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OOPS cpan module --- object persistant store
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NAME
     OOPS - Object Oriented Persistent Store

SYNOPSIS
     use OOPS;

     transaction(sub {
            $oops = new OOPS 
                    dbi_dsn => $DBI_DSN, 
                    username => $username, 
                    password => $password,
                    table_prefix => "MY",
                    readonly => 0;

            $oops->commit;

            $oops->{my_1st_bit_of_data} = 'a scalar';
            $oops->{my_2nd_bit_of_data} = { A => 'hash' };
            $oops->{my_3rd_bit_of_data} = [ qw(An Array) ];
            $oops->{my_4rd_bit_of_data} = \'a reference to a scalar, ref, hash, or array' ];

            my $old_value = $oops->{multiple}{level}{dereference};

            my $object = $oops->load_object($integer_object_id);

            my $dbh = $oops->dbh();

            $oops->workaround27555($reference);

            my $was_virtual = $oops->virtual_object(\%{$oops->{some}{hash}, [ $new_value ]);

     });

     my $ref = getref(%hash, 'key')

DESCRIPTION
    The goal of OOPS is to make perl objects easily and transparently
    persistent. OOPS handles deeply nested and cross-linked objects -- even
    object hierarchies that are too large to fit in memory and (with a hint)
    individual hash tables that are too large for memory. Objects will be
    demand-loaded into memory as they are accessed. All changes to your
    object hierarchy will be saved with a single commit().

    Full transactional consistency is the only operational mode. Either all
    of your changes are saved or none of them are. While your program runs,
    you will see a consistent view of the data: no other running
    transactions will change the data you see. If another transaction
    changes data that you are using then at least one of the transactions
    must abort. OOPS will die() to abort the transaction.

    OOPS maps all perl objects to the same RDBMS schema. No advance schema
    definition is required on the part of the user of OOPS. The name of the
    package (OOPS) comes from the realization that perl's data model is much
    more complicated than I initially understood. Internally, the RDBMS
    schema uses four tables: a table of objects, a table of attributes (keys
    and values), a table of large attributes that are too big to fit in
    normal (VARCHAR) columns, and a table of counters.

    At this time, OOPS is expecting a web-like work flow:

     create OOPS instance

     access some objects

     modify some objects

     commit

     exit

    If you need more than one transaction in a program, create more than one
    OOPS instance.

    To make your data persistent, make a reference to your data from the
    OOPS object. To later retrieve your data, simply access it through the
    OOPS object.

EXAMPLE PROGRAM
     use OOPS;

     transaction(sub {
            my $oops = new OOPS 
                    dbi_dsn => 'DBI:mysql:database=MY-DATABASE-NAME;host=localhost', 
                    username => 'MY-USERNAME', 
                    password => 'MY-PASSWORD',
                    table_prefix => "MY-TABLE-PREFIX";

            my $p = $oops->{pages}{"/some/path"};

            $p->{next} = $oops->{pages}{"/some/other/path"};
            $p->{jpgs} = [ read_file("x.jpg"), read_file("y.jpg") ];

            $oops->commit;
     });

     exit;

SUPPORTED DATA TYPES
    Perl blessed and unblessed HASHes, REFs, SCALARs, and ARRAYs are
    supported. Currently, HASH keys may not be longer than 255 characters.
    Class names may not be more than 128 characters long. References to hash
    keys and array elements are supported.

    At the current time, large ARRAYs are not efficient. Use HASHes instead
    if this matters to you. References to array elements and hash values are
    not efficient.

    Large HASHes are supported by only loading keys as tehy are accessed.

    HASHes, array elements, and REFs are implemented with tie(). ARRAYs are
    not currently tie()d because of bugs in perl. Multiple references to the
    same scalar are supported. References to array elements and hash values
    are supported. Persistent data is reference counted and cycles must be
    manually broken to assure de-allocation. A persistent data garbage
    collector OOPS::GC is supplied if you cannot guarantee to break your own
    cycles.

