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by