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A fast read-only memory mapped hash-table for PHP
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Lorenzo Castelli
Lorenzo Castelli Prepare release 1.0.3.
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INSTALL Update INSTALL instructions. Jun 16, 2010
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chdb.c Generate slightly better error in case of input size of 1. Nov 11, 2011
chdb.h Initial commit. Jun 3, 2010


chdb implements a read-only memory mapped hash-table for PHP.

In PHP the only way to define large amounts of constants - for instance to store
the association between language and text keys and the corresponding translation
- is to use lots of defines, class consts, or create some humongous array

Even with an op-code cacher like APC or e-accelerator, defining constants this
way is both CPU and memory consuming, as each instance of php will need to
load/parse/execute the opcodes to define the constants for each request.

chdb is a solution for this problem because:
 - It takes virtually no time to load initially.
 - Only the pages of the file which are actually used are read from the disk.
 - Once a page is loaded it is shared across all the processes in the same
   machine and cached across multiple requests.

All these functionalities are provided by the operative system itself as
features of memory mapped files. chdb thus provides to PHP something similar to
what the data section provides to lower level programming languages like C.

If you are using PHP in a typical setup for a big website which remains stable
between releases you might benefit from the chdb extension. In that case you
would create a disk file containing a hashmap of key-value pairs at deploy-time,
and then map it into the memory of each php process at run-time.

An example of use of chdb for this would be to run the following at deploy-time:
  $data = array(
        'key1' => 'value1',
        'key2' => 'value2',
        // ...
  chdb_create('data.chdb', $data);

Then at run-time, the keys stored in the file can be read by:
  $chdb = new chdb('data.chdb');
  $value1 = $chdb->get('key1');
  $value2 = $chdb->get('key2');
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