SUPPORTED PLATFORMS
    Support for the following RDBMSs are is included:

    PostgreSQL     OOPS 0.2005 has been tested with PostgreSQL version 9.1.3
                   on Linux. OOPS 0.2002 has been tested with PostgreSQL
                   version 8.1.8 on Linux. OOPS 0.1004 was tested with
                   PostgreSQL version 8.1.4 on Linux. OOPS 0.1003 was tested
                   with 7.4.2 and 7.3.5 on Linux and 7.3.5 on pre-release
                   DragonflyBSD. Somewhere between 7.4.2 and 8.1.4
                   PostgreSQL got more strict about TEXT versus BYTEA types.
                   OOPS 1.003 was using TEXT where it should have been using
                   BYTEA. Be sure to upgrade OOPS to 0.1004 or later
                   *before* upgrading PostgreSQL to 8.x or later.

                   Biggest issue: PostgreSQL runs the test suite more slowly
                   than mysql or SQLite.

                   On rare occaision PostgresSQL will fail with an "ERROR:
                   duplicate key violates unique constraint" error. If this
                   happens inside a call to "transaction()" it will
                   automatically restart. You only need to worry about this
                   if you are not using "transaction()".

    mysql          OOPS 0.2005 has been tested with mysql 5.1.46 on Linux.
                   OOPS 0.2003 has been tested with mysql 5.0.45 on Linux.
                   OOPS 0.2002 has been tested with mysql 5.0.22 on Linux.
                   OOPS 0.1004 has been tested with mysql 4.1.15 on Linux.
                   OOPS 0.1003 was tested with mysql 4.0.16 and 4.0.18 using
                   InnoDB tables.

                   The OOPS schema for mysql does not support large (>256
                   byte) hash keys.

                   Mysql locking doesn't work correctly. To get correct
                   behavior, access to the database must be exclusive
                   <http://bugs.mysql.com/?id=28029>. This problem is fixed
                   in 5.0.45.

    SQLite2        DBD::SQLite versions 0.x use SQLite 2.x. DBD::SQLite2 is
                   the continuation of DBD::SQLite version 0.x codebase and
                   uses SQLite 2.x.

                   DBD::SQLite2 is not 8-bit clean with respect to "\0".
                   OOPS uses a DBD::SQLite2 feature to translate binary
                   nulls. A side-effect is that backslash will be doubled
                   "\" -> "\\" in DBD::SQLite2 (the extras will be removed
                   transparently by DBD::SQLite2.

                   OOPS does not use the "counters" table with DBD::SQLite2.

    SQLite         DBD::SQLite versions 1.x use SQLite 3.x.

                   DBD::SQLite versions 1.x leak file descriptors and will
                   eventually die if you create use and destroy too many
                   OOPS instances. DBD::SQLite versions 1.x cannot pass the
                   regression suite and may not be reliable in production
                   use. Use DBD::SQLite2 instead.

                   OOPS does not use the "counters" table with DBD::SQLite.

                   SQLite is not 8-bit clean with respect to "\0". OOPS uses
                   a DBD::SQLite feature to translate binary nulls. A
                   side-effect is that backslash will be doubled "\" -> "\\"
                   in DBD::SQLite (the extras will be removed transparently
                   by DBD::SQLite. As of 0.2002, OOPS doesn't make use of
                   the newer (version 1.x) DBD::SQLite features for handling
                   nulls.

                   To work around the problem with the leaked file
                   descriptors, on systems that support "/proc", file
                   descriptors in excess of
                   $OOPS::sqlite_v3::enable_fd_leak_workaround (500 by
                   default) that match the sqlite database file will be
                   closed when new OOPS instances are created. This
                   sometimes helps. Set
                   $OOPS::sqlite_v3::enable_fd_leak_workaround to 0 to
                   disable.

                   Related bug reports:
                   <http://rt.cpan.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=20286>,
                   <http://rt.cpan.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=20288>.

    Perl versions 5.8.2 through 5.12.1 are supported. Prior to 5.8.2, it
    wasn't possible to untie scalars from within the a tied scalar access
    method. An ugly workaround is possible if there is enough interest.

    OOPS 0.2002 and 0.1004 have been tested on Linux 2.6.15 (Ubuntu 6.06LTS
    - Dapper Drake). OOPS 0.1003 was tested on Linux 2.4.23 (Debian unstable
    as of April '04); on FreeBSD 4.9; and on DragonflyBSD prerelease.

    As far as performance goes, mysql and SQLite are both about twice as
    fast as PostgreSQL for applications that only have one transaction at at
    time. SQLite and mysql are particularly slow when there are multiple
    transactions as their lock granularity is the entire database.

