עידו פרלמוטר (Ido Perlmuter) > Giddy-0.013_001 > Giddy::Manual

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NAME ^

Giddy::Manual - Manual for the Giddy versioned NoSQL database

VERSION ^

version 0.013_001

PROJECT STATUS ^

This project is currently in alpha status, released for testing purposes only. Implementation and interface are likely to change (and have in version 0.012_001). Do not use it for production yet!

FAQ ^

WHAT IS GIDDY?

Giddy is a schema-less (as in NoSQL), versioned database system for Unix-like operating systems, built on top of Git. A database in Giddy is simply a Git repository, providing the database with automatic, comprehensive versioning and distributive capabilities.

As opposed to most modern database systems, Giddy aims to be human editable. One can create/edit/delete database entries with nothing but a text editor and some simple git commands (YAML has been chosen as the serialization format since YAML is well suited as a human editable format; however, JSON support is planned). This module provides an API for usage by Perl applications.

Main database features (not all features implemented yet):

Giddy was inspired by the similar, Ruby-based gitmodel project; the Ruby-based toto blogging platform; the Scala-based gimd project; and MongoDB. While the database's structure closely resembles those of gitmodel and toto, its API's syntax was written to closely resemble that of MongoDB.

WHAT ARE GIDDY'S USE CASES?

Giddy is not meant to be a general-purpose database system such as MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB or CouchDB, and thus can't replace them for most use cases. Giddy is designed for one specific use case: providing a storage backend for document-based websites and web applications. Note that the usage of the term "document" in this context isn't the same as in "document-oriented database" from databases such as MongoDB. "Document" in Giddy's context is just that - a document, such as text articles, HTML pages, etc. That said, this distinction is merely theoretical, as Giddy documents are mostly (but not always) not different than MongoDB/CouchDB documents.

So, while you could use Giddy for a lot of purposes, you probably shouldn't.

IS IT FAST?

Probably not. Giddy cannot compete with databases like MySQL or MongoDB. While the underlying Git system is known to be fast at what it does, the YAML serialization employed by Giddy is time consuming, even though it is performed by YAML::XS. Giddy aims to be fast enough for the use case described above. Updating documents (unless performed by direct file editing) is also time consuming, as Giddy can't update in-place like MongoDB does.

IS IT ACID COMPLIANT?

No. While Giddy is atomic (all operations are performed by a single commit, so either all of them happen, or none at all) and isolated (other operations cannot access data modified by an in-progress commit), Giddy is definitely not consistent, as no consistency checks or data validations are performed (this stems from the fact that Giddy is a schema-less database, thus Giddy will never be consistent). As for durability, I'm actually not quite sure. In Git, once a commit has been performed, it will not go away. That is, not by accident at least. Commits can be completely cancelled in Git, so therefore I'm not really sure if Giddy complies with this requirement. I'm not really a database system designer nor am I a Git-guru. I look at things much more pragmatically than technically.

IS IT RELATIONAL?

No. Giddy is a NoSQL, schema-less database system, and thus is not relational. That said, Giddy uses a hierarchical model making it at least somewhat relational. Read "DATABASE STRUCTURE" for more information.

WHAT PLATFORMS ARE SUPPORTED?

Giddy is designed for Unix-like operating systems such as Linux and MacOSX. It probably won't work on Windows systems.

WHAT KIND OF DATA CAN BE STORED IN A GIDDY DATABASE?

Short answer: anything. Long answer: Giddy takes a simple approach to data handling. Anything that is purely textual (including numbers) is stored textually. Anything that can be serialized (such as Perl data structures) should be serialized and stored textually as well. Anything binary or that can't be serialized should be stored as-is in individual files. For further information, move on to "DATABASE STRUCTURE".

WHICH CHARACTER SETS AND ENCODINGS ARE SUPPORTED?

Giddy only supports UTF-8 and nothing else! All files created by Giddy are UTF-8 encoded. All data written to these files is automatically UTF-8 encoded, while all data read from these files is automatically UTF-8 decoded. When creating/manilpulating documents by hand (as said, human editing is supported), one must be careful to create the files in UTF-8.

CAN GIDDY WORK WITH BARE GIT REPOSITORIES?

