DB function returns data via one of
          its parameters, the equivalent DB_File method does
          exactly the same.

     +    If you are careful, it is possible to mix API calls
          with the tied hash/array interface in the same piece of
          code. Although only a few of the methods used to imple-
          ment the tied interface currently make use of the cur-
          sor, you should always assume that the cursor has been
          changed any time the tied hash/array interface is used.
          As an example, this code will probably not do what you
          expect:

              $X = tie %x, 'DB_File', $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0777, $DB_BTREE
                  or die "Cannot tie $filename: $!" ;

              # Get the first key/value pair and set  the cursor
              $X->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          21

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

              # this line will modify the cursor
              $count = scalar keys %x ;

              # Get the second key/value pair.
              # oops, it didn't, it got the last key/value pair!
              $X->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) ;

          The code above can be rearranged to get around the
          problem, like this:

              $X = tie %x, 'DB_File', $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0777, $DB_BTREE
                  or die "Cannot tie $filename: $!" ;

              # this line will modify the cursor
              $count = scalar keys %x ;

              # Get the first key/value pair and set  the cursor
              $X->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;

              # Get the second key/value pair.
              # worked this time.
              $X->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) ;

     All the constants defined in dbopen for use in the flags
     parameters in the methods defined below are also available.
     Refer to the Berkeley DB documentation for the precise mean-
     ing of the flags values.

     Below is a list of the methods available.

     $status = $X->get($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
          Given a key ($key) this method reads the value associ-
          ated with it from the database. The value read from the
          database is returned in the $value parameter.

          If the key does not exist the method returns 1.

          No flags are currently defined for this method.

     $status = $X->put($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
          Stores the key/value pair in the database.

          If you use either the R_IAFTER or R_IBEFORE flags, the
          $key parameter will have the record number of the
          inserted key/value pair set.

          Valid flags are R_CURSOR, R_IAFTER, R_IBEFORE,
          R_NOOVERWRITE and R_SETCURSOR.

     $status = $X->del($key [, $flags]) ;
          Removes all key/value pairs with key $key from the
          database.

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          22

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

          A return code of 1 means that the requested key was not
          in the database.

          R_CURSOR is the only valid flag at present.

     $status = $X->fd ;
          Returns the file descriptor for the underlying data-
          base.

          See "Locking: The Trouble with fd" for an explanation
          for why you should not use "fd" to lock your database.

     $status = $X->seq($key, $value, $flags) ;
          This interface allows sequential retrieval from the
          database. See dbopen for full details.

          Both the $key and $value parameters will be set to the
          key/value pair read from the database.

          The flags parameter is mandatory. The valid flag values
          are R_CURSOR, R_FIRST, R_LAST, R_NEXT and R_PREV.

     $status = $X->sync([$flags]) ;
          Flushes any cached buffers to disk.

          R_RECNOSYNC is the only valid flag at present.

DBM FILTERS

     A DBM Filter is a piece of code that is be used when you
     always want to make the same transformation to all keys
     and/or values in a DBM database.

     There are four methods associated with DBM Filters. All work
     identically, and each is used to install (or uninstall) a
     single DBM Filter. Each expects a single parameter, namely a
     reference to a sub. The only difference between them is the
     place that the filter is installed.

     To summarise:

     filter_store_key
          If a filter has been installed with this method, it
          will be invoked every time you write a key to a DBM
          database.

     filter_store_value
          If a filter has been installed with this method, it
          will be invoked every time you write a value to a DBM
          database.

     filter_fetch_key
          If a filter has been installed with this method, it

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          23

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

          will be invoked every time you read a key from a DBM
          database.

     filter_fetch_value
          If a filter has been installed with this method, it
          will be invoked every time you read a value from a DBM
          database.

     You can use any combination of the methods, from none, to
     all four.

     All filter methods return the existing filter, if present,
     or "undef" in not.

     To delete a filter pass "undef" to it.

     The Filter

     When each filter is called by Perl, a local copy of $_ will
     contain the key or value to be filtered. Filtering is
     achieved by modifying the contents of $_. The return code
     from the filter is ignored.