    Each RDBMS uses a somewhat different schema.

FUNCTIONS
    "transaction($funcref, @args)"
        "transaction()" is a wrapper for a complete transaction.
        Transactions that fail due to deadlock with other processes will be
        re-run automatically.

        The first parameter is a reference to a function. Any additional
        parameters will be passed as parameters to that function. The return
        value of "transaction()" is the return value of "&$funcref()".

        It is not necessary to use the "transaction()" method. Beware that
        nearly any operation on persistent date (even read operations) can
        cause deadlock.

        Any use of persistent data can trigger a deadlock. The
        "transaction()" function catches this and retries automatically up
        to $OOPS::transaction_maxtries times (15 times unless you change
        it). If you don't use "transaction()" you might want to catch the
        exceptions that "transaction()" catches. To do this, you can regex
        match $@ against $OOPS::transfailrx.

        Basically, transaction is a slightly fancier version of the
        following:

         sub transaction
         {
                my ($sub, @args) = @_;
                for (0..15) {
                        eval {
                                &$sub(@args);
                        }
                        last unless $@;
                        next if $@ =~ /$OOPS::transfailrx/;
                        die $@;
                }
         }

        The important thing to notice is that your code will be called over
        and over until the transaction succeeds. This means you should write
        your code so that it doesn't have any external side effects until
        after it calls commit().

        The following package variables are available during transactions:

        $OOPS::transaction_tries
            The number of attempts at this transaction. Starts with 1.

        $OOPS::transaction_maxtries
            The maximum number of attempts that will be made.

        $OOPS::transaction_failure_sleep
            The minimum amount of time to "sleep()" if the transaction
            fails.

        $OOPS::transaction_failure_maxsleep
            The maximum amount of time to "sleep()" if the transaction
            fails.

        @OOPS::transaction_rollback
            A list of functions to call in the event of a transaction
            rollback (code refs).

    "getref(%hash, $key)"
        References to tied hash keys are buggy in all perls through 5.8.7
        (and beyond?). Use "getref(%hash, $key)" to create your reference to
        a tied hash key. See:
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=27555> and
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=29224>.

         $ref = getref(%hash, $key);

        Alternatively, use "$oops->workaround27555($ref)".

        Getref() and workaround27555() work around all the perl bugs with
        tied hash key references. Failure to use them may result in
        unexpected and inconsistent results.

    "walk_hash(%hash, $stride, [ $previous_last_key ])"
        If you have a large virtual hash, you may want to be able to iterate
        over the keys in the hash as a bunch of transactions rather than as
        one transaction.

        Walk_hash() can be called on any HASH. If it isn't an OOPS virtual
        hash, it will return keys in batches just like if it had been called
        on an OOPS virtual hash.

        Here is an example of how to use it:

         my $stride = 20;
         my $done = 0;
         my $lastkey;
         while (not $done) {
                transaction(sub {
                        my $oops = OOPS->new(...);
                        my @things = walk_hash(%{$oops->{my_table}}, $stride, $lastkey);
                        for my $thing (@things) {
                                # do stuff
                        }
                        $lastkey = $things[$#things];
                        $done = 1 unless @things == $stride;
                });
         }

        Here is another example of how to use it (with OOPS::TxHash):

         use OOPS::TxHash;

         my $stride = 20;

         my %real_todo = ( stuff => undef );
         while (%real_todo) {
                transaction(sub {
                        my $th = tie my %todo, 'OOPS::TxHash', \%real_todo or die;
                        my $oops = OOPS->new(...);

                        if (exists $todo{stuff}) {
                                my @keys = walk_hash(%{$oops->{stuff}}, $stride, $todo{stuff});

                                for my $k (@keys) {
                                        # work on $oops->{stuff}{$k}
                                }

                                $todo{stuff} = $keys[$#keys];
                                delete $todo{stuff} unless @keys == $stride;
                        }

                        $oops->commit;
                        $th->commit;
                });
         }