Yes and no. No, because in order to actually use the database (that is, create/edit/delete collections/documents) the Git repository must have a working directory. Thus, the Giddy module must work with a database's working directory. Yes, because you can have a bare clone of the database (which may serve as the database's "origin"), but you cannot manipulate it directly. Always remeber that Giddy databases are plain Git repositories, nothing more. Everything you know from Git is true in Giddy.

CAN I HELP?

Yes, you can. I'm currently looking for people who can help with the development of Giddy, especially test writing. I'd be very happy if anyone has suggestions on how to make Giddy faster. Other than that, please report any bugs you find through the normal channels (see "BUGS" in Giddy for more information on bug reporting).

DATABASE STRUCTURE ^

As previousely stated, a Giddy database is a Git repository. Like MongoDB, entries (documents) are stored inside collections (which are analogous to SQL tables), but as opposed to MongoDB, collections are nestable (infinitely). As a matter of fact, the repository's root folder is the database's root collection. This collection can contain as many sub-collections as you wish (or, more correctly, as your file system supports). These sub-collections can have as many sub-collections of their own, etc. In other words, a Giddy database is hierarchical. If it isn't clear enough, a collection in Giddy is a directory in the file system.

Not only that, documents can have sub-collections of their own. These contain other documents which are considered child documents. If a document has a child collection called "comments", then the document is considered to have many comments. Furthermore, documents can directly hold other documents. These are also considered child documents. If a document has a child document called "review", then the document is considered to have one review. These two features are provided in order to give Giddy at least some relational properties. It's not perfect, but it's something.

Documents in a Giddy collection are stored in two ways (which can be seemlessly combined, i.e. a collection can have documents of both kind):

1. The simple way (suited for articles and HTML pages): A file document, consisting of one text file. This file has two sections, separated by two newline characters (the first double newlines in the file). The top section is YAML text holding the document's attributes. The bottom section (i.e. after the double newlines) is the article's text (or the page's HTML, or whatever), which is actually called the document's '_body' attribute. This is very similar to HTTP requests/responses. If the document has no attributes other than its body, then it won't have a YAML section, just the text section, without the double newline characters before it. This type of document, however, is limited, since it cannot have binary attributes and cannot have child collections/documents; it is mostly provided for its convenience (very human editable) and its ability to make a Giddy database more website-like.
2. The normal way: A directory-based document, holding a YAML file called 'attributes.yaml' (required) which holds all the document's textual/serializable attributes, and zero or more binary files. These files are also considered attributes of the document. Quite frankly, Giddy will not care if the files are in fact binary. They can be JSON or plain text files for all it cares, but as long as they are separate from attributes.yaml, they will be considered binary attributes. The document directory can also have sub-directories, which are either child collections that hold child documents of the document (akin to the "has_many" relationship you might be familiar with from the SQL and DBIx::Class world), or document directories, every one of which also considered a child document of the document (akin to the "has_one" relationship).

Documents in Giddy don't have an ID attribute. Every document has a '_name' attribute which is simply the document's file name (or directory name in case it's a directory-based document). This file name is unique in the collection, and thus can serve as the documents ID (to make it clear, there cannot be a directory and a file with the same name in the same directory).

Giddy also has support for directories which don't contain documents at all, but only "static files", which will make it suitable for binary file storage and files which have no attribute and whose contents rarely changes. These are called "static-file directories" and are marked by an empty file called ".static". These directories are also nestable. A directory which is a child of a static-directory is automatically marked a static-file directory (no need for the ".static" file), so a static-file directory can't hold collections or document directories.

How does Giddy differentiate between the different type of directories in the database? Simple, if a directory has an 'attributes.yaml' file - then it is a document. If it has a ".static" file, or a (possibly distant) parent of it has a ".static" file - then it is a static-file directory. If none of this is true, then it's a collection.

EXAMPLE STRUCTURE

Let's take a look at an example of a simple Giddy database:

