Andy Armstrong > String-Smart > String::Smart

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NAME ^

String::Smart - Strings that know how to escape themselves.

VERSION ^

This document describes String::Smart version 0.4

SYNOPSIS ^

    use String::Smart;
    my $plain =            "<This is plain text>";
    my $html  = as html => "<p>&lt;This is HTML&gt;</p>";
    
    print as html => $plain, as html => $html;
    # Prints "&lt;This is plain text&gt;<p>&lt;This is HTML&gt;</p>"

    print plain $html;
    # Croaks: "Can't decode markup"

DESCRIPTION ^

String::Smart implements overloaded string values that know how they are currently encoded or escaped and are capable of transforming themselves into other encodings.

In many applications it is necessary to apply various escaping rules to strings before they can safely be used. For example when building a SQL query string literals must be escaped to avoid SQL injection vulnerabilities.

Typically this is achieved by SQL escaping all strings that are passed to the query builder. But what if you pass a string that has already been SQL escaped? Or a string that is URL encoded? If you wish to pass a mixture of already-encoded strings and plain string literals you have to arrange some out of band means of communicating the encoding state of each string.

With String::Smart you simply make the query building routine ask for SQL escaped strings and behind the scenes the appropriate transformations will be applied to each string based on its current encoding.

For example:

    my $uri_enc = already uri => 'Spaces+are+evil';
    my $sql_enc = already sql => "\\'Quotes are backslashed\\'";
    my $not_enc =                "Just some literal punctuation: %'+";

    print literal sql => $uri_enc;
    # removes URI encoding
    # applies SQL encoding
    # prints
    #   Spaces are evil

    print literal sql => $sql_enc;
    # already sql encoded
    # prints
    #   \'Quotes are backslashed\'

    print literal sql => $not_enc;
    # applies SQL encoding
    # prints
    #   Just some literal punctuation: %\'+

The important point is that the requested encoding is absolute rather than relative. A String::Smart knows how it is currently encoded and can work out how to re-encode itself in the requested way.

A note on the examples

Throughout the documentation I assume that various encoding representations (sql, html, uri) have already been defined. These are not defined by String::Smart and must be set up by calling add_rep with the appropriate conversion subroutines before the examples will run.

INTERFACE ^

add_rep

Add an encoding representation. The namespace for encodings is global. This may turn out to be a problem - and may therefore change.

    add_rep reversed => sub { reverse $_[0] }, sub { reverse $_[0] };
    my $this = "Hello";
    my $that = reversed "Hello";
    print as reversed => $this, "\n";
    # prints "olleH"
    print as reversed => $that, "\n";
    # also prints "olleH"

A representation consists of a name and two subroutine references. The first subroutine applies the encoding, the second reverses it. If either subroutine is undefined a boilerplate subroutine that throws a descriptive error will be used in its place.

as

Coerce a string into the specified encoding.

    my $representation = as html => $some_string;

Optionally multiple encodings my be supplied either like this:

    my $rep = as html_nl2br => $some_string;

Or like this:

    my $rep = as ['html', 'nl2br'], $some_string;

The returned object (actually a hash blessed to String::Smart) will have the specified encoding irrespective of it's current encoding. For example the sequence:

    my $html1 = as html => $some_string;
    my $html2 = as html => $html1;

Does not result in double encoding. The encodings you request are 'absolute'. A path of transformations that will convert the string from whatever its current encoding is will be computed and applied.

already

Declare that a string is already encoded in a particular way. For example:

    my $html = already html => '<p>This is a paragraph</p>';
    my $text =                 'This is just << some text >>';
    
    print literal html => $html;
    # already HTML encoded
    # prints
    #    <p>This is a paragraph</p>
    
    print literal html => $text;
    # applies HTML encoding
    # prints
    #   This is just &lt;&lt; some text &gt;&gt;

literal

Convert a string to the specified encoding and return it as a normal unblessed string.

plain

Remove any encoding from a string.

    my $uri_enc = already uri => 'Spaces+are+evil%21';
    print plain $uri_enc;
    # prints
    #    Spaces are evil!

str_val

Get the string representation of a String::Smart. No encoding coercion takes place; str_val returns a string encoded according to the current encodings.

rep

Return a list of encodings that currently applies to the specfied string.

    my $text = 'Just text';
    my @trep = rep $text;   # @trep gets ()
    
    my $html = already html => '<p>Boo!</p>';
    my @hrep = rep $html;   # @hrep gets ( 'html' )

CONFIGURATION AND ENVIRONMENT ^

String::Smart requires no configuration files or environment variables.

DEPENDENCIES ^

None.

INCOMPATIBILITIES ^

None reported.

BUGS AND LIMITATIONS ^

No bugs have been reported.

Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-string-smart@rt.cpan.org, or through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org.

AUTHOR ^

Andy Armstrong <andy@hexten.net>

Inspiration

Inspired in part by http://xkcd.com/327/

Thanks Rich for the lead!

SEE ALSO ^

String::EscapeCage

LICENCE AND COPYRIGHT ^

Copyright (c) 2007, Andy Armstrong <andy@hexten.net>. All rights reserved.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See perlartistic.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY ^

BECAUSE THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE SOFTWARE, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE SOFTWARE "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE SOFTWARE IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE SOFTWARE PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR, OR CORRECTION.

IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE SOFTWARE AS PERMITTED BY THE ABOVE LICENCE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE SOFTWARE (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE SOFTWARE TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER SOFTWARE), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

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