        Here is yet another example (with a wrapper function):

         walk_eval(20, 
                sub { OOPS->new(...) },
                sub { my $oops = shift; $oops->{my_table} },
                sub { 
                        my ($oops, $thing) = @_;
                        # do stuff
                },
                allatonce => 0
         );

         sub walk_eval
         {
                my ($stride, $get_oops, $get_hash, $agent, %opts) = @_;
                my $done = 0;
                my $last = undef;
                $stride ||= 100;
                while (! $done) {
                        transaction(sub {
                                my $oops = &$get_oops();
                                my $hash = &$get_hash($oops);
                                my @items = walk_hash(%$hash, $stride, $last);
                                if ($opts{allatonce}) {
                                        &$agent($oops, @items);
                                } else {
                                        for my $item (@items) {
                                                &$agent($oops, $item);
                                        }
                                }
                                $oops->commit();
                                $last = $items[$#items];
                                $done = 1 unless @items == $stride;
                        });
                }
         }

PUBLIC CLASS METHODS
    "OOPS->new(%parameters)"
        Creates a OOPS object instance. More than one object instance is
        allowed at the same time. Instances are unaware of each other.
        Making a reference from a persistent object in one instance to a
        persistent object in another instance will cause recursive copying
        from one instance to the other. (Untested).

        The %parameters are documented in the next section.

    "OOPS->initial_setup(%parameters)"
        Drops and recreates the database tables. Don't use it too often :-)
        The regression suite drops and re-creates the tables many times.

        The %parameters are documented in the next section.

PARAMETERS FOR NEW
    The "new()" and "initial_setup()" methods take a hash specification for
    their behavior. Here are the parameters allowed:

    "dbi_dsn" / $ENV{OOPS_DSN} / $ENV{OOPS_DRIVER} / $ENV{DBI_DSN} /
    "$ENV{DBI_DRIVER"
        Many ways to specify the DSN for DBI: as an argument; as an OOPS
        environment variable; as a DBI environment variable. Use at least
        one :-) See the DBI documentation for more details.

    "user" / $ENV{OOPS_USER} / $ENV{DBI_USER}
        Three ways to specify the user for DBI: as an argument; as an OOPS
        environment variable; as a DBI environment variable. Not required
        for all databases.

    "password" / $ENV{OOPS_PASS} / $ENV{DBI_PASS}
        Three ways to specify the password for DBI: as an argument; as an
        OOPS environment variable; as a DBI environment variable. Not
        required for all databases.

    "readonly"
        If true, commit() will be disabled and the transaction isolation
        level will be set to READ COMMITTED instead of SERIALIZABLE for the
        databases where this matters (mysql, PostgreSQL). This should be
        used if you plan to scan across large amounts of data because
        otherwise everything you read will end up locked. This feature is
        still experimental (not covered by the test suite).

    "less_caching"
        If true, iterating over the keys of a virtual hash (see
        "virtual_object") will not cache the key values in memory. If your
        virtual hash is too big to fit in memory, this is a very good idea.
        Alternatively, you can use the "clear_cache" method (below). This
        feature is still experimental (not covered by the test suite).

    "table_prefix" / $ENV{OOPS_PREFIX}
        OOPS allows a prefix to be supplied for it's internal table names.
        If you set a prefix of "FOO_" then it will use a "FOO_object" table
        instead of an "object" table. This can be set as an argument to
        "new()" or it can be set with the environment variable $OOPS_PREFIX.
        This allows multiple separate object spaces to exist within the same
        backend SQL database. It's intended use is to support testing vs.
        production environments but it could also be used to segregate
        object spaces that don't link to each other.

        The current tables and indexes are:

        object         Each row is an object.

        attribute      Each row is an attribute value in an object.

        big            Each row is a large attribute value.

        counters       Counters for things like object ids.

        temp           A temporary table.

        group_index    Object grouping index.

        value_index    Lookup by attribute value.

    "auto_upgrade" / $ENV{OOPS_UPGRADE}
        The relational schema for OOPS is not same for all versions of OOPS.
        If this is set, then an older schema will be upgraded to the current
        schema. If this is not set, then OOPS will use the older schema
        unchanged. In most cases, this means that OOPS will use a historical
        version of itself rather than the current version. See the SCHEMA
        VERSIONS section of this document.

    "auto_initialize" / $ENV{OOPS_INIT}
        The DBMS must be initialized before it can be used: tables created,
        a few rows inserted, etc. This can be handled by calling
        "initial_setup()" or it can be handled automatically by "new()" if
        "auto_initialize" or $OOPS_AUTO_INIT is set.