        /var/database/test_db/                  <-- The database, also its root collection
                index.html                              <-- A document file (implies '_body' attribute holds HTML data)
                data.json                               <-- A document file (implies '_body' attribute holds JSON text)
                about/                                  <-- A document directory
                        attributes.yaml                         <-- The document's textual/serializable attributes
                        image.png                               <-- A binary attribute
                        stuff.json                              <-- Another binary attribute, though actually textual
                forum/                                  <-- A collection
                        general_topics/                         <-- A collection
                                giddy_is_cool/                          <-- A document directory
                                        attributes.yaml                         <-- The document's attributes
                                        comments/                               <-- A collection
                                                one.html                                <-- A document file
                                                two.html                                <-- A document file
                                        review/                                 <-- A document directory
                                                attributes.yaml                         <-- The document's attributes
                                giddy_is_dumb/                          <-- A document directory
                                        attributes.yaml                         <-- The document's attributes
                        perl_topics/                            <-- A collection
                                having_some_unicode_problems/           <-- A document directory
                                        attributes.yaml                         <-- The document's attributes
                pictures/
                        .static                 <-- Marks directory as a static-file directory
                        one.jpg                 <-- A static file
                        two.jpg                 <-- A static file
                        three.jpg               <-- A static file
                        four.jpg                <-- A static file

The structure should be pretty self-explanatory. You can see that this database basically represents an entire website. This is Giddy's main purpose and its strength. Imagine having the power of a dynamic website with the convenience of being able to maintain it as if it were completely static.

WORKING WITH THE GIDDY MODULE ^

As previously mentioned, Giddy's syntax was modeled after MongoDB's syntax. Apart from a few changes, they are quite the same.

GETTING A NEW INSTANCE OF THE GIDDY MODULE

To start using Giddy, all you need to do is:

        my $giddy = Giddy->new;

No parameters or attributes are required.

CREATING A DATABASE / CONNECTING TO AN EXISTING DATABASE

As in MongoDB, Giddy doesn't care if a database already exists or not. The syntax for creating/connecting to a database is the same:

        my $db = $giddy->get_database('/path/to/database');

If the database doesn't exist yet, Giddy will attempt to create it and initialize it as a Git repository. It will also (only if the repository doesn't already exist) create an empty file named ".giddy" in the repository, stage it (i.e. git add it) and commit an initial commit. This file can be removed later, it serves no purpose other than the database initiation.

Once the database has been created, it already has one collection, the root collection, which actually is /path/to/database.

CREATING A COLLECTION / GETTING AN EXISTING COLLECTION

Just like above, the syntax for creating/getting a collection is the same:

        my $coll = $db->get_collection('collection'); # gets the collection /path/to/database/collection
        my $root = $db->get_collection('');     # get the root collection /path/to/database
                                                # (also simply $db->get_collection() with no parameters)

You can also create/get a child collection object from a parent collection easily:

        my $child_coll = $coll->get_collection('child_collection');

CREATING DOCUMENTS

Creating documents is easy. To insert one document, all you need to do is:

        $coll->insert( $name, \%attributes );

For example:

        $coll->insert( 'some_data', { numbers => [1, 2, 3], text => "What's up?", regex => qr/^\d+$/ } );

Will create the directory /path/to/database/collection/some_data/ with the file 'attributes.yaml' which will look something like:

        text:           What's up?
        regex:          !!perl/regexp (?-xism:^\d+$)
        numbers:
                - 1
                - 2
                - 3

The reason this syntax is slightly different than MongoDB's insert() method is that you have to pass a filename, Giddy cannot generate random file names for you like MongoDB generates an '_id' method if you don't provide one.

Creating document files is similar, all you need to do is provide a '_body' attribute. If the document you're inserting has a '_body' attribute, then it will always be saved as a document file:

        $root->insert( 'index.html', { author => "Ido Perlmuter", date => "2011-03-15", _body => "<html><title>Giddy Sucks!</title></html>" } )

Will create the file /path/to/database/index.html with the following contents:

        author:         Ido Perlmuter
        date:           2011-03-15
        
        <html><title>Giddy Sucks!</title></html>

Like MongoDB, you can batch insert documents, but the syntax is slightly different: you have to provide an even-number array-ref, like so:

        $coll->batch_insert([ 'index.html' => $index_attrs, 'about.html' => $about_attrs ]);

As previousely mentioned, data inserted is automatically UTF-8 decoded, so make sure your data actually is UTF-8.

Note that the insert() method returns the name of the document created, while batch_insert() returns an array of all names created.

After creating documents, they are not yet added to the database. You have to commit your changes first. If you know Git (and you should), you'd know you have to stage the created files for Git to recognize them with the git add command. Giddy does that automatically for you, so there's no need to do that. However, Git doesn't commit automatically. See "COMMITING CHANGES" later on for more info.

