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Config::AST(3)	      User Contributed Perl Documentation	Config::AST(3)

       Config::AST - abstract syntax tree for configuration files

	   my $cfg = new Config::AST(%opts);
	   $cfg->parse() or die;
	   $cfg->commit() or die;

	   if ($cfg->is_set('core', 'variable')) {

	   my $x = $cfg->get('file', 'locking');

	   $cfg->set('file', 'locking',	'true');

	   $cfg->unset('file', 'locking');

       This module aims	to provide a generalized implementation	of parse tree
       for various configuration files.	It does	not implement parser for any
       existing	configuration file format. Instead, it provides	an API that
       can be used by parsers to build internal	representation for the
       particular configuration	file format.

       See Config::Parser module for an	implementation of a parser based on
       this module.

       A configuration file in general is supposed to consist of statements of
       two kinds: simple statements and	sections. A simple statement declares
       or sets a configuration parameter. Examples of simple statements	are:

	   # Bind configuration	file:
	   file	"cache/named.root";

	   # Apache configuration file:

	   # Git configuration file:
	   logallrefupdates = true

       A section statement groups together a number of another statements.
       These can be simple statements, as well as another sections. Examples
       of sections are (with subordinate statements replaced with ellipsis):

	   # Bind configuration	file:
	   zone	"." {

	   # Apache configuration file:
	   <VirtualHost	*:80>

	   # Git configuration file:

       The syntax of Git configuration file being one of the simplest, we will
       use it in the discussion	below to illustrate various concepts.

       The abstract syntax tree	(AST) for a configuration file consists	of
       nodes.  Each node represents a single statement and carries detailed
       information about that statement, in particular:

	   Location of the statement in	the configuration. It is represented
	   by an object	of class Text::Locus.

	   0-based number reflecting position of this node in the parent
	   section node.

	   For simple statements - the value of	this statement.

	   For sections	- the subtree below this section.

       The type	of each	node can be determined using the following node

	   True	if node	is a section node.

	   True	if node	is a simple statement.

       To retrieve a node, address it using its	full path, i.e.	list of
       statement names that lead to this node. For example, in this simple
       configuration file:

	      filemode = true

       the path	of the "filemode" statement is "qw(core	filemode)".

	   $cfg	= new Config::AST(%opts);

       Creates new configuration parser	object.	 Valid options are:

       debug =>	NUM
	   Sets	debug verbosity	level.

       ci => 0 | 1
	   If 1, enables case-insensitive keyword matching.  Default is	0,
	   i.e.	the keywords are case-sensitive.

       lexicon => \%hash
	   Defines the keyword lexicon.

       Keyword lexicon

       The hash	reference passed via the lexicon keyword defines the keywords
       and sections allowed within a configuration file.  In a simplest	case,
       a keyword is described as

	   name	=> 1

       This means that name is a valid keyword,	but does not imply anything
       about its properties.  A	more complex declaration is possible, in which
       the value is a hash reference, containing one or	more of	the following

       mandatory => 0 |	1
	   Whether or not this setting is mandatory.

       default => VALUE
	   Default value for the setting. This value will be assigned if that
	   particular statement	is not explicitly used in the configuration
	   file. If VALUE is a CODE reference, it will be invoked as a method
	   each	time the value is accessed.

	   Default values must be pure Perl values (not	the values that	should
	   appear in the configuration file). They are not processed using the
	   check callbacks (see	below).

       array =>	0 | 1
	   If 1, the value of the setting is an	array.	Each subsequent
	   occurrence of the statement appends its value to the	end of the

       re => regexp
	   Defines a regular expression	which the value	must match. If it does
	   not,	a syntax error will be reported.

       select => coderef
	   Reference to	a method which will be called in order to decide
	   whether to apply this hash to a particular configuration setting.
	   The method is called	as

	       $self->$coderef($node, @path)

	   where $node is the Config::AST::Node::Value object (use
	   $vref->value, to obtain the actual value), and @path	is its

       check =>	coderef
	   Defines a method which will be called after parsing the statement
	   in order to verify its value.  The coderef is called	as

	       $self->$coderef($valref,	$prev_value, $locus)

	   where $valref is a reference	to its value, and $prev_value is the
	   value of the	previous instance of this setting.  The	function must
	   return true,	if the value is	OK for that setting.  In that case, it
	   is allowed to modify	the value referenced by	$valref.  If the value
	   is erroneous, the function must issue an appropriate	error message
	   using $cfg->error, and return 0.

       In taint	mode, any value	that matched re	expression or passed the check
       function	will be	automatically untainted.

