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Data::Fax - Perl extension for setting up DataFAX object.


This document refers to version 0.01 of Data::Fax released April 25, 2001.


  use Data::Fax;
  my $df = Data::Fax->new;   # create an empty object
     $df->debug(1);          # set debug level 
     $df->reset('N');       # change reset to no

  # we can set it up using one line
  my $df = Data::Fax->new('debug', '2', 'reset', 'N');  

  # we can define a hash array for the parameters
  my %param = (     'debug'=>'1',          'reset'=>'N', 
               'df_param'=>$ary_ref), 'ss_param'=>\{});
  my $df = Data::Fax->new(%param); # or
  my $df = new Data::Fax %param;   # or indirect obj call  
  my $df = new Data::Fax (%param); # the same with indirect obj call

  # methods to set/get values
  $df->set_debug(0);        # the same as $df->debug(0);
  $df->get_debug;           # the same as $df->debug;
  $df->set_reset('Y');      # the same as $df->reset('Y'); 
  $df->get_reset;           # the same as $df->reset; 

  # All the methods to get/set scalar value have corresponding
  # methods without 'get_' or 'set_' prefix. So do the following 
  # methods:
  $df->set_FS('\t');        # set field separator
  $df->get_FS;              # get feild separator
  $df->set_OFS('|');        # set output field separator
  $df->get_OFS;             # get output field separator
  $df->set_DirSep('/');     # set directory separator
  $df->get_DirSep;          # get directory separator
  $df->set_first_row('Y');  # indicates the first row is column names
  $df->set_first_row('N');  # first row does not contain column names
  $df->get_first_row;       # get first row indicator
  $df->set_debug(2);        # set msg level to 2
  $df->get_debug;           # get msg level

  # methods to set/get array or hash array are a little different
  $df->set_df_param($fn);   # read from a DataFAX initial file
  $df->set_df_param($arf);  # or set it to a hash array ref
  %ha=$df->get_df_param;    # get the hash array
  $df->df_param;            # get hash array ref
  $df->df_param($key);      # get value of $key from the array
  $df->df_param($key,$val); # set the $key = $val
  # the same for ss_param
  $df->set_ss_param($sn);   # read from of study number 
  $df->set_ss_param($arf);  # set it to a hash array ref
  %ha=$df->get_ss_param;    # get the hash array
  $df->ss_param;            # get hash array ref
  $df->ss_param($key);      # get value of $key from the array
  $df->ss_param($key,$val); # set the $key = $val

  # some utility methods
  $df->echoMSG($msg, $lvl); # echo message of level $lvl
  $df->disp_param;          # display all internal parameters
  $df->debug;               # debug


Data::Fax class is intended to be used as parent class for all the sub-sequent classes with Data::Fax name space.


Data::Fax is a class for setting up DataFAX and study specific environment and parameters.

Constructor and initialization

The constructor is new. You can call it directly or indirectly with or without parameters or parameter hash array. Here are some examples:

  # direct call
  my $df = Data::Fax->new;
  my $df = Data::Fax->new('p1', 'value1', 'p2', 'value2');
  my $df = Data::Fax->new(%p);

  # indirect call
  my $df = new Data::Fax;
  my $df = new Data::Fax ('p1', 'value1', 'p2', 'value2');
  my $df = new Data::Fax (%p);

The Constructor new(%arg)

Without any input, i.e., new(), the constructor generates an empty object with default values for its parameters.

If any argument is provided, the constructor expects them in the name and value pairs, i.e., in a hash array.

The constructor also calls the set_df_param method to use an initial file for its system parameters and set_dfdb method to use study database for its study parameters.

The default initial file is DataFAX.ini located in ~/Fax/DataFax/. It can also be set by init_file method.

Class and object methods

The following are the methods and their usages.


Since DataFAX is primarily on Unix and Lynx, this module is only tested in Unix environment. Other OS environments may tested later.


I will add more document in this section to address diagnostic issues.


Please report any bugs to me.


Hanming Tu,




Copyright (c) 2005, Hanming Tu. All Rights Reserved. This module is free software. It may be used, redistributed and/or modified under the same terms as Perl itself.

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