FINDING DOCUMENTS

Finding/querying documents in Giddy is very similar to MongoDB, but with a key difference inspired by DBIx::Class: In MongoDB, a collection is queried with the find() or query() methods, and a cursor/iterator object (MongoDB::Cursor) is returned, allowing to iterate over the results. In Giddy, however, there aren't any cursors. When you query a collection, you don't get a cursor back, but an entirely new collection, stored in memory, which is a subset of the queried collection. This is just like in the SQL world: when you select rows from a table, the result set is a temporary table of its own that can also be queried.

So, in Giddy, a collection (represented by a Giddy::Collection object) is both query-able and iterable. You can iterate through the documents in the collection without querying it. When you do query it, you get an in-memory collection back (represented by a Giddy::Collection::InMemory object, which inherits from Giddy::Collection), on which you can perform further queries. This allows for much more flexbility when filtering documents.

Finding documents is primarily performed by the find() method in Giddy::Collection. This method expects (but doesn't require) a hash-ref of whose keys are attribute names, and whose values are constraints that a document must conform to in order to be matched by the query. For example, let's find documents that have an 'author' attribute with the value 'Some Guy':

        my $in_mem_coll = $coll->find({ author => 'Some Guy' });

This roughly translates to the SQL command SELECT * FROM <collection> WHERE author = 'Some Guy'. By default, if you provide multiple attributes, then an AND query is performed:

        $coll->find({ author => 'Some Guy', year => 2011 });

This translates to SELECT * FROM <collection> WHERE author = 'Some Guy' AND year = 2011. Equality is the easiest constraint for an attribute. However, there are many more constraints one can use. These constraints need to be defined in a hash-ref, and this hash-ref is assigned to the appropriate attribute in the query. The following constraints are supported:

Now, as stated, documents will be matched against the query hash-ref for all the attributes, meanings this is basically an AND search. Giddy also provides support for OR queries, just like in MongoDB:

        $coll->find({ '$or' => [ { author => 'Some Guy' }, { author => 'Other Guy' } ], year => 2011 })

This roughly translates to the SQL command SELECT * FROM <collection> WHERE year = 2011 AND (author = 'Some Guy' OR author = 'Other Guy').

The constraints you provide for the attributes in the $or array-ref are the same as when performing regular queries:

        $coll->find({ '$or' => [ { author => { '$exists' => 1 } }, { guy_we_stole_this_from => { '$exists' => 1 } } ] })

This will find documents that either have the 'author' attribute or the 'guy_we_stole_this_from' attribute.

QUERYING BY DOCUMENT NAME

As previously mentioned, every document in a Giddy collection has a name. In case of a file-based document, this would be the file name (like 'index.html'). In case of a directory-based document, this would be the directory name (like 'blog-post'). This name is the document's '_name' attribute, and you can query it like any other attribute:

        $coll->find({ _name => 'index.html' }); # find documents named index.html (there can't be more than one)

        $coll->find({ _name => qr/^index/ }); # find documents whose name starts with 'index' (definitely can be more than one)

Searching only by name is much faster than by any other attribute, since all Giddy has to do is match file/directory names, instead of loading (and deserializing) every document. Since this is very useful, Giddy provides a shortcut for finding documents by name:

        $coll->find('index.html');
        
        $coll->find(qr/^index/);

These two statements are equal to the previous two.

Remember you can chain find() queries if you find the need to. For example:

        $coll->find({ _name => qr/^index/ })->find({ author => { '$exists' => 1 } });

The first find() call returns a Giddy::Collection::InMemory object. The second one is performed on that and returns an entirely new object.

FAST DOCUMENT MATCHING WITH GREP

Since querying with the find() document is pretty slow (especially on large collections and when you're not querying only by name), Giddy provides another option which, although less useful, is much faster: the grep() method can be used to find documents whose content matches a provided string. For example:

        $coll->grep('Some Guy');

This statement will find all documents that have the 'Some Guy' string anywhere in them - this means attributes names, attribute values, anything.

You can grep for multiple strings in a document easily:

        $coll->grep(['Some Guy', 'Other Guy', 'Jeffery']);

This will find documents that have all three strings in them (not necessarily at the same line). If you want to find documents that have at least one of the strings (i.e. perform an OR search), then pass the 'or' option to the method like so:

        $coll->grep(['Some Guy', 'Other Guy', 'Jeffery'], { or => 1 });

Just like the find() method, grep() returns an in-memory collection, so iterating over grep() results is the same as iterating over find() results. It also means that you can combine both types of queries, like so:

        $coll->find({ _name => qr/^index/ })->grep('Some Guy');

The grep method internally uses Git's git grep command.