     An Example -- the NULL termination problem.

     Consider the following scenario. You have a DBM database
     that you need to share with a third-party C application. The
     C application assumes that all keys and values are NULL ter-
     minated. Unfortunately when Perl writes to DBM databases it
     doesn't use NULL termination, so your Perl application will
     have to manage NULL termination itself. When you write to
     the database you will have to use something like this:

         $hash{"$key\0"} = "$value\0" ;

     Similarly the NULL needs to be taken into account when you
     are considering the length of existing keys/values.

     It would be much better if you could ignore the NULL termi-
     nations issue in the main application code and have a
     mechanism that automatically added the terminating NULL to
     all keys and values whenever you write to the database and
     have them removed when you read from the database. As I'm
     sure you have already guessed, this is a problem that DBM
     Filters can fix very easily.

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          24

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         my %hash ;
         my $filename = "filt" ;
         unlink $filename ;

         my $db = tie %hash, 'DB_File', $filename, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH
           or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n" ;

         # Install DBM Filters
         $db->filter_fetch_key  ( sub { s/\0$//    } ) ;
         $db->filter_store_key  ( sub { $_ .= "\0" } ) ;
         $db->filter_fetch_value( sub { s/\0$//    } ) ;
         $db->filter_store_value( sub { $_ .= "\0" } ) ;

         $hash{"abc"} = "def" ;
         my $a = $hash{"ABC"} ;
         # ...
         undef $db ;
         untie %hash ;

     Hopefully the contents of each of the filters should be
     self-explanatory. Both "fetch" filters remove the terminat-
     ing NULL, and both "store" filters add a terminating NULL.

     Another Example -- Key is a C int.

     Here is another real-life example. By default, whenever Perl
     writes to a DBM database it always writes the key and value
     as strings. So when you use this:

         $hash{12345} = "something" ;

     the key 12345 will get stored in the DBM database as the 5
     byte string "12345". If you actually want the key to be
     stored in the DBM database as a C int, you will have to use
     "pack" when writing, and "unpack" when reading.

     Here is a DBM Filter that does it:

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;
         my %hash ;
         my $filename = "filt" ;
         unlink $filename ;

         my $db = tie %hash, 'DB_File', $filename, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH
           or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n" ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          25

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         $db->filter_fetch_key  ( sub { $_ = unpack("i", $_) } ) ;
         $db->filter_store_key  ( sub { $_ = pack ("i", $_) } ) ;
         $hash{123} = "def" ;
         # ...
         undef $db ;
         untie %hash ;

     This time only two filters have been used -- we only need to
     manipulate the contents of the key, so it wasn't necessary
     to install any value filters.

HINTS AND TIPS

     Locking: The Trouble with fd

     Until version 1.72 of this module, the recommended technique
     for locking DB_File databases was to flock the filehandle
     returned from the "fd" function. Unfortunately this tech-
     nique has been shown to be fundamentally flawed (Kudos to
     David Harris for tracking this down). Use it at your own
     peril!

     The locking technique went like this.

         $db = tie(%db, 'DB_File', 'foo.db', O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0644)
             || die "dbcreat foo.db $!";
         $fd = $db->fd;
         open(DB_FH, "+<&=$fd") || die "dup $!";
         flock (DB_FH, LOCK_EX) || die "flock: $!";
         ...
         $db{"Tom"} = "Jerry" ;
         ...
         flock(DB_FH, LOCK_UN);
         undef $db;
         untie %db;
         close(DB_FH);

     In simple terms, this is what happens:

     1.   Use "tie" to open the database.

     2.   Lock the database with fd & flock.

     3.   Read & Write to the database.

     4.   Unlock and close the database.

     Here is the crux of the problem. A side-effect of opening
     the DB_File database in step 2 is that an initial block from
     the database will get read from disk and cached in memory.

