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 Tie::Array - base class for tied arrays


NAME

Tie::Array - base class for tied arrays


SUPPORTED PLATFORMS

  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • Windows

SYNOPSIS

    package NewArray;
    use Tie::Array;
    @ISA = ('Tie::Array');
    # mandatory methods
    sub TIEARRAY { ... }  
    sub FETCH { ... }     
    sub FETCHSIZE { ... }
    sub STORE { ... }        # mandatory if elements writeable
    sub STORESIZE { ... }    # mandatory if elements can be added/deleted
    sub EXISTS { ... }       # mandatory if exists() expected to work
    sub DELETE { ... }       # mandatory if delete() expected to work
    # optional methods - for efficiency
    sub CLEAR { ... }  
    sub PUSH { ... } 
    sub POP { ... } 
    sub SHIFT { ... } 
    sub UNSHIFT { ... } 
    sub SPLICE { ... } 
    sub EXTEND { ... } 
    sub DESTROY { ... }
    package NewStdArray;
    use Tie::Array;
    @ISA = ('Tie::StdArray');
    # all methods provided by default
    package main;
    $object = tie @somearray,Tie::NewArray;
    $object = tie @somearray,Tie::StdArray;
    $object = tie @somearray,Tie::NewStdArray;


DESCRIPTION

This module provides methods for array-tying classes. See the perltie manpage for a list of the functions required in order to tie an array to a package. The basic Tie::Array package provides stub DESTROY, and EXTEND methods that do nothing, stub DELETE and EXISTS methods that croak() if the delete() or exists() builtins are ever called on the tied array, and implementations of PUSH, POP, SHIFT, UNSHIFT, SPLICE and CLEAR in terms of basic FETCH, STORE, FETCHSIZE, STORESIZE.

The Tie::StdArray package provides efficient methods required for tied arrays which are implemented as blessed references to an ``inner'' perl array. It inherits from Tie::Array, and should cause tied arrays to behave exactly like standard arrays, allowing for selective overloading of methods.

For developers wishing to write their own tied arrays, the required methods are briefly defined below. See the the perltie manpage section for more detailed descriptive, as well as example code:

TIEARRAY classname, LIST
The class method is invoked by the command tie @array, classname. Associates an array instance with the specified class. LIST would represent additional arguments (along the lines of the AnyDBM_File manpage and compatriots) needed to complete the association. The method should return an object of a class which provides the methods below.

STORE this, index, value
Store datum value into index for the tied array associated with object this. If this makes the array larger then class's mapping of undef should be returned for new positions.

FETCH this, index
Retrieve the datum in index for the tied array associated with object this.

FETCHSIZE this
Returns the total number of items in the tied array associated with object this. (Equivalent to scalar(@array)).

STORESIZE this, count
Sets the total number of items in the tied array associated with object this to be count. If this makes the array larger then class's mapping of undef should be returned for new positions. If the array becomes smaller then entries beyond count should be deleted.

EXTEND this, count
Informative call that array is likely to grow to have count entries. Can be used to optimize allocation. This method need do nothing.

EXISTS this, key
Verify that the element at index key exists in the tied array this.

The Tie::Array implementation is a stub that simply croaks.

DELETE this, key
Delete the element at index key from the tied array this.

The Tie::Array implementation is a stub that simply croaks.

CLEAR this
Clear (remove, delete, ...) all values from the tied array associated with object this.

DESTROY this
Normal object destructor method.

PUSH this, LIST
Append elements of LIST to the array.

POP this
Remove last element of the array and return it.

SHIFT this
Remove the first element of the array (shifting other elements down) and return it.

UNSHIFT this, LIST
Insert LIST elements at the beginning of the array, moving existing elements up to make room.

SPLICE this, offset, length, LIST
Perform the equivalent of splice on the array.

offset is optional and defaults to zero, negative values count back from the end of the array.

length is optional and defaults to rest of the array.

LIST may be empty.

Returns a list of the original length elements at offset.


CAVEATS

There is no support at present for tied @ISA. There is a potential conflict between magic entries needed to notice setting of @ISA, and those needed to implement 'tie'.

Very little consideration has been given to the behaviour of tied arrays when $[ is not default value of zero.


AUTHOR

Nick Ing-Simmons <nik@tiuk.ti.com>

 Tie::Array - base class for tied arrays