    "default_synchronous" / $ENV{OOPS_SYNC}
        With SQLite, an additional parameter to "OOPS->new()" is recognized:
        "default_synchronous". Possible values are:

        FULL    Sync() all transactions to disk before returning.

        NORMAL  The default: sync() at critical moments only - protects
                against program failure, but not all power or OS failures.

        OFF     Don't sync() at all and go really fast.

PUBLIC OBJECT METHODS
    "->commit()"
        Writes any changed objects back to the database and commits the
        transaction. Currently only one commit() call is allowed. Do not
        access your persistent data after commit() -- it may work but this
        is not covered well in the regression suite.

    "->virtual_object(\%hash [,$new_value])"
        Queries [and sets] the load-virtual flag on a persistent hash.
        Hashes that load virtual will do separate queries for each key
        rather than load the entire hash. This is a good thing if your has
        has lots of keys. This flag takes effect the next time the hash is
        loaded. The value is a perl boolean.

        This may be handled automatically in the future.

    "->workaround27555($reference)"
        References to tied hash keys are buggy in all perls through 5.12.1
        (and beyond?). Use workaround27555($reference) to register your new
        tied hash key references so that they can be transformed into
        references that actually work correctly.

         $ref = \%hash{$key};
         $oops->workaround27555($ref);

        "workaround27555()" is harmless if called on other sorts of
        references so it is safe to use indiscriminately. See
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=27555>.

        Alternatively, use "getref(%hash, $key)".

    "->dbh()"
        This returns the main DBI database handle used by OOPS. This
        function is provided for those who want to hand-write queries.
        Please note: no changes are written to the DBMS by OOPS until
        "$oops-"commit()>.

    "->load_object($id)"
        This will load a persistent object by number. It returns the object
        or undef if the object doesn't exists. This function is provided for
        those who want to hand-write queries.

    "->clear_cache()"
        This will clear out some of the cache that oops maintains. It is
        useful if you're iterating over the keys of a large virtual object
        and don't want to overflow memory. This feature is still
        experimental (not covered by the test suite).

    "->lock($ref)"
        Lock an object or a scalar. While this is never needed for
        transactional consistentcy within the OOPS data, it can be useful
        for transactions that have external side-effects like sending an
        email. In theory, if you pre-lock everything you might change, your
        transaction will not need to be rolled back due to deadlock. When
        you lock an object, it is the object record that is locked, not the
        contents. Locking "\%hash" won't stop another process from modifying
        "$hash->{key}". Lock "\$hash->{key}" if you want that.

LIMITATIONS, ERRATA, DEVELOPMENT STATUS, BUGS
    OOPS has been thoroughly tested. The regression suite is very well
    developed: there is twice as much code in the test suite as there is in
    the module itself. The suite does over 1.5million tests. I have so much
    confidence in my test suite, I'm offering a bounty on bugs!

  Limitations
    OOPS caches in memory all data that is pulled in during a transaction.
    For "virtual_object" hash'es only, there are ways to prevent absolutely
    everything from being cached (the "less_caching" contructor agrument and
    the "clear_cache" method) but for other objects you need to have enough
    memory to hold everything you touch.

    You can only call ->commit once per OOPS instance. The cache is emptied
    when the OOPS instance is destroyed. This means that OOPS will be
    loading up its cache over and over.

  Known bugs in OOPS
    memory leaks
        OOPS currently has memory leaks. This may or may not matter to your
        application. The rate of leakage varies depending on which RDBMS is
        used. SQLite seems to have the most significant problems. Most of
        the leaks are not in OOPS itself but in the modules it uses and thus
        are not easily addressed by changing OOPS.

    delayed DESTROY
        Additional references to the in-memory copies of persistent data are
        kept by OOPS. These extra references will prevent DESTROY methods
        from being called as soon as they otherwise would be. They'll
        usually be delayed until the OOPS object is itself DESTROYed.

    other magic
        Other perl magic attributes are not currently stored persistently.
        Many probably could be supported, but many could not. For example,
        taint does not work on tied hashes:
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=6758>.

    unreferenced blessed scalars
        When you bless a reference to a scalar value, the blessing is stored
        with the scalar, not the reference. The blessing remains even if
        there is no reference to the scalar. The following code prints
        "true".

         my $x = 'foobar';
         my $y = \$x;
         bless $y, 'baz';
         $y = 7;
         $y = \$x;
         my $z = ref($y);
         print "true\n" if $z eq 'baz';

        At the current time, OOPS does not store such blessings. OOPS does
        not remember blessings when there isn't a reference.

    re-blessing the OOPS object
        Reblessing the OOPS object is not supported.

