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32.10. Data::Dumper

use Data::Dumper;
print Dumper($store);

When used on the example from Class::Struct, this prints:

$VAR1 = bless( {
             'Shoppe::owner' => 'Abdul Alhazred',
             'Shoppe::stock' => {
                                  'charms' => 3,
                                  'books' => 208,
                                  'potions' => 'none'
                                },
             'Shoppe::boss' => bless( {
                                        'Manager::name' =>
                                            'Prof L. P. Haitch',
                                        'Manager::salary' =>
                                            'madness',
                                        'Manager::started' =>
                                            'Sat Apr  1 16:18:13 2000'
                                      }, 'Manager' ),
             'Shoppe::addrs' => [
                                  'Miskatonic University',
                                  'Innsmouth, Mass.'
                                ]
           }, 'Shoppe' );
The Data::Dumper module's Dumper function takes a list of scalars (including references, which can even refer to objects) and returns a printable or evalable string that accurately reproduces an faithful copy of the original. You could use this to write out a saved version of a data structure to a regular disk file or into a DBM file, or to pass it to another process over a pipe or socket connection. This module can be used with MLDBM from CPAN and DB_File to implement a DBM file that can transparently store complex data values, not just flat strings. Other stringification (or serialization, or marshalling) modules include Storable and FreezeThaw, both available from CPAN.



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