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[% USE mydata = datafile('/path/to/datafile') %]
[% USE mydata = datafile('/path/to/datafile', delim = '|') %]
[% USE mydata = datafile('/path/to/datafile', encoding = 'UTF-8') %]

[% FOREACH record = mydata %]
   [% record.this %]  [% record.that %]
[% END %]


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This plugin provides a simple facility to construct a list of hash references, each of which represents a data record of known structure, from a data file.

[% USE datafile(filename) %]

A absolute filename must be specified (for this initial implementation at least - in a future version it might also use the INCLUDE_PATH). An optional delim parameter may also be provided to specify an alternate delimiter character. The optional encoding parameter may be used to specify the input file encoding.

[% USE userlist = datafile('/path/to/file/users')     %]
[% USE things   = datafile('items', delim = '|') %]

The format of the file is intentionally simple. The first line defines the field names, delimited by colons with optional surrounding whitespace. Subsequent lines then defines records containing data items, also delimited by colons. e.g.

id : name : email : tel
abw : Andy Wardley : : 555-1234
sam : Simon Matthews : : 555-9876

Each line is read, split into composite fields, and then used to initialise a hash array containing the field names as relevant keys. The plugin returns a blessed list reference containing the hash references in the order as defined in the file.

[% FOREACH user = userlist %]
   [% %]: [% %]
[% END %]

The first line of the file must contain the field definitions. After the first line, blank lines will be ignored, along with comment line which start with a '#'.


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Should handle file names relative to INCLUDE_PATH. Doesn't permit use of ':' in a field. Some escaping mechanism is required.


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Andy Wardley <>


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Copyright (C) 1996-2007 Andy Wardley. All Rights Reserved.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. last modified 12:50:49 30-Jul-2020
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