       To define a section, use	the section keyword, e.g.:

	   core	=> {
	       section => {
		   pidfile => {
		      mandatory	=> 1
		   verbose => {
		      re => qr/^(?:on|off)/i

       This says that the section named	core can have two variables: pidfile,
       which is	mandatory, and verbose,	whose value must be on,	or off (case-
       insensitive). E.g.:

	       pidfile = /run/
	       verbose = off

       To accept arbitrary keywords, use *.  For example, the following
       declares	code section, which must have the pidfile setting and is
       allowed to have any other settings as well.

	   code	=> {
	      section => {
		  pidfile => { mandatory => 1 },
		  '*' => 1

       Everything said above applies to	the '*'	as well.  E.g. the following
       example declares	the code section, which	must have the pidfile setting
       and is allowed to have subsections with arbitrary settings.

	   code	=> {
	      section => {
		  pidfile = { mandatory	=> 1 },
		  '*' => {
		      section => {
			  '*' => 1

       The special entry

	   '*' => '*'

       means "any settings and any subsections are allowed".

   $node = $cfg->root
       Returns the root	node of	the tree, initializing it if necessary.

   $s =	$r->mangle_key($name)
       Converts	the string $name to a form suitable for	lookups, in accordance
       with the	ci parameter passed to the constructor.

       Returns current lexicon.	 If $hashref is	supplied, installs it as a new

       Returns a lexicon entry for the statement at @path. If no such
       statement is defined, returns undef.

       This module provides a framework	for parsing, but does not implement
       parsers for any particular configuration	formats. To implement a
       parser, the programmer must write a class that inherits from
       Config::AST. This class should implement	the parse method which,	when
       called, will actually perform the parsing and build the AST using
       methods described in section CONSTRUCTING THE SYNTAX TREE (see below).

       The caller must then perform the	following operations

       1. Create an instance of	the derived class $cfg.
       2. Call the $cfg->parse method.
       3. On success, call the $cfg->commit method.

       Abstract	method that is supposed	to actually parse the configuration
       file and	build the parse	tree from it. Derived classes must overload

       The must	return true on success and false on failure. Eventual errors
       in the configuration should be reported using error.

       Must be called after parse to finalize the parse	tree. This function
       applies default values on settings where	such are defined.

       Optional	arguments control what steps are performed.

       lint => 1
	   Forse syntax	checking.  This	can be necessary if new	nodes were
	   added to the	tree after parsing.

       lexicon => $hashref
	   Override the	lexicon	used for syntax	checking and default value

       Returns true on success.

       Returns total number of errors encountered during parsing.

       Returns true if no errors were detected during parsing.

       Destroys	the parse tree and clears error	count, thereby preparing the
       object for parsing another file.

   $cfg->error($message, locus => $loc)
       Prints the $message on STDERR.  If locus	is given, its value must be a
       reference to a valid Text::Locus(3) object.  In that case, the object
       will be formatted first,	then followed by a ": "	and the	$message.

   $cfg->debug($lev, @msg)
       If $lev is greater than or equal	to the debug value used	when creating
       $cfg, outputs on	standard error the strings from	@msg, separating them
       with a single space character.

       Otherwise, does nothing.

       A node is addressed by its path,	i.e. a list of names of	the
       configuration sections leading to the statement plus the	name of	the
       statement itself.  For example, the statement:

	   pidfile = /var/run/

       has the path

	   ( 'pidfile' )

       The path	of the pidfile statement in section core, e.g.:

	       pidfile = /var/run/


	   ( 'core', 'pidfile' )

       Similarly, the path of the file setting in the following	configuration

	   [item foo]
	       file = bar

	   ( 'item', 'foo', 'bar' )

   $node = $cfg->getnode(@path);
       Retrieves the AST node referred to by @path. If no such node exists,
       returns "undef".

   $var	= $cfg->get(@path);
       Returns the Config::AST::Node::Value(3) corresponding to	the
       configuration variable represented by its path, or "undef" if the
       variable	is not set.

       Returns true if the configuration variable addressed by @path is	set.

       Returns true if the configuration section addressed by @path is

       Returns true if the configuration setting addressed by @path is set and
       is a simple statement.

	   Returns the parse tree.

       Returns the configuration subtree associated with the statement
       indicated by @path.

       Direct addressing allows	programmer to access configuration settings as
       if they were methods of the configuration class.	For example, to
       retrieve	the node at path

	   qw(foo bar baz)

       one can write:

	   $node = $cfg->foo->bar->baz

       This statement is equivalent to

	   $node = $cfg->getnode(qw(foo	bar baz))

       except that if the node in question does	not exist, direct access
       returns a null node, and	getnode	returns	"undef". Null node is a
       special node representing a missing node.  Its is_null method returns
       true and	it can be used in conditional context as a boolean value,

	   if (my $node	= $cfg->foo->bar->baz) {
	       $val = $node->value;

       Direct addressing is enabled only if lexicon is provided	(either	during
       creation	of the object, or later, via the lexicon method).