I ONLY WANT ONE

Like MongoDB, Giddy provides a shortcut for finding just one document. This is mostly helpful when searching by an exact document name, but knock yourself out:

        my $doc = $coll->find_one({ _name => 'index.html' })
                || die "No index.html, oh my god, I have no idea what to do, redirecting you to google.com";

This will attempt to find a document named 'index.html'. If it is found, it is returned in hash-ref format (more about loaded documents later on). If not, an undefined value is returned. The above call to find_one() is the same as find_one('index.html'), by the way.

You can do the same thing with grep:

        my $doc = $coll->grep_one('Some Guy');

Both find_one() and grep_one() methods will always return the first document they find (if any, of course). Which one this document will be depends on the sorting used. Sorting is discussed later on, but you should already know that by default, find() and grep() will sort documents alphabetically by name in ascending order.

I WANT ALL DOCUMENTS

If you want to get all the documents in a collection, just don't provide a query (or provide an empty string, an empty regex, or an empty hashref):

        $coll->find();
        $coll->find('');
        $coll->find(qr//);
        $coll->find({});

All of these will match every document in the collection. Grep is just slightly different:

        $coll->grep();
        $coll->grep('');
        $coll->grep([]);

ITERATING OVER RESULTS

When you have a collection object, either a pure Giddy::Collection object or a Giddy::Collection::InMemory object (which is the result of a find() or grep() query), then you can easily iterate over the matched documents. Every collection object has an internal iterator that points to the next document in the collection. When the collection object is first created, this iterator will point to the first document (if any). Like MongoDB, you go through the documents with the next() method:

        my $in_mem = $coll->find(qr/some_guy/);
        while (my $doc = $in_mem->next) {
                print "Found $doc->{_name}\n";
        }

As you can see, next() will keep returning documents from the collection (and increasing the internal iterator), until no more documents are available. At any point, you can rewind the iterator to the beginning:

        $in_mem->rewind; # now you can run C<next()> again

You can also get all the documents found with just one command:

        my @docs = $in_mem->all;

The all() method automatically rewinds the iterator when it reaches the end of the collection.

If you only want to know whether the internal iterator has reached the end of the collection or not, use the has_next() command:

        while ($in_mem->has_next) {
                my $doc = $in_mem->next;
                print "Found $doc->{_name}\n";
        }

If you want to know how many documents are in the collection just use the count() method.

        print "\$coll has ", $coll->count," documents, and our query matched ", $in_mem->count," documents out of them.\n";

Keep in mind though that, unlike MongoDB, you can't pass anything to the count() method (well, you can, but it will be ignored) as a shortcut for querying and counting in one shot.

Giddy also lets you easily get the first and last documents in the collection (more useful when sorting):

        my $first_doc = $in_mem->first;
        my $last_doc = $in_mem->last;

It's important to note that calling these methods doesn't affect the internal iterator, or take it into consideration at all, so you can always call these methods.

A document returned by any of the above mentioned iteration methods is returned in hash-ref format. This hash-ref will hold any of the document's attributes, including its name (under the '_name' key), and also the path to its collection (under the '_coll' key).

SORTING DOCUMENTS

Sorting is fairly easy with Giddy, and quite similar to MongoDB. However, you can't sort while running queries, only after them. By default, collections (both real ones and in-memory ones) will have their documents sorted alphabetically by name in ascending order. To sort them in a different order, you use the sort() method, providing it with an even-numbered array-ref like so:

        my $in_mem = $coll->find({ author => 'Some Guy' })->sort([date => -1, title => 1]);

This will find documents whose author attribute equals 'Some Guy', and then sort the returned collection by the 'date' attribute in descending order (-1 means descending), and then by the 'title' attribute in ascending order (1 means ascending). The sort() method simply returns the collection object, so you can chain it too:

        $coll->find({ author => 'Some Guy' })->sort([date => -1, title => 1])->grep('Some String');

A couple of things worth knowing when it comes to sorting:

1. If you query a collection only by name (or with grep()) and then attempt to sort by other attributes, Giddy will be forced to load all documents in the collection, making it much slower.
2. Just like any other of the iteration methods, you can sort real collections too, not just in-memory collections. So, for example:
        my $coll = $db->get_collection('articles')->sort([date => -1]);

This will give you a Giddy::Collection object sorted descendingly by date.

