Patched version of Perl's Config::Simple from CPAN/CVS. A configuration management layer.
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MANIFEST
MANIFEST.SKIP
META.yml
Makefile.PL
README

README

NAME
    Config::Simple - simple configuration file class

SYNOPSIS
      use Config::Simple;

      # OO interface:
      $cfg = new Config::Simple('app.cfg');
      $user = $cfg->param("User");    # read the value  
      $cfg->param(User=>'sherzodr');  # update  
      my %Config = $cfg->vars();      # load everything into %Config
      $cfg->write();                  # saves the changes to file
    
      # tie interface:
      tie my %Config, "Config::Simple", "app.cgi";    
      $user = $Config{'User'};  
      $Config{'User'} = 'sherzodr';  
      tied(%Config)->write();

ABSTRACT
    Reading and writing configuration files is one of the most frequent
    aspects of any software design. Config::Simple is the library to help
    you with it.

    Config::Simple is a class representing configuration file object. It
    supports several configuration file syntax and tries to identify the
    file syntax to parse them accordingly. Library supports parsing,
    updating and creating configuration files.

ABOUT CONFIGURATION FILES
    Keeping configurable variables in your program source code is ugly,
    really. And for people without much of a programming experience,
    configuring your programs is like performing black magic. Besides, if
    you need to access these values from within multiple files, or want your
    programs to be able to update configuration files, you just have to
    store them in an external file. That's where Config::Simple comes into
    play, making it very easy to read and write configuration files.

    If you have never used configuration files before, here is a brief
    overview of various syntax to choose from.

  SIMPLE CONFIGURATION FILE

    Simple syntax is what you need for most of your projects. These are, as
    the name asserts, the simplest. File consists of key/value pairs,
    delimited by nothing but white space. Keys (variables) should be
    strictly alpha-numeric with possible dashes (-). Values can hold any
    arbitrary text. Here is an example of such a configuration file:

      Alias     /exec
      TempFile  /usr/tmp

    Comments start with a pound ('#') sign and cannot share the same line
    with other configuration data.

  HTTP-LIKE SYNTAX

    This format of separating key/value pairs is used by HTTP messages. Each
    key/value is separated by semi-colon (:). Keys are alphanumeric strings
    with possible '-'. Values can be any arbitrary text:

    Example:

      Alias: /exec
      TempFile: /usr/tmp

    It is OK to have spaces around ':'. Comments start with '#' and cannot
    share the same line with other configuration data.

  INI-FILE

    These configuration files are more native to Win32 systems. Data is
    organized in blocks. Each key/value pair is delimited with an equal (=)
    sign. Blocks are declared on their own lines enclosed in '[' and ']':

      [BLOCK1]
      KEY1=VALUE1
      KEY2=VALUE2

      [BLOCK2]
      KEY1=VALUE1
      KEY2=VALUE2

    Your Winamp 2.x play list is an example of such a configuration file.

    This is the perfect choice if you need to organize your configuration
    file into categories:

      [site]
      url="http://www.handalak.com"
      title="Web site of a \"Geek\""
      author=sherzodr

      [mysql]  
      dsn="dbi:mysql:db_name;host=handalak.com"
      user=sherzodr
      password=marley01

  SIMPLIFIED INI-FILE

    These files are pretty much similar to traditional ini-files, except
    they don't have any block declarations. This style is handy if you do
    not want any categorization in your configuration file, but still want
    to use '=' delimited key/value pairs. While working with such files,
    Config::Simple assigns them to a default block, called 'default' by
    default :-).

      url = "http://www.handalak.com"

    Comments can begin with either pound ('#') or semi-colon (';'). Each
    comment should reside on its own line

PROGRAMMING STYLE
    Most of the programs simply need to be able to read settings from a
    configuration file and assign them to a hash. If that's all you need,
    you can simply use its import_from() - class method with the name of the
    configuration file and a reference to an existing (possibly empty) hash:

      Config::Simple->import_from('myconf.cfg', \%Config);
  
    Now your hash %Config holds all the configuration file's key/value
    pairs. Keys of a hash are variable names inside your configuration file,
    and values are their respective values. If "myconf.cfg" was a
    traditional ini-file, keys of the hash consist of block name and
    variable delimited with a dot, such as "block.var".

    If that's all you need, you can stop right here. Otherwise, read on.
    There is much more Config::Simple offers.