     To see why this is a problem, consider what can happen when
     two processes, say "A" and "B", both want to update the same

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          26

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     DB_File database using the locking steps outlined above.
     Assume process "A" has already opened the database and has a
     write lock, but it hasn't actually updated the database yet
     (it has finished step 2, but not started step 3 yet). Now
     process "B" tries to open the same database - step 1 will
     succeed, but it will block on step 2 until process "A"
     releases the lock. The important thing to notice here is
     that at this point in time both processes will have cached
     identical initial blocks from the database.

     Now process "A" updates the database and happens to change
     some of the data held in the initial buffer. Process "A"
     terminates, flushing all cached data to disk and releasing
     the database lock. At this point the database on disk will
     correctly reflect the changes made by process "A".

     With the lock released, process "B" can now continue. It
     also updates the database and unfortunately it too modifies
     the data that was in its initial buffer. Once that data gets
     flushed to disk it will overwrite some/all of the changes
     process "A" made to the database.

     The result of this scenario is at best a database that
     doesn't contain what you expect. At worst the database will
     corrupt.

     The above won't happen every time competing process update
     the same DB_File database, but it does illustrate why the
     technique should not be used.

     Safe ways to lock a database

     Starting with version 2.x, Berkeley DB  has internal support
     for locking. The companion module to this one, BerkeleyDB,
     provides an interface to this locking functionality. If you
     are serious about locking Berkeley DB databases, I strongly
     recommend using BerkeleyDB.

     If using BerkeleyDB isn't an option, there are a number of
     modules available on CPAN that can be used to implement
     locking. Each one implements locking differently and has
     different goals in mind. It is therefore worth knowing the
     difference, so that you can pick the right one for your
     application. Here are the three locking wrappers:

     Tie::DB_Lock
          A DB_File wrapper which creates copies of the database
          file for read access, so that you have a kind of a mul-
          tiversioning concurrent read system. However, updates
          are still serial. Use for databases where reads may be
          lengthy and consistency problems may occur.

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          27

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     Tie::DB_LockFile
          A DB_File wrapper that has the ability to lock and
          unlock the database while it is being used. Avoids the
          tie-before-flock problem by simply re-tie-ing the data-
          base when you get or drop a lock.  Because of the flex-
          ibility in dropping and re-acquiring the lock in the
          middle of a session, this can be massaged into a system
          that will work with long updates and/or reads if the
          application follows the hints in the POD documentation.

     DB_File::Lock
          An extremely lightweight DB_File wrapper that simply
          flocks a lockfile before tie-ing the database and drops
          the lock after the untie. Allows one to use the same
          lockfile for multiple databases to avoid deadlock prob-
          lems, if desired. Use for databases where updates are
          reads are quick and simple flock locking semantics are
          enough.

     Sharing Databases With C Applications

     There is no technical reason why a Berkeley DB database can-
     not be shared by both a Perl and a C application.

     The vast majority of problems that are reported in this area
     boil down to the fact that C strings are NULL terminated,
     whilst Perl strings are not. See "DBM FILTERS" for a generic
     way to work around this problem.

     Here is a real example. Netscape 2.0 keeps a record of the
     locations you visit along with the time you last visited
     them in a DB_HASH database. This is usually stored in the
     file ~/.netscape/history.db. The key field in the database
     is the location string and the value field is the time the
     location was last visited stored as a 4 byte binary value.

     If you haven't already guessed, the location string is
     stored with a terminating NULL. This means you need to be
     careful when accessing the database.

     Here is a snippet of code that is loosely based on Tom
     Christiansen's ggh script (available from your nearest CPAN
     archive in authors/id/TOMC/scripts/nshist.gz).