You can sort a collection as much as you want.

FULL PATH FINDING

Since Giddy is web-oriented, it might be useful for you to search for documents that match a full path, disregarding whatever collection its in. For example, looking back at the example database structure from earlier in this manual, say we wanted to find the 'giddy_is_cool' document. We can use find() on the database object like so:

        my $doc = $db->find('forum/general_topics/giddy_is_cool');

This will essentially find the collection 'forum/general_topics' for you, and then run find('giddy_is_cool') on it. You can still use find_one() too, which is more appropriate in the above example.

BINARY ATTRIBUTES

Your documents can have binary attributes. For example, maybe you have a collection of articles, and every article has a little picture attached to it:

        articles/
                article-one/
                        attributes.yaml
                        picture.png
                article-two/
                        attributes.yaml
                        picture.png

Both 'article-one' and 'article-two' have the binary 'picture.png' attribute.

Giddy's support for binary attributes is currently very limited. You can't create binary attributes with the Giddy module, you'd have to do that manually (i.e. by direct manipulation of the database's working copy), and you can't query by binary attributes (even for existance, for example).

To make it clear, anything outside attributes.yaml is considered binary by Giddy, even if it's not.

When Giddy loads a document, however, it will look for binary attributes, and if it finds any, it will add them to the document hash-ref, with their full paths as their value. So, loading 'article-one', for example, will look something like this:

        {
                '_name' => 'article-one',
                'title' => 'Article One',
                'author' => 'Some Guy',
                'picture.png' => 'articles/article-one/picture.png',
        }

Giddy doesn't yet provide the ability to read the binary attribute, but will do so in upcoming versions.

When querying for documents, you can tell Giddy to skip binary attributes by passing a hash-ref with the 'skip_binary' option to find():

        my $in_mem = $coll->find({}, { skip_binary => 1 }); # get all documents, but don't look for binary attributes

UPDATING DOCUMENTS

Giddy implements MongoDB's update strategy almost completely. Apart from not yet supporting MongoDB's dot notation used to update sub-attributes (i.e. nested fields), almost all MongoDB's update operations are supported.

Updating is performed with the update() method. This method expects a query (exactly like find()), an update object (which is a hash-ref of update operations, described later), and a hash-ref of options. The following options are currently supported:

So, updating is performed by calling update() like so:

        $coll->update($query, $object, $options);

You don't have to provide any options, but you have to provide a query (which may be an empty string or an empty hash-ref, useful when you want to update every document), and you must provide the update object.

Now, let's look at the operations you can use in the update object:

The above update operations aren't the only way to update documents. If the update hash-ref doesn't have any of the above operations, then the hash-ref is considered the new document in its entirety. So, any document matched by the update query (more useful without the 'multiple' option) will have its content complete replaced by the update hash-ref.

The output of the update() command is a hash-ref with two keys: 'n' - holding the number of documents updated by the query (0 if none updated), and 'docs' - holding an array-ref with the names of all documents updated (empty if none).

Giddy will automatically stage the documents updated (i.e. run git add on them) after updating. As with insert(), changes are not stored in the database until a commit is performed.

One thing worth noting: when you're not using the 'multiple' option, Giddy will update the first document it finds. By default, documents are sorted alphabetically by name in ascending order. If you want to update the first document of a collection in a specific order, you'll have to sort the collection first with the sort() method, and only the run the update() command.

DELETING DOCUMENTS

Deleting documents from a collection is performed by the remove() method. This method expects a query (exactly like find()), and a hash-ref of options. Only one option is currectly recognized: 'just_one'. If passed a true value, remove() will delete only the first document it matches. Otherwise, it will remove all documents matched. When using 'just_one', you should note that the identity of the first document depends on the sorting of the collection. By default, as said, the sorting is alphabetical by name (ascending). You can sort the collection before using remove() with 'just_one' to remove the first document according to a different sorting.

The following examples explain how to use the remove() method:

        $coll->remove(); # remove every document in the collection (but not the collection itself)

        $coll->remove('index.html'); # remove the 'index.html' document (if exists)

        $coll->remove({ _name => 'index.html' }); # same as above

        $coll->remove(qr/^index/); # remove documents whose name begins with 'index'

        $coll->remove({ _name => qr/^index/ }); # same as above

        $coll->remove({ author => 'Some Guy' }); # remove all documents by Some Guy

        $coll->sort([date => -1])->remove({ author => 'Some Guy' }, { just_one => 1 }); # remove just the newest document by Some Guy

Internally, the remove() method deletes documents with Git's git rm command.