    DBD::Pg and ASCII NULL
        DBD::Pg does not easily support ASCII NULL. OOPS has only partial
        support for ASCII NULL with PostgreSQL. Everthing works, but don't
        have ASCII NULL in your class names.

    Circular references sometimes break
        OOPS mostly allows you to make circular self-references:

         my $x;
         $x = \$x;

        In some (rare) cases circular self-references sometimes break. Since
        I can't think on any good reason to make a circular self-reference,
        I'm not going to fix this bug.

    Long hash keys
        The database schema for OOPS does not support huge hash keys.

  Bugs in perl that effect OOPS
    References to hash keys
        Persistent hashes are implemented with tie. There are bugs with
        perl's implementation of references to tied hash keys. These bugs
        will be triggered in several situations: creating a reference to
        tied hash key that doesn't exist yet; deleting a key that has a
        reference tied to it; assigning through a reference to a key that
        has multiple references.

        All of the above can either be avoided or you can workaround them by
        either calling "workaround27555"($YOUR_REFERENCE) whenever you
        create a tied hash key reference or by using "getref(%hash, $key)"
        to create your reference.

        The perl bugs are documented in:
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=27555> and
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=29224>.

    "local" and tie
        "local(%some_tied_hash)" doesn't work right. Thus
        "local(%some_persistent_hash)" won't work right either:
        <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=6017>.

    "scalar(%hash)"
        Tied "scalar(%hash)" support was added in perl 5.8.3 and does not
        exist in 5.8.2.

    Tied arrays don't work right
        There are a couple of bugs with tied arrays that prevent OOPS from
        using them: <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=22570>
        and <http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=22571>. OOPS
        fully loads arrays into memory to work-around this problem. This
        isn't a big deal unless you've got big arrays.

        This was fixed in perl 5.10, but OOPS does not yet take advantage of
        tied arrays.

    SQLite and perl's malloc().
        If SQLite is used with a perl that has been compiled to use perl's
        "malloc()", it will report LOTS of "Bad free() ignored (PERL_CORE)"
        errors. It is not currently known if these errors are harmful beyond
        generating lots of output to STDERR. The default perl configuration
        on FreeBSD uses perl's "malloc()".

SCHEMA VERSIONS
    As OOPS is developed, the database schema that OOPS uses changes.

    OOPS notices if the version of the schema in the DBMS is different than
    the version the code currently supports. When this happens there are two
    possibilities: either OOPS will upgrade the schema to the current
    version or it will use an older version of OOPS to access the data. See
    the "auto_upgrade" notes in the PARAMETERS FOR NEW section.

    This behavior allows the OOPS module to be upgraded without disrupting
    installed applications.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATION
    Like Perl, OOPS uses reference counting. If you have circular data
    structures and you delete all you references to the circular data
    structure, you'll leak persistent memory.

    Use OOPS::GC to mop up the leak.

    Previous versions of OOPS have had bugs that caused the reference counts
    on the persistent data to become inaccurate. Use OOPS::Fsck to fix such
    problems. Do this before once, before using OOPS::GC.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS
    OOPS isn't done. There are a bunch of things that I am considering
    adding to it. If any of these things is important to you, speak up so
    that I know there is interest...

    fix the bugs
        There are bugs listed in the DEVELOPMENT STATUS section that could
        be fixed. First up is fixing the memory leaks that are in OOPS
        itself.

    code cleanup and general performance enhancements
        The initial releases of OOPS concentrated on correct behavior and
        other aspects of the module were somewhat ignored. The code could be
        cleaned up a bunch.

    perl-syntax SQL query translator
         SELECT Employee WHERE $Employee->{salary} > 5000

        It's possible to translate perl-syntax queries into real SQL that
        can be used to query the object store.

    better grouping
        Objects are loaded in groups rather than individually. There is much
        room for improvement in choosing how groups are formed. This is
        largely undeveloped as yet.

    caching
        Many possibilities. A cache-invalidation daemon to note when objects
        have changed. Re-verification of touched data from the database.
        Ability to call commit() more than once.

    weak references
        Support for persistent weak references is possible.

    external references to objects
        Currently objects are reference counted internally. You must have a
        reference to something from an already existing object for it to
        continue to exist.

    contracts
        OOPS has to do a lot of scanning of objects to see if they've
        changed. Explicit notification of changes would improve performance.

