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Fast file reader

by Malkavian (Friar)
on Mar 15, 2001 at 22:51 UTC ( #64750=sourcecode: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Category: Text Processing
Author/Contact Info Malkavian
Description: Following discussions with a colleague (hoping for the name Dino when he gets round to appearing here) on performance of reading log files, and other large files, we hashed out a method for rapidly reading files, and returning data in a usable fashion.
Here's the code I came up with to implement the idea This is a definate v1.0 bit of code, so be gentle with me, although constructive criticism very welcome.
It's not got much in the way of internal documentation yet, tho I'll post that if anyone really feels they want it.
It requires you have the infinitely useful module Compress::Zlib installed, so thank you authors of that gem.

Purpose: The purpose is to have a general purpose object that allows you to read newline seperated logs (in this case from Apache), and return either a scalar block of data or an array of data, which is comprised of full lines, while being faster than using readline/while.

Some quick stats:
Running through a log file fragment, using a while/readline construct and writing back to a comparison file to check integrity of file written took 15.5 seconds.
Running the same log file with a scalar read from the read_block and writing the same output file took 11.3 seconds.
Running the file with an array request to read_block took 11.3 seconds.
Generating the block and using the reference by the get_new_block_ref accessor and writing the block uncopied to the integrity test file took 8.3 seconds.
For those who take a long time reading through long log files, this may be a useful utility.

Malk
#! /usr/bin/perl -w
package fastread;
use strict;
use Compress::Zlib;


######################################################################
+#########
#                     Private Methods and Attributes                  
+        #
######################################################################
+#########
{
    # Remainder holds the extra data past last full line found in data
    # segment.
    my $remainder;
    # Buffer is main data read in.
    my $buffer;
    # Number of bytes read for read request to file.
    my $bytesread;
    # Filehandle of the file being read by this object.
    my $filehandle;
    # Name of file being read.
    my $filename;
    # Debug flag, determines if debug messages are displayed.
    my $debug;
    
    sub _set_remainder
    {
    # Set the internal remainder buffer.
    my $self=shift @_;
    $remainder=shift @_;
    warn "Setting remainder to $remainder.\n" if $debug;
    }

    sub _get_remainder
    {
    # Return current value of block remainder.
    warn "Request for remainder received.  Val: $remainder\n" if $debu
+g;
    $remainder;
    }

    sub _get_buffer_ref
    {
    # Return a reference to the buffer.
    \$buffer;
    }
    
    sub _query_debug
    {
    # Returns the debug flag setting.
    $debug;
    }

    sub _set_debug
    {
    # Debug set to non zero indicates debugging enabled.
    my $self=shift @_;
    $debug=shift @_;
    warn "Debug set to $debug\n" if $debug;
    }

    sub _set_file_name
    {
    # Sets the name of the file to be read.
    my $self=shift @_;
    $filename=shift @_;
    warn "Setting name to $filename\n" if $debug;
    
    }
    
    sub _openfile
    {
    die "Trying to open stream with no name!\n" if !$filename;
    warn "Opening $filename\n" if $debug;
    $filehandle=gzopen($filename,"rb") or die "Can't open $filename fo
+r reading.\n$!\n";
    }

    sub _genblock
    { 
    my $self=shift @_;
    my $pos;
    my $newremainder;
    die "No filehandle yet opened!\n" if !$filehandle;
    warn "Generating block of data. Size $self->{_buffersize}\n" if $d
+ebug;
    $bytesread=$filehandle->gzread($buffer,$self->{_buffersize});
    $pos=rindex($buffer,"\n",$bytesread);
    warn "Read $bytesread bytes of data.\n" if $debug;
    warn "Line terminator detected at pos $pos\n" if $debug;
    $newremainder=substr($buffer, $pos+1);
    $buffer=$remainder.substr($buffer,0,$pos+1);
    $remainder=$newremainder;
    warn "Remainder now set to $remainder.\n" if $debug;
    \$buffer;
    }

}


######################################################################
+#########
#                         Public Methods                              
+        #
######################################################################
+#########

sub new
{
    my ($class,%arg)=@_;
    $class->_set_file_name($arg{filename}) if $arg{filename};
    $class->_set_remainder("");
    bless{
    _buffersize => $arg{buffer} || 4096,
    }, $class;
    
}

sub open
{
    my ($self,%args)=@_;
    warn "Request to open file\n" if $self->_query_debug();
    my $filename=$args{filename};
    my $buffsize=$args{buffer};
    if ($buffsize)
    {
        $self->{_buffersize}=$buffsize;
    }

    $self->set_file_name($filename) if $filename;
    $self->_openfile($filename);
}

sub read_block
{
    my $self=shift @_;
    my $blockref;
    $blockref=$self->_genblock();
    wantarray()?split("\n",${$blockref}):${$blockref};
}

sub set_buffer_size
{
    my $self=shift @_;
    my $size=shift @_;
    warn "Attempt to set null value to buffer size, ignoring.\n" if !$
+size;
    $self->{_buffersize}=$size?$size:$self->{_buffersize};
    warn "Buffersize now set to $self->{_buffersize}\n" if $self->_que
+ry_debug;
}

sub query_buffer_size
{
    my $self=shift @_;
    $self->{_buffersize};
}
sub set_file_name
{
    my $self=shift @_;
    my $name=shift @_;
    warn "Attempting to set filename to $name.\n" if $self->_query_deb
+ug;
    $self->_set_file_name($name);
}

sub set_debug
{
    my ($self,$debug)=@_;
    $self->_set_debug($debug);
}

sub get_block_ref
{
    my $self=shift@_;
    $self->_get_buffer_ref;
}

sub get_new_block_ref
{
    my $self=shift@_;
    $self->_genblock;
}
1;

Comment on Fast file reader
Download Code
Re: Fast file reader
by AgentM (Curate) on Mar 16, 2001 at 00:42 UTC

      Actually, on "non broken" platforms, Perl's I/O is more efficient than stdio.h I/O because it knows how to peak inside stdio's internal structures to avoid extra copying of data.

      Unfortunately, Linux is a "broken" platform in this regard so Perl's native readline (<>) is 4-times slower than it should be.

      I suspect benchmarking this code will show that it is slower than plain <IN> when run on many old-style Unix platforms but faster than <IN> on Linux.

      I'd like to encourage effort toward "fixing" Perl's I/O optimizations for Linux and other platforms (written in C).

              - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
        Thanks tye.
        I'd been wondering for a while why a read kludge like this would be faster than Perl for IO.
        Saves me asking the question in another post. :)
        I'll be keeping my eyes open for the fix if/when it appears, as a huge amount of my current work involves Perl and file IO.

        Malk

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