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So what do you want to do with it? I'd be inclined to turn it into an object then write a few accessor methods to pull out interesting fragments. Consider:

use strict; use warnings; my %hash = ( 'some item' => { 'source' => 'a source', 'conversions' => { 'conversion 1' => 'value 1', 'conversion 2' => 'value 2', 'conversion 3' => 'value 3', 'conversion 4' => 'value 4', 'conversion 5' => 'value 5', }, 'whatever' => 'eh', }, 'another item' => { 'source' => 'another source', 'conversions' => { 'conversion 1' => 'value 1', 'conversion 2' => 'value 2', }, 'whatever' => 'eh', }, 'one more item' => { 'source' => 'another source', 'whatever' => 'eh', }, ); my $obj = bless {data => \%hash}; for my $item ($obj->getItems ()) { print "$item->{name}: $item->{source}, $item->{whatever}\n"; } my %conversions = $obj->getConversions ('some item'); print "$_ => $conversions{$_}\n" for sort keys %conversions; sub getItems { my ($self) = @_; my $data = $self->{data}; return map {{name => $_, %{$data->{$_}}}} keys %$data; } sub getItem { my ($self, $itemName) = @_; return if ! exists $self->{data}{$itemName}; return $self->{data}{$itemName}; } sub getConversions { my ($self, $itemName) = @_; return if ! exists $self->{data}{$itemName}; my $item = $self->{data}{$itemName}; return if ! exists $item->{conversions}; return %{$item->{conversions}}; }

Prints:

some item: a source, eh another item: another source, eh one more item: another source, eh conversion 1 => value 1 conversion 2 => value 2 conversion 3 => value 3 conversion 4 => value 4 conversion 5 => value 5

Such an approach is worth doing if your data structure has a consistent structure and you need to perform a bunch of queries against it. If the data is not consistently structured then it's going to be endless hard work no matter what because you simply have to deal with special cases and that is always a source of pain.

Note that I fixed a bunch of syntax errors in the structure you gave so I presume that your sample doesn't map on to anything real in any sense.

True laziness is hard work

In reply to Re^5: Nested Data Structures for Dummies? by GrandFather
in thread Nested Data Structures for Dummies? by jedikaiti

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