       Obviously, statements that have names coinciding	with one of the
       methods of the Config::AST class	(or any	of its subclasses) can't be
       used in direct addressing.  In other words, you can't have a top-level
       statement called	"tree" and access it as


       This statement will always refer	to the method tree of the Config::AST

       Another possible	problem	when using direct access are keywords with
       dashes.	Currently a kludge is implemented to make it possible to
       access such keywords: when looking for a	matching keyword, double
       underscores compare equal to a single dash.  For	example, to retrieve
       the "qw(files temp-dir)"	node, use


       The methods described in	this section are intended for use by the
       parser implementers. They should	be called from the implementation of
       the parse method	in order to construct the tree.

   $cfg->add_node($path, $node)
       Adds the	node in	the node corresponding to $path. $path can be either a
       list of keyword names, or its string representation, where names	are
       separated by dots. I.e.,	the following two calls	are equivalent:

	   $cfg->add_node(qw(core pidfile), $node)

	   $cfg->add_node('core.pidfile', $node)

       If the node already exists at $path, new	node is	merged to it according
       to the lexical rules.  I.e., for	scalar value, new node overwrites the
       old one.	 For lists, it is appended to the list.

   $cfg->add_value($path, $value, $locus)
       Adds a statement	node with the given $value and $locus in position,
       indicated by $path.

       If the setting already exists at	$path, the new value is	merged to it
       according to the	lexical	rules.	I.e., for scalars, $value overwrites
       prior setting.  For lists, it is	appended to the	list.

   $cfg->set(@path, $value)
       Sets the	configuration variable @path to	$value.

       No syntax checking is performed.	 To enforce syntax checking use

       Unsets the configuration	variable.

   @array = $cfg->names_of(@path)
       If @path	refers to an existing configuration section, returns a list of
       names of	variables and subsections defined within that section.
       Otherwise, returns empty	list. For example, if you have

	   [item foo]
	      x	= 1
	   [item bar]
	      x	= 1
	   [item baz]
	      y	= 2

       the call


       will return

	   ( 'foo', 'bar', 'baz' )

   @array = $cfg->flatten()
   @array = $cfg->flatten(sort => $sort)
       Returns a flattened representation of the configuration,	as a list of
       pairs [ $path, $value ],	where $path is a reference to the variable
       pathname, and $value is a Config::AST::Node::Value object.

       The $sort argument controls the ordering	of the entries in the returned
       @array.	It is either a code reference suitable to pass to the Perl
       sort function, or one of	the following constants:

	   Don't sort the array.  Statements will be placed in an apparently
	   random order.

	   Preserve relative positions of the statements.  Entries in the
	   array will be in the	same order as they appeared in the
	   configuration file.	This is	the default.

	   Sort	by pathname.

       These constants are not exported	by default.  You can either import the
       ones you	need, or use the :sort keyword to import them all, e.g.:

	   use Config::AST qw(:sort);
	   @array = $cfg->flatten(sort => SORT_PATH);

   $h =	$cfg->as_hash
   $h =	$cfg->as_hash($map)
       Returns parse tree converted to a hash reference. If $map is supplied,
       it must be a reference to a function. For each $key/$value pair,	this
       function	will be	called as:

	   ($newkey, $newvalue)	= &{$map}($what, $key, $value)

       where $what is "section"	or "value", depending on the type of the hash
       entry being processed. Upon successful return, $newvalue	will be
       inserted	in the hash slot for the key $newkey.

       If $what	is "section", $value is	always a reference to an empty hash
       (since the parse	tree is	traversed in pre-order fashion). In that case,
       the $map	function is supposed to	do whatever initialization that	is
       necessary for the new subtree and return	as $newvalue either $value
       itself, or a reference to a hash	available inside the $value. For

	   sub map {
	       my ($what, $name, $val) = @_;
	       if ($name eq 'section') {
		   $val->{section} = {};
		   $val	= $val->{section};
	       ($name, $val);

       Returns the canonical string representation of the configuration	tree.
       For details, please refer to the	documentation of this method in	class

       Checks the syntax according to the keyword lexicon %lex (or
       $cfg->lexicon, if called	without	arguments).  On	success, applies
       eventual	default	values and returns true.  On errors, reports them
       using error and returns false.

       This method provides a way to delay syntax checking for a later time,
       which is	useful,	e.g. if	some parts of the parser are loaded as modules
       after calling parse.



perl v5.32.0			  2019-11-19			Config::AST(3)


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