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config_data - Query or change configuration of Perl modules


# Get config/feature values
config_data --module Foo::Bar --feature bazzable
config_data --module Foo::Bar --config magic_number

# Set config/feature values
config_data --module Foo::Bar --set_feature bazzable=1
config_data --module Foo::Bar --set_config magic_number=42

# Print a usage message
config_data --help


The "config_data" tool provides a command-line interface to the configuration of Perl
modules. By "configuration", we mean something akin to "user preferences" or "local
settings". This is a formalization and abstraction of the systems that people like
Andreas Koenig ("CPAN::Config"), Jon Swartz ("HTML::Mason::Config"), Andy Wardley
("Template::Config"), and Larry Wall (perl's own Config.pm) have developed independently.

The configuration system employed here was developed in the context of "Module::Build".
Under this system, configuration information for a module "Foo", for example, is stored in
a module called "Foo::ConfigData") (I would have called it "Foo::Config", but that was
taken by all those other systems mentioned in the previous paragraph...). These
"...::ConfigData" modules contain the configuration data, as well as publicly accessible
methods for querying and setting (yes, actually re-writing) the configuration data. The
"config_data" script (whose docs you are currently reading) is merely a front-end for
those methods. If you wish, you may create alternate front-ends.

The two types of data that may be stored are called "config" values and "feature" values.
A "config" value may be any perl scalar, including references to complex data structures.
It must, however, be serializable using "Data::Dumper". A "feature" is a boolean (1 or 0)


This script functions as a basic getter/setter wrapper around the configuration of a
single module. On the command line, specify which module's configuration you're
interested in, and pass options to get or set "config" or "feature" values. The following
options are supported:

Specifies the name of the module to configure (required).

When passed the name of a "feature", shows its value. The value will be 1 if the
feature is enabled, 0 if the feature is not enabled, or empty if the feature is
unknown. When no feature name is supplied, the names and values of all known features
will be shown.

When passed the name of a "config" entry, shows its value. The value will be
displayed using "Data::Dumper" (or similar) as perl code. When no config name is
supplied, the names and values of all known config entries will be shown.

Sets the given "feature" to the given boolean value. Specify the value as either 1 or

Sets the given "config" entry to the given value.

If the "--eval" option is used, the values in "set_config" will be evaluated as perl
code before being stored. This allows moderately complicated data structures to be
stored. For really complicated structures, you probably shouldn't use this command-
line interface, just use the Perl API instead.

Prints a help message, including a few examples, and exits.

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