  READING THE CONFIGURATION FILE

    To be able to use more features of the library, you will need to use its
    object interface:

      $cfg = new Config::Simple('app.cfg');

    The above line reads and parses the configuration file accordingly. It
    tries to guess which syntax is used by passing the file to
    guess_syntax() method. Alternatively, you can create an empty object,
    and only then read the configuration file in:

      $cfg = new Config::Simple();
      $cfg->read('app.cfg');

    As in the first example, read() also calls guess_syntax() method on the
    file.

    If, for any reason, it fails to guess the syntax correctly (which is
    less likely), you can try to debug by using its guess_syntax() method.
    It expects file handle for a configuration file and returns the name of
    a syntax. Return value is one of "ini", "simple" or "http".

      open(FH, "app.cfg");
      printf("This file uses '%s' syntax\n", $cfg->guess_syntax(\*FH));

  ACCESSING VALUES

    After you read the configuration file in successfully, you can use
    param() method to access the configuration values. For example:

      $user = $cfg->param("User");

    will return the value of "User" from either simple configuration file,
    or http-styled configuration as well as simplified ini-files. To access
    the value from a traditional ini-file, consider the following syntax:

      $user = $cfg->param("mysql.user");

    The above returns the value of "user" from within "[mysql]" block.
    Notice the use of dot "." to delimit block and key names.

    Config::Simple also supports vars() method, which, depending on the
    context used, returns all the values either as hashref or hash:

      my %Config = $cfg->vars();
      print "Username: $Config{User}";

      # If it was a traditional ini-file:
      print "Username: $Config{'mysql.user'}";

    If you call vars() in scalar context, you will end up with a reference
    to a hash:

      my $Config = $cfg->vars();
      print "Username: $Config->{User}";

    If you know what you're doing, you can also have an option of importing
    all the names from the configuration file into your current name space
    as global variables. All the block/key names will be uppercased and will
    be converted to Perl's valid variable names; that is, all the dots
    (block-key separator) and other '\W' characters will be substituted with
    underscore '_':

      $cfg = new Config::Simple('app.cfg');
      $cfg->import_names();

      # or, with a single line:
      Config::Simple->new('app.cfg')->import_names();
  
      print STDERR "Debugging mode is on" if $DEBUG_MODE;

    In the above example, if there was a variable 'mode' under '[debug]'
    block, it will be now accessible via $DEBUG_MODE, as opposed to
    $cfg->param('debug.mode');

    "import_names()" by default imports the values to its caller's name
    space. Optionally, you can specify where to import the values by passing
    the name of the name space as the first argument. It also prevents
    potential name collisions:

      Config::Simple->new('app.cfg')->import_names('CFG');
      print STDERR "Debugging mode is on" if $CFG::DEBUG_MODE;

    If all you want is to import values from a configuration file, the above
    syntax may still seem longer than necessary. That's why Config::Simple
    supports import_from() - class method, which is called with the name of
    the configuration file. It will call import_names() for you:

      Config::Simple->import_from('app.cfg');

    The above line imports all the variables into the caller's name space.
    It's similar to calling import_names() on an object. If you pass a
    string as the second argument, it will treat it as the alternative name
    space to import the names into. As we already showed in the very first
    example, you can also pass a reference to an existing hash as the second
    argument. In this case, that hash will be modified with the values of
    the configuration file.

      # import into $CFG name space:
      Config::Simple->import_from('app.cfg', 'CFG');

      # import into %Config hash:
      Config::Simple->import_from('app.cfg', \%Config);

    The above line imports all the values to 'CFG' name space. import_from()
    returns underlying Config::Simple object (which you may not even need
    anymore):

      $cfg = Config::Simple->import_from('app.cfg', \my %Config);
      $cfg->write('app.cfg.bak');

  UPDATING THE VALUES

    Configuration values, once read into Config::Simple, can be updated from
    within your program by using the same param() method used for accessing
    them. For example:

      $cfg->param("User", "sherzodR");

    The above line changes the value of "User" to "sherzodR". Similar syntax
    is applicable for ini-files as well:

      $cfg->param("mysql.user", "sherzodR");

    If the key you're trying to update does not exist, it will be created.
    For example, to add a new "[session]" block to your ini-file, assuming
    this block doesn't already exist:

      $cfg->param("session.life", "+1M");

    You can also delete values calling delete() method with the name of the
    variable:

      $cfg->delete('mysql.user'); # deletes 'user' under [mysql] block

  SAVING/WRITING CONFIGURATION FILES

    The above updates to the configuration values are in-memory operations.
    They do not reflect in the file itself. To modify the files accordingly,
    you need to call either "write()" or "save()" methods on the object:

      $cfg->write();

    The above line writes the modifications to the configuration file.
    Alternatively, you can pass a name to either write() or save() to
    indicate the name of the file to create instead of modifying existing
    configuration file:

      $cfg->write("app.cfg.bak");

    If you want the changes saved at all times, you can turn "autosave" mode
    on by passing true value to $cfg->autosave(). It will make sure before
    your program is terminated, all the configuration values are written
    back to its file:

      $cfg = new Config::Simple('aff.cfg');
      $cfg->autosave(1);

  CREATING CONFIGURATION FILES

    Occasionally, your programs may want to create their own configuration
    files on the fly, possibly from a user input. To create a configuration
    file from scratch using Config::Simple, simply create an empty
    configuration file object and define your syntax. You can do it by
    either passing "syntax" option to new(), or by calling syntax() method.
    Then play with param() method as you normally would. When you're done,
    call write() method with the name of the configuration file:

      $cfg = new Config::Simple(syntax=>'ini');
      # or you could also do:
      # $cfg->autosave('ini')

      $cfg->param("mysql.dsn", "DBI:mysql:db;host=handalak.com");
      $cfg->param("mysql.user", "sherzodr");
      $cfg->param("mysql.pass", 'marley01');
      $cfg->param("site.title", 'sherzodR "The Geek"');
      $cfg->write("new.cfg");

    This creates the a file "new.cfg" with the following content:

      ; Config::Simple 4.43
      ; Sat Mar  8 00:32:49 2003

      [site]
      title=sherzodR "The Geek"

      [mysql]
      pass=marley01
      dsn=DBI:mysql:db;host=handalak.com
      user=sherzodr

    Neat, huh? Supported syntax keywords are "ini", "simple" or "http".
    Currently there is no support for creating simplified ini-files.

  MULTIPLE VALUES

    Ever wanted to define array of values in your single configuration
    variable? I have! That's why Config::Simple supports this fancy feature
    as well. Simply separate your values with a comma:

      Files hp.cgi, template.html, styles.css

    Now param() method returns an array of values:

      @files = $cfg->param("Files");
      unlink $_ for @files;

    If you want a comma as part of a value, enclose the value(s) in double
    quotes:

      CVSFiles "hp.cgi,v", "template.html,v", "styles.css,v"

    In case you want either of the values to hold literal quote ("), you can
    escape it with a backlash:

      SiteTitle "sherzod \"The Geek\""

  TIE INTERFACE

    If OO style intimidates you, Config::Simple also supports tie()
    interface. This interface allows you to tie() an ordinary Perl hash to
    the configuration file. From that point on, you can use the variable as
    an ordinary Perl hash.

      tie %Config, "Config::Simple", 'app.cfg';

      # Using %Config as an ordinary hash
      print "Username is '$Config{User}'\n";
      $Config{User} = 'sherzodR';

    To access the method provided in OO syntax, you need to get underlying
    Config::Simple object. You can do so with tied() function:

      tied(%Config)->write();

    WARNING: tie interface is experimental and not well tested yet. It also
    doesn't perform all the hash manipulating operations of Perl. Let me
    know if you encounter a problem.

MISCELLANEOUS
  CASE SENSITIVITY

    By default, configuration file keys and values are case sensitive. Which
    means, $cfg->param("User") and $cfg->param("user") are referring to two
    different values. But it is possible to force Config::Simple to ignore
    cases all together by enabling "-lc" switch while loading the library:

      use Config::Simple ('-lc');

    WARNING: If you call write() or save(), while working on "-lc" mode, all
    the case information of the original file will be lost. So use it if you
    know what you're doing.

  USING QUOTES

    Some people suggest if values consist of none alpha-numeric strings,
    they should be enclosed in double quotes. Well, says them! Although
    Config::Simple supports parsing such configuration files already, it
    doesn't follow this rule while writing them. If you really need it to
    generate such compatible configuration files, "-strict" switch is what
    you need:

      use Config::Simple '-strict';

    Now, when you write the configuration data back to files, if values hold
    any none alpha-numeric strings, they will be quoted accordingly. All the
    double quotes that are part of the value will be escaped with a
    backslash.

  EXCEPTION HANDLING

    Config::Simple doesn't believe in dying that easily (unless you insult
    it using wrong syntax). It leaves the decision to the programmer
    implementing the library. You can use its error() - class method to
    access underlying error message. Methods that require you to check for
    their return values are read() and write(). If you pass filename to
    new(), you will need to check its return value as well. They return any
    true value indicating success, undef otherwise:

      # following new always returns true:
      $cfg = new Config::Simple();

      # read() can fail:
      $cfg->read('app.cfg') or die $cfg->error();

      # following new() can fail:
      $cfg = new Config::Simple('app.cfg') or die Config::Simple->error();

      # import_from() calls read(), so it can fail:
      Config::Simple->import_from('app.cfg', \%Config) or die Config::Simple->error();

      # write() may fail:
      $cfg->write() or die $cfg->error();

METHODS
    new()
        - constructor. Optionally accepts several arguments. Returns
        Config::Simple object. Supported arguments are filename, syntax,
        autosave. If there is a single argument, will be treated as the name
        of the configuration.

    read()
        - accepts name of the configuration file to parse. Before that, it
        tries to guess the syntax of the file by calling guess_syntax()
        method. Then calls either of parse_ini_file(), parse_cfg_file() or
        parse_http_file() accordingly. If the name of the file is provided
        to the constructor - new(), there is no need to call read().

    param([$name], [$value])
        - used for accessing and updating configuration variables. If used
        with no arguments returns all the available names from the
        configuration file.

    delete($name)
        - deletes a variable from a configuration file. $name has the same
        meaning and syntax as it does in param()

    vars()
        - depending on the context used, returns all the values available in
        the configuration file either as a hash or a reference to a hash

    import_names()
        - imports all the names from the configuration file to the caller's
        name space. Optional argument, if passed, will be treated as the
        name space variables to be imported into. All the names will be
        uppercased. Non-alphanumeric strings in the values will be
        underscored

    import_from()
        - class method. Accepts the name of the file to import names from.
        Additional arguments will be passed to import_names(). Returns
        underlying Config::Simple object

    get_block($name)
        is mostly used for accessing blocks in ini-styled configuration
        files. Returns a hashref of all the key/value pairs of a given
        block. Also supported by param() method with the help of "-block"
        option:

          $hash = $cfg->get_block('Project');
          # is the same as saying:
          $hash = $cfg->param(-block=>'Project');

    set_block($name, $values)
        used in assigning contents to a block in ini-styled configuration
        files. $name should be the name of a [block], and $values is assumed
        to be a hashref mapping key/value pairs. Also supported by param()
        method with the help of "-block" and "-value" (or "-values")
        options:

          $cfg->set_block('Project', {Count=>3, 'Multiple Column' => 20});
          # is the same as:
          $cfg->param(-block=>'Project', -value=>{Count=>3, 'Multiple Column' => 20});

        Warning: all the contents of a block, if previously existed will be
        wiped out. If you want to set specific key/value pairs, use explicit
        method:

          $cfg->param('Project.Count', 3);

    as_string()
        - returns the configuration file as a chunk of text. It is the same
        text used by write() and save() to store the new configuration file
        back to file.

    write()
        - writes the configuration file into disk. Argument, if passed, will
        be treated as the name of the file configuration variables should be
        saved in.

    save()
        - same as write().

    dump()
        - for debugging only. Dumps the whole Config::Simple object using
        Data::Dumper. Argument, if passed, will be treated as the name of
        the file object should be dumped in. The second argument specifies
        amount of indentation as documented in Data::Dumper manual. Default
        indent size is 2.

    error()
        - returns the last error message from read/write or import_*
        operations.

TODO
    *   Support for lines with continuation character, '\'.

    *   Retaining comments while writing the configuration files back and/or
        methods for manipulating comments. Everyone loves comments!

    *   Support for Apache-like style configuration file. For now, if you
        want this functionality, checkout the Config::General manpage
        instead.

BUGS
    Submit bugs to Sherzod B. Ruzmetov <sherzodr@cpan.org>

CREDITS
    Michael Caldwell (mjc@mjcnet.com)
        whitespace support, "-lc" switch and for various bug fixes

    Scott Weinstein (Scott.Weinstein@lazard.com)
        bug fix in TIEHASH

    Ruslan U. Zakirov <cubic@wr.miee.ru>
        default name space suggestion and patch

    Hirosi Taguti
        import_names() and import_from() idea.

COPYRIGHT
      Copyright (C) 2002-2003 Sherzod B. Ruzmetov.

      This software is free library. You can modify and/or distribute it
      under the same terms as Perl itself

AUTHOR
      Sherzod B. Ruzmetov E<lt>sherzodr@cpan.orgE<gt>
      URI: http://author.handalak.com

SEE ALSO
    the Config::General manpage, the Config::Simple manpage, the
    Config::Tiny manpage