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Random Access Files in PERL

Posted on 1997-06-23
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I want to be able to have random access files where I can read a particular record, or rewrite a particular record somewhat like I do in Visual Basic.  I have several Sams books on PERL but can find nothing about random access file handling.  Can anyone point me in the right direction or tell me how to do it?
I want to use it in a flat file database application.
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Question by:donb1
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by:julio011597
ID: 1204342
seek() is what you need, and read() and print(); have a look at these functions.

-julio
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icd earned 300 total points
ID: 1204343
As an example, you can create a fixed length record file as follows. This example holds integers (four bytes ones) and allows random access to them.

--- cut here ---
# Create a file with four integer

$foo = pack("iiii", 0, 1, 2, 3);
open (FID, ">pack.dat");
print FID $foo;
close (FID);

# random access to record 2

$sizeofint = 4;

open (FID, "pack.dat");
seek(FID,2*$sizeofint,0);
read(FID, $buf, $sizeofint);
close(FID);

$foo = unpack("i", $buf);
print "The unpacked value is $foo\n";
--- end ---

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Expert Comment

by:stevemanes
ID: 1204344
However, to retrieve a particular record from a file which was written by multiple pack()s you will need to know the length of the data record to know the offset to the beginning of record 'n'.  Since perl doesn't use structures like C, the quick and dirty way is to read the length() of the output from pack() and save it for future references.
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