        OOPS could call functions before saving and after loading to
        transform objects for a better or cleaner on-disk representation.

    support for 'base' & accessor methods
        This isn't something that I care about but maybe someone else does?

    schema enforcement
        Allow explicit schemas to be defined. Do not save objects that don't
        conform. Eg: Hash::Util::lock_keys().

    RDBMS -> object mapping
        Map existing RDBMS schemas into objects.

    data viewer
        Viewing large datasets of deep and cross-linked data is difficult.
        Perhaps a CGI-based or Tk-based data navigator would help.

    support for tied data structures
        It is possible to support storing tied data. The tied object is what
        would need to be persistent. This would only work on some kinds of
        ties.

    support for other base types.
        Right now, just HASH, SCALAR, REF, and ARRAY are supported. Regular
        expressions, file handles, I don't know it's possible to support
        code references.

    on-line data migration
        By doing double updates, OOPS could support live migration from one
        DBMS to another.

WRITING SQL QUERIES BY HAND
    If you want to query your data, then until a translator is written, your
    only choice for making queries is to write them by hand. Using your data
    does not require a query: anything you've got a reference to will be
    loaded as you access it. Queries are for performing searches that don't
    have a perl-object index.

    Each perl HASH, REF/SCALAR, or ARRAY has a row in the "object" table and
    multiple rows in the "attribute" and "big" tables.

    Here are the columns you'll care about:

    object      There is one row per perl object.

                id        The object id.

                class     The blessed class name (limited to 255
                          characters).

                otype     The type of object:

                          'H'  A HASH.

                          'A'  An ARRAY.

                          'S'  A SCALAR or REF.

    attribute   This is a table of key/value pairs. The keys correspond to
                perl hash keys and perl array indexes. The values correspond
                to perl hash values and array element values.

                id        The object id.

                pkey      The hash key or array index.

                pval      he hash value or array value. Limited to 255
                          characters.

                ptype     Flags the type of the value. Possible values are:

                          '0'  A normal value. Numeric or string.

                          'B'  An big value. "pval" will be a copy of the
                               start of the value for the first N
                               characters. The end of "pval" will be a MD5
                               checksum of the full big value.

                          'R'  A reference to another object.

    big         This is a table of values that were too large for the normal
                columns. Even with databases that support wide columns, a
                separate big table is used so that you don't load large
                scalars unless you actually need the value.

                id        The object id.

                pkey      The hash key or array index.

                pval      The hash value or array value. Limited to whatever
                          the underlying database will support as it's
                          largest blob.

                fragno    Blob fragment number. This column only exists with
                          SQLite. SQLite has a smallish maximum row size and
                          so big values must be split into multiple rows.

    REFs are are special. There are several types of REFs: references to
    scalar values; references to objects; secondary references to scalar
    values; references to scalar values that are part of another object
    (references to hash keys and references to array elements).

    The representation of references is designed so that you don't need to
    care what sort of REF it is when you're doing a query.

    The basic REF is a ref to a value inside another object. An example:

     OBJECT TABLE
     id             class           otype

     1              OOPS::NamedObj  H
     383            SCALAR          R
     384            SCALAR          R
     385            SCALAR          R
     386            REF             R
     400            HASH            H
     500            ARRAY           A

     ATTRIBUTE TABLE
     id             pkey            pval            ptype

     1              A500            500             R
     1              H400            400             R
     1              R383            383             R
     1              R384            384             R
     1              R385            385             R
     1              R386            386             R

     383            400             'a-key'         0

     384            384             'nopkey'        0
     384            'nopkey'        'a-value'       0

     385            384             'nopkey'        0

     386            386             'nopkey'        0
     386            'nopkey'        500             R

     400            'a-key'         'a-value        0
     400            'another-key'   'another-value' 0
     400            'A500'          500             R

     500            0               'a-value'       0
     500            1               'another-value' 0

    HASH 1 is %$oops.