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;
         use Fcntl ;

         my ($dotdir, $HISTORY, %hist_db, $href, $binary_time, $date) ;
         $dotdir = $ENV{HOME} || $ENV{LOGNAME};

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          28

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         $HISTORY = "$dotdir/.netscape/history.db";

         tie %hist_db, 'DB_File', $HISTORY
             or die "Cannot open $HISTORY: $!\n" ;;

         # Dump the complete database
         while ( ($href, $binary_time) = each %hist_db ) {

             # remove the terminating NULL
             $href =~ s/\x00$// ;

             # convert the binary time into a user friendly string
             $date = localtime unpack("V", $binary_time);
             print "$date $href\n" ;
         }

         # check for the existence of a specific key
         # remember to add the NULL
         if ( $binary_time = $hist_db{"http://mox.perl.com/\x00"} ) {
             $date = localtime unpack("V", $binary_time) ;
             print "Last visited mox.perl.com on $date\n" ;
         }
         else {
             print "Never visited mox.perl.com\n"
         }

         untie %hist_db ;

     The untie() Gotcha

     If you make use of the Berkeley DB API, it is very strongly
     recommended that you read "The untie Gotcha" in perltie.

     Even if you don't currently make use of the API interface,
     it is still worth reading it.

     Here is an example which illustrates the problem from a
     DB_File perspective:

         use DB_File ;
         use Fcntl ;

         my %x ;
         my $X ;

         $X = tie %x, 'DB_File', 'tst.fil' , O_RDWR|O_TRUNC
             or die "Cannot tie first time: $!" ;

         $x{123} = 456 ;

         untie %x ;

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          29

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

         tie %x, 'DB_File', 'tst.fil' , O_RDWR|O_CREAT
             or die "Cannot tie second time: $!" ;

         untie %x ;

     When run, the script will produce this error message:

         Cannot tie second time: Invalid argument at bad.file line 14.

     Although the error message above refers to the second tie()
     statement in the script, the source of the problem is really
     with the untie() statement that precedes it.

     Having read perltie you will probably have already guessed
     that the error is caused by the extra copy of the tied
     object stored in $X. If you haven't, then the problem boils
     down to the fact that the DB_File destructor, DESTROY, will
     not be called until all references to the tied object are
     destroyed. Both the tied variable, %x, and $X above hold a
     reference to the object. The call to untie() will destroy
     the first, but $X still holds a valid reference, so the des-
     tructor will not get called and the database file tst.fil
     will remain open. The fact that Berkeley DB then reports the
     attempt to open a database that is already open via the
     catch-all "Invalid argument" doesn't help.

     If you run the script with the "-w" flag the error message
     becomes:

         untie attempted while 1 inner references still exist at bad.file line 12.
         Cannot tie second time: Invalid argument at bad.file line 14.

     which pinpoints the real problem. Finally the script can now
     be modified to fix the original problem by destroying the
     API object before the untie:

         ...
         $x{123} = 456 ;

         undef $X ;
         untie %x ;

         $X = tie %x, 'DB_File', 'tst.fil' , O_RDWR|O_CREAT
         ...

COMMON QUESTIONS

     Why is there Perl source in my database?

     If you look at the contents of a database file created by
     DB_File, there can sometimes be part of a Perl script
     included in it.

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          30

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     This happens because Berkeley DB uses dynamic memory to
     allocate buffers which will subsequently be written to the
     database file. Being dynamic, the memory could have been
     used for anything before DB malloced it. As Berkeley DB
     doesn't clear the memory once it has been allocated, the
     unused portions will contain random junk. In the case where
     a Perl script gets written to the database, the random junk
     will correspond to an area of dynamic memory that happened
     to be used during the compilation of the script.

     Unless you don't like the possibility of there being part of
     your Perl scripts embedded in a database file, this is noth-
     ing to worry about.

     How do I store complex data structures with DB_File?

     Although DB_File cannot do this directly, there is a module
     which can layer transparently over DB_File to accomplish
     this feat.

     Check out the MLDBM module, available on CPAN in the direc-
     tory modules/by-module/MLDBM.

     What does "Invalid Argument" mean?

     You will get this error message when one of the parameters
     in the "tie" call is wrong. Unfortunately there are quite a
     few parameters to get wrong, so it can be difficult to fig-
     ure out which one it is.

     Here are a couple of possibilities:

     1.   Attempting to reopen a database without closing it.

     2.   Using the O_WRONLY flag.

     What does "Bareword 'DB_File' not allowed" mean?