CHILD COLLECTIONS

As described in "DATABASE STRUCTURE", document-directories can have child collections. This is useful in order to group child documents that share certain characteristics. The nestability is actually infinite (every child collection can also have child collections and so on).

Creating a child collection for a document is performed like any other collection:

        my $doc_child_coll_1 = $db->get_collection('path/to/document/references');
        my $doc_child_coll_2 = $db->get_collection('path/to/document/comments');

Two collection directories called "references" and "comments" will be created inside the path/to/document document. Once you have the collection object, you use just like any other collection object.

When you load a document in a collection, the returned document hash-ref will have a key called _has_many, which will list (in an alphabetically sorted array-ref) all child collections of the document; so, for the example above, that would be:

        _has_many => ['comments', 'references']

You should note that every document will have the _has_many key, even if it has no child collections, in which case _has_many will be empty.

CHILD DOCUMENTS

As described in "DATABASE STRUCTURE", document-directories can have child documents. Actually, they can only have child document-directories (i.e. no document files, as all files inside a document directory are considered binary attributes of it). Once again, that document directory can also contain child collections and directories ad infinitum.

Inserting a child document for a document is performed like any other insert:

        $coll->insert('path/to/document/review', { key => 'value', number => 123 });

A document directory called "review" will be created inside the path/to/document document.

When you load a document in a collection, the returned document hash-ref will have a key called _has_one, which will list (in an alphabetically sorted array-ref) all child documents of the document; so, for the example above, that would be:

        _has_one => ['review']

You should note that every document will have the _has_one key, even if it has no child documents, in which case _has_one will be empty.

DROPPING COLLECTIONS

Dropping collections is easy:

        $coll->drop;

This will completely remove the collection and all documents/files/subcollections in it. Internally, the drop command uses the git rm command.

STATIC-FILE DIRECTORIES

Giddy also supports a special kind of directories called static-file directories. These directories do not contain documents, but files which have no attributes, most likely binary files and text files which don't change often. The term "static file" will be most familiar to web developers using web application frameworks. These files are served directly by web servers/applications, while other resources are dynamic and "calculated" on the fly per request.

Static-file directories are marked with an empty ".static" file. They are infinitely nestable, and cannot contain directories which are not static directories also (so a collection or a document-directory cannot be children of a static directory). There's no need to mark every child static directory with a ".static" file, only the top parent needs it.

You should note that storing large binary files in static-file directories is problematic, as Git isn't all that efficient when dealing with binary files, and large binary files make cloning databases slow, especially if they change often.

Since static directories are rather simple, Giddy provides a pretty simple interface for them:

CREATING / LOADING STATIC-FILE DIRECTORIES

Like collections, the syntax for creating or getting an existing static directory is equivalent:

        my $picture_albums = $coll->get_static_dir('pics');

        my $trip_to_alaska = $picture_albums->get_static_dir('trip_to_alaska');

If a static directory you're trying to load doesn't exist, Giddy will attempt to create it, and, if it's a direct child of a collection (i.e. not a child of another static-file directory), an empty ".static" file will be created in it. Giddy will also automatically stage (git add) the directory, but won't commit any changes.

CREATING / EDITING STATIC FILES

You will likely find that creating and editing static files in a Giddy database makes much more sense when performed directly from Git and the command line. However, Giddy provides a simple interface for doing so:

        # get a static directory
        my $static_dir = $coll->get_static_dir('static_files');

        # create (or open an existing) static file handle
        my $fh = $static_dir->open_text_file('robots.txt');

        # print something to the file
        $fh->print("User-agent: *\nDisallow:");

        # close the file handle
        $fh->close;

        # stage the file (Giddy won't do so automatically)
        $db->stage($static_dir->path.'/robots.txt');

By default, Giddy opens static files with the '>:utf8' mode, meaning the file is created if it doesn't exist, truncated if it does, and opened for writing with automatic UTF-8 encoding. You can provide a different mode as you wish:

        my $fh = $static_dir->open_text_file('robots.txt', '>>'); # file opened for appending in ASCII

You can also create/open binary files:

        my $fh = $static_dir->open_binary_file('uploaded_image.jpg');

Giddy will open this file and perform a binmode() call on the resulting file handle. By default, it will be opened with the '>' mode, meaning it is created if it doesn't exist and truncated if it doesn. You can provide a different mode just like with text files. You can also provide a layer directive which will be passed to binmode():

        my $fh = $static_dir->open_binary_file('binary_file', '>', ':crlf:bytes');

Note that Giddy will not automatically stage files you open, so you have to do that manually with the stage() method in Giddy::Database.