    REF 383 is a reference to the key 'a-key' in object #400 (a HASH).

    REF 384 is a ref to scalar. It uses two rows to make writing queries
    easier.

    REF 385 is a duplicate reference to a scalar value. It duplicates REF
    384. In behavior, these two REFs should be identical even though they
    are represented differently in the database.

    REF 386 is a ref to an object: #500 (an ARRAY).

    HASH 400 is a normal hash.

    ARRAY 500 is a normal hash.

    This example data is what you would end up with after running code like:

     my $oops = new OOPS 
            dbi_dsn => 'DBI:mysql:database=MY-DATABASE-NAME;host=localhost', 
            username => 'MY-USERNAME', 
            password => 'MY-PASSWORD';

     $oops->{A500} = [ 'a-value', 'another-value' ];

     $oops->{H400} = { 
            'a-key' => 'a-value',
            'another-key' => 'another-value',
            'A500' => $oops->{A500},
     };

     $oops->{R383} = \$oops->{H400}{'a-key'};
     $oops->workaround27555($oops->{R383});

     $oops->{R384} = \'a-value';

     $oops->{R385} = $oops->{R384};

     $oops->{R386} = \$oops->{A500};

     $oops->commit;

    SQL queries require a bunch of joins to link data structures together.
    Here are some examples.

    "SELECT Foobar WHERE $Foobar->{xyz} = 'abc'"
         SELECT object.id
         FROM   object, attribute
         WHERE  object.class = 'Foobar'
         AND    object.id = attribute.id
         AND    object.otype = 'H'
         AND    attribute.pkey = 'xyz'
         AND    attribute.pval = 'abc'
         AND    attribute.ptype = '0'

    "SELECT Foobar WHERE ${$Foobar->{xyz}} = 'abc'"
        This example should show why an automatic translator would be a good
        idea...

         SELECT ohash.object
         FROM   object AS ohash,
                attribute AS ahash,
                object AS oref,
                attribute AS aref,
                attribute AS target
         WHERE  ohash.class = 'Foobar'
         AND    ohash.otype = 'H'
         AND    ahash.id = ohash.id
         AND    ahash.pkey = 'xyz'
         AND    ahash.ptype = 'R'
         AND    oref.id = ahash.pval
         AND    oref.otype = 'S'                # this is the outer ref
         AND    oref.id = aref.id               
         AND    aref.pval = target.pkey         # here's the reference indirection
         AND    target.pval = 'abc'
         AND    target.ptype = '0'

    If you construct a query like these examples that return object id's,
    then use "$object = $oops->load_object($id)" to load them into memory.

    I recommend that hand-written queries be read-only as there are
    additional columns that must be kept consistent. For example, the object
    table includes a reference count column to handle garbage collection of
    the persistent data.

RUNNING THE REGRESSION TEST SUITE
    The regression test suite empties and re-creates the persistent store
    over and over again. To prevent the accidental erasure of production
    data, all of the tests require a special environment variable to be set
    $OOPSTEST_DSN. This variable replaces the normal $DBI_DSN or $OOPS_DSN.
    Correspondingly there is a $OOPSTEST_USER, $OOPSTEST_PASS, and
    $OOPSTEST_PREFIX.

    Set these variables to something different than what you use for your
    production data!

    Most of the tests take a long time to run and are disabled by default.
    If you can run the full suite in less than six hours please tell me
    about your configuration.

    Beware mysql logging. On Debian unstable, the default configuration for
    mysql used to log every SQL statement. Running the test suite to
    completion will generate several gigabytes of log file. Running out of
    disk space will cause the tests to fail. On DragonflyBSD the default
    mysql configuration includes making replication master logs.

THE COMPETITION
    There are a number of other modules that make perl objects persistent.

    Other object persistence solutions either store data in blobs that
    cannot be querried or they they're a mapping from a relation database
    into perl data that does not allow arbitrary data to be stored.

    <http://poop.sourceforge.net/> has an overview of options.

EXAMPLE PROGRAMS
    The following applications use OOPS: Qpsmtpd::Plugin::Quarantine

LICENSE
    Copyright(C) 2004-2006 David Muir Sharnoff <muir@idiom.org> Copyright(C)
    2012 Google, Inc

    OOPS may be used, modifified and redistributed on the same terms as Perl
    itself.

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