     You will encounter this particular error message when you
     have the "strict 'subs'" pragma (or the full strict pragma)
     in your script. Consider this script:

         use warnings ;
         use strict ;
         use DB_File ;
         my %x ;
         tie %x, DB_File, "filename" ;

     Running it produces the error in question:

         Bareword "DB_File" not allowed while "strict subs" in use

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          31

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     To get around the error, place the word "DB_File" in either
     single or double quotes, like this:

         tie %x, "DB_File", "filename" ;

     Although it might seem like a real pain, it is really worth
     the effort of having a "use strict" in all your scripts.

REFERENCES

     Articles that are either about DB_File or make use of it.

     1.   Full-Text Searching in Perl, Tim Kientzle
          (tkientzle@ddj.com), Dr. Dobb's Journal, Issue 295,
          January 1999, pp 34-41

HISTORY

     Moved to the Changes file.

BUGS

     Some older versions of Berkeley DB had problems with fixed
     length records using the RECNO file format. This problem has
     been fixed since version 1.85 of Berkeley DB.

     I am sure there are bugs in the code. If you do find any, or
     can suggest any enhancements, I would welcome your comments.

AVAILABILITY

     DB_File comes with the standard Perl source distribution.
     Look in the directory ext/DB_File. Given the amount of time
     between releases of Perl the version that ships with Perl is
     quite likely to be out of date, so the most recent version
     can always be found on CPAN (see "CPAN" in perlmodlib for
     details), in the directory modules/by-module/DB_File.

     This version of DB_File will work with either version 1.x,
     2.x or 3.x of Berkeley DB, but is limited to the functional-
     ity provided by version 1.

     The official web site for Berkeley DB is
     http://www.sleepycat.com. All versions of Berkeley DB are
     available there.

     Alternatively, Berkeley DB version 1 is available at your
     nearest CPAN archive in src/misc/db.1.85.tar.gz.

     If you are running IRIX, then get Berkeley DB version 1 from
     http://reality.sgi.com/ariel. It has the patches necessary
     to compile properly on IRIX 5.3.

COPYRIGHT

     Copyright (c) 1995-2005 Paul Marquess. All rights reserved.
     This program is free software; you can redistribute it

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          32

ext::DB_File::DB_Perl(Programmers Refereext::DB_eFile::DB_File(3p)

     and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

     Although DB_File is covered by the Perl license, the library
     it makes use of, namely Berkeley DB, is not. Berkeley DB has
     its own copyright and its own license. Please take the time
     to read it.

     Here are are few words taken from the Berkeley DB FAQ (at
     http://www.sleepycat.com) regarding the license:

         Do I have to license DB to use it in Perl scripts?

         No. The Berkeley DB license requires that software that uses
         Berkeley DB be freely redistributable. In the case of Perl, that
         software is Perl, and not your scripts. Any Perl scripts that you
         write are your property, including scripts that make use of
         Berkeley DB. Neither the Perl license nor the Berkeley DB license
         place any restriction on what you may do with them.

     If you are in any doubt about the license situation, contact
     either the Berkeley DB authors or the author of DB_File. See
     "AUTHOR" for details.

SEE ALSO

     perl, dbopen(3), hash(3), recno(3), btree(3), perldbmfilter

AUTHOR

     The DB_File interface was written by Paul Marquess
     <pmqs@cpan.org>. Questions about the DB system itself may be
     addressed to <db@sleepycat.com>.

perl v5.8.8                2005-02-05                          33

Generated on 2014-07-04 21:17:45 by $MirOS: src/scripts/roff2htm,v 1.79 2014/02/10 00:36:11 tg Exp $

These manual pages and other documentation are copyrighted by their respective writers; their source is available at our CVSweb, AnonCVS, and other mirrors. The rest is Copyright © 2002‒2014 The MirOS Project, Germany.
This product includes material provided by Thorsten Glaser.

This manual page’s HTML representation is supposed to be valid XHTML/1.1; if not, please send a bug report – diffs preferred.