Alexei Znamensky > DataFlow-1.121280 > DataFlow::QuickStart

Download:
DataFlow-1.121280.tar.gz

Annotate this POD

Website

CPAN RT

New  12
Open  1
View/Report Bugs
Source   Latest Release: DataFlow-1.121830

NAME ^

DataFlow::QuickStart - DataFlow Quick Start Guide

VERSION ^

version 1.121280

A guide for quick jumping into the DataFlow bandwagon, programming-wise. That means that, despite our long term goals of making a framework that can be used by non-programmers, we are still living within the sphere of those who can code. Code Perl, as of now.

For the purpose of this guide, we are going to distinguish among three different types of uses, for people who want to:

DataFlow is built upon Moose and it follows the rules of that system.

If you are really serious about submitting code to DataFlow, please read the section called "Joining the DataFlow effort" below.

Using DataFlow ^

This is covered in the POD documentation elsewhere, so here we present just a summary.

Proc

A DataFlow::Proc is the basic processing unit of DataFlow. It runs the closure pointed to by the p parameter with $_ localized to the data that has to be processed.

One can create a simple Proc (short for Processor) that converts a string to uppercase like this:

    $proc = DataFlow::Proc( p => sub { uc } );
    $result = $proc->process( 'Abracadabra' );
    # $result is 'ABRACADABRA'

Since the builtin function uc uses $_ if an argument is omitted, there is no need to explicitly handle parameters, and the result of the Proc is the result of the "sub".

One may want to design a Proc where the p sub is applied in only on data that conforms to a certain structure, say "only arrays, and leave the scalars alone" or "scalars only, throw an error if anything else comes our way". For that refer to the DataFlow::Role::ProcPolicy role.

DataFlow

A DataFlow is a sequence of Procs, arranged so that each Proc's output is fed into the next Proc's input. Sort of like a sequence of commands in a shell using pipes "|" to connect one command to the next one.

A simple example of a DataFlow could be:

    $flow = DataFlow->new( [
        'URLRetriever',          # DataFlow::Proc::URLRetriever
        [                        # DataFlow::Proc::HTMLFilter with param
          HTMLFilter => { search_xpath => '//table//tr' }
        ],
        [                        # DataFlow::Proc::HTMLFilter with params
          HTMLFilter => {
              search_xpath => '//td',
              result_type  => 'VALUE',
              ref_result   => 1,
          }
        ],
        sub { s/^\s+//; s/\s+$//; return $_ },  # trim leading/trailing spaces
        CSV => { direction => 'CONVERT_TO', }
    ] );

Given an URL, this simple dataflow will retrieve its contents (assuming HTML), will parse all the tables in it (specific tables or data i nthe HTML can be singled-out using proper XPath expressions for them), it will trim the white spaces and produce a CSV output, which can be used in a spreadsheet or to load a database.

Creating Processors and/or Flows ^

To create a new Proc, one must extend DataFlow::Proc. When doing that, do refer to Moose best practices. One simple example, the file lib/DataFlow/Proc/UC.pm contained in this distribution, is approximately like this:

    package DataFlow::Proc::UC;
    
    use Moose;
    extends 'DataFlow::Proc';
    
    sub _build_p {
        my $self = shift;  # not using here, but we do have $self
        return sub { uc };
    }
    
    1;

Any Proc under the DataFlow::Proc:: namespace can be used in a DataFlow by its last name, in this case UC.

    $flow = DataFlow->new( [
        # ... something here
        'UC',
        # ... something else
    ] );
    my @output = $flow->process( @input );

More sophisticated Procs can also be constructed. Tkae a look at the source code of DataFLow::Proc::HTMLFilter, DataFlow::Proc::URLRetriever or DataFlow::Proc::Converter.

Tweaking the Core ^

DataFlow is not a very sophisticated piece of software on its own, as much as a Bourne shell of the 70's was not very sophisticated, but it allows and promotes extending its functionalities to make for sophisticated solutions.

A DataFlow

A DataFlow is nothing more than queues and processors:

    Information Flow

    ||===>||====>||==  ...  =>||========>||====>||      |
                                                        |
                     Queues                             |
                                                        |
    Q0    Q1    Q2          Q(n-1)       Qn    Qlast    | => output
      \  /  \  /  \    ...        \      /  \  /        |
       P0    P1    P2              P(n-1)    Pn         |
                                                        |
                   Processors                           |

Upon calling input(), one adds elements to the Q0 queue. When output() is called, then the entire flow is run to provide one single element (read scalar) at the output() (actually, if output() is called in array context it returns all the elements available in Qlast at the time).

When running data through the entire flow, these elements are run, through P0 and the results (one or many) are enqueued in Q1. One element from Q1 is then run through P1 and the result (or results) is enqueued into Q2, and so forth. Upon running the last processor, Pn, the resulting data is put into Qlast, the last queue in the desert.

Code Repository ^

DataFlow source code is hosted at the superb Github service, at the address http://github.com/russoz/DataFlow.

Additionally, we strongly recommend that any serious project using Git do take a look at gitflow: the methodology and the git flow extension to git.

DataFlow has been using gitflow for a good while now, but please bear in mind that you do not need to have gitflow installed, or even to follow the methodology for that matter, to be able to provide a patch or open a pull request.

SEE ALSO ^

Please see those modules/websites for more information related to this module.

AUTHOR ^

Alexei Znamensky <russoz@cpan.org>

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE ^

This software is copyright (c) 2011 by Alexei Znamensky.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.

BUGS AND LIMITATIONS ^

You can make new bug reports, and view existing ones, through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org.

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.

syntax highlighting: