NAME

ConfigReader::Simple - Simple configuration file parser

SYNOPSIS

        use ConfigReader::Simple;

        # parse one file
        $config = ConfigReader::Simple->new("configrc", [qw(Foo Bar Baz Quux)]);

        # parse multiple files, in order
        $config = ConfigReader::Simple->new_multiple(
                Files => [ "global", "configrc" ], 
                Keys  => [qw(Foo Bar Baz Quux)]
                );

        my @directives = $config->directives;

        $config->get( "Foo" );

        if( $config->exists( "Bar" ) )
                {
                print "Bar was in the config file\n";
                }

DESCRIPTION

ConfigReader::Simple reads and parses simple configuration files. It is designed to be smaller and simpler than the ConfigReader module and is more suited to simple configuration files.

The configuration file format

The configuration file uses a line-oriented format, meaning that the directives do not have containers. The values can be split across lines with a continuation character, but for the most part everything ends up on the same line.

The first group of non-whitespace characters is the "directive", or the name of the configuration item. The linear whitespace after that separates the directive from the "value", which is the rest of the line, including any other whitespace.

In this example, the directive is "Camel" and the value is "Dromedary".

        Camel Dromedary
        

Optionally, you can use a equal sign to separate the directive from the value.

        Camel=Dromedary
        

The equal sign can also have whitespace on either or both sides.

        Camel = Dromedary
        Camel= Dromedary
        

In the next example, the directive is "Llama" and the value is "Live from Peru"

        Llama Live from Peru
        

This is the same, to ConfigReader::Simple, as the following which has more whitespace between the directive and the value.

        Llama     Live from Peru
        

You can also enclose the value in single or double quotes.

        Llama "Live from Peru"
        Llama 'Live from Peru'
        Llama='Live from Peru'

In some cases you may want to split the logical line across two lines, perhaps to see it better in a terminal window. For that, use a \ followed only by whitespace. To split the last entry across two lines, we use the \ at the end of the line. These three entries are the same:

        Llama Live from Peru

        Llama Live from \
        Peru

        Llama Live \
        from \
        Peru

If a line is only whitespace, or the first whitespace character is a #, the Perl comment character, ConfigReader::Simple ignores the line unless it is the continuation of the previous line.

Methods

new ( FILENAME, DIRECTIVES )

Creates a ConfigReader::Simple object.

FILENAME tells the instance where to look for the configuration file. If FILENAME cannot be found, an error message for the file is added to the %ERROR hash with the FILENAME as a key, and a combined error message appears in $ERROR.

DIRECTIVES is an optional argument and is a reference to an array. Each member of the array should contain one valid directive. A directive is the name of a key that must occur in the configuration file. If it is not found, the method croaks. The directive list may contain all the keys in the configuration file, a sub set of keys or no keys at all.

The new method is really a wrapper around new_multiple.

new_multiple( Files => ARRAY_REF, Keys => ARRAY_REF )

Create a configuration object from several files listed in the anonymous array value for the Files key. The module reads the files in the same order that they appear in the array. Later values override earlier ones. This allows you to specify global configurations which you may override with more specific ones:

        ConfigReader::Simple->new_multiple(
                Files => [ qw( /etc/config /usr/local/etc/config /home/usr/config ) ],
                );

This function croaks if the values are not array references.

If this method cannot read a file, an error message for that file is added to the %ERROR hash with the filename as a key, and a combined error message appears in $ERROR. Processing the list of filenames continues if a file cannot be found, which may produced undesired results. You can disable this feature by setting the $ConfigReader::Simple::Die variable to a true value.

new_string( Strings => ARRAY_REF, Keys => ARRAY_REF )

Create a configuration object from several strings listed in the anonymous array value for the Strings key. The module reads the strings in the same order that they appear in the array. Later values override earlier ones. This allows you to specify global configurations which you may override with more specific ones:

        ConfigReader::Simple->new_strings(
                Strings => [ \$global, \$local ],
                );

This function croaks if the values are not array references.

add_config_file( FILENAME )

Parse another configuration file and add its directives to the current configuration object. Any directives already defined will be replaced with the new values found in FILENAME.

parse( FILENAME )

This does the actual work.

This is automatically called from new(), although you can reparse the configuration file by calling parse() again.

parse_from_string( SCALAR_REF )

Parses the string inside the reference SCALAR_REF just as if it found it in a file.

get( DIRECTIVE )

Returns the parsed value for that directive. For directives which did not have a value in the configuration file, get returns the empty string.

set( DIRECTIVE, VALUE )

Sets the value for DIRECTIVE to VALUE. The DIRECTIVE need not already exist. This overwrites previous values.

unset( DIRECTIVE )

Remove the value from DIRECTIVE, which will still exist. It's value is undef. If the DIRECTIVE does not exist, it will not be created. Returns FALSE if the DIRECTIVE does not already exist, and TRUE otherwise.

remove( DIRECTIVE )

Remove the DIRECTIVE. Returns TRUE is DIRECTIVE existed and FALSE otherwise.

directives()

Returns a list of all of the directive names found in the configuration file. The keys are sorted ASCII-betically.

exists( DIRECTIVE )

Return TRUE if the specified directive exists, and FALSE otherwise.

clone

Return a copy of the object. The new object is distinct from the original.

Package variables

$Die

If set to a true value, all errors are fatal.

$ERROR

The last error message.

%ERROR

The error messages from unreadable files. The key is the filename and the value is the error message.

$Warn

If set to a true value, methods may output warnings.

LIMITATIONS/BUGS

Directives are case-sensitive.

If a directive is repeated, the first instance will silently be ignored.

CREDITS

Bek Oberin <gossamer@tertius.net.au> wote the original module

Kim Ryan <kimaryan@ozemail.com.au> adapted the module to make declaring keys optional. Thanks Kim.

Alan W. Jurgensen <jurgensen@berbee.com> added a change to allow the NAME=VALUE format in the configuration file.

Andy Lester, <petdance@cpan.org>, for maintaining the module while brian was on active duty.

Adam Trickett, <atrickett@cpan.org>, added multi-line support. You might want to see his Config::Trivial module.

SOURCE AVAILABILITY

This source is part of a SourceForge project which always has the latest sources in CVS, as well as all of the previous releases.

        https://sourceforge.net/projects/brian-d-foy/
        

If, for some reason, I disappear from the world, one of the other members of the project can shepherd this module appropriately.

AUTHORS

brian d foy, <bdfoy@cpan.org>

COPYRIGHT

Copyright (c) 2002-2004 brian d foy. All rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.