To read the contents of a file in a static directory that has been stage and committed, you can do this:

        my $robots = $static_dir->read_file('robots.txt');

LISTING STATIC FILES AND DIRECTORIES

If you need a list of all static directories inside a collection, use:

        my @static_dirs = $coll->list_static_dirs;

This returns the names of the static directories, not their objects:

        my $static_dir_1 = $coll->get_static_dir($static_dirs[0]);

When you do have a static directory object, you can get a list of files and sub-directories in it like so:

        my @files = $static_dir_1->list_files;
        my @dirs = $static_dir_1->list_dirs;

Note that only files and directories which have been staged and commited are returned in the lists.

COMMITING CHANGES

After creating collections/documents/static files, or basically making any kind of changes, you need to commit the changes for them to actually take effect. Commiting in Giddy is very simple. You don't have to stage files like you do with git add when manipulating collections and documents (but you do when manipulating static directories and their files), Giddy does that automatically for you.

To stage files for the next commit (those that weren't staged automatically by Giddy), use the stage() method:

        $db->stage('index.html', 'collection/article.html', 'collection/some_document_directory');

To commit, just use the commit() method with a commit message on the database object:

        $db->commit("Created some new documents and remove some old one");

You don't have to provide a commit message, but do yourself a favor and do so. If you don't provide one, Giddy will use a commit message like "Commited 5 changes", which isn't very helpful.

UNDOING STUFF

Thanks to Git, you can easily undo changes (i.e. commits) you perform. Like Git, Giddy provides two ways for that: The first is completely erasing commits (like Git's git reset --hard command) with the undo() command:

        $db->undo;

This will erase the last commit perfomed, returning the database to its previous state as if the commit never happened. Any documents created in that commit will vanish, and documents removed by that commit will reappear, and any updates will be lost.

You can undo more than one commits by providing a positive integer:

        $db->undo(1); # erase everything from the previous commit on (i.e. the last two commits)

        $db->undo(3); # erase the last four commits

You can also explicitly tell Giddy which commit to undo by providing its SHA-1 checksum:

        $db->undo('ed1721e4a44d24c8eefbf0ea420ff19472a3f08c');

The second way of undoing is reverting (Git's git revert command). Here, you tell Giddy to take a certain commit performed in the past, clone the database snapshot from that commit, and re-commit it as the new state of the database. This way, the commits performed between the source commit and the new cloned commit are preserved. To revert a commit, you tell Giddy the number (or SHA-1 checksum) of the commit performed just after the commit you wish to revert to. This may be confusing, but that is how Git's revert command works.

        $db->revert(); # Will revert the latest commit and clone the commit before it

        $db->revert(1); # will revert the two latest commits

        $db->revert('ed1721e4a44d24c8eefbf0ea420ff19472a3f08c'); # revert a specific commit

Please note that reverting will fail if the database's working directory isn't clean (i.e. uncommited changes has been performed prior to calling revert()).

KNOW THY HISTORY

Using a Git-based database, you'd probaby like to put Git's history examining capabilities into good use. In Git, you do this with the git log command and its relatives. In Giddy, you use the log() method on the database object:

        my $log = $db->log;

This returns a Git::Repository::Log::Iterator object that starts with the latest commit (known as HEAD). See the documentation for that module for more information.

If you want information on a specific commit, you can pass an integer (starting with zero) identifying the commit's number (latest commit is zero):

        my $commit_info = $db->log(0); # info for latest commit (HEAD or HEAD~0 in git syntax)
        $commit_info = $db->log(10); # info for the "10th ago commit" (HEAD~10 in git syntax)

This returns a Git::Repository::Log object.

Unfortunately, you can't get a commit info by the commit checksum yet. Hopefully future versions will support this.

DROPPING A DATABASE

Not supported yet.

WHAT'S NEXT? ^

I don't know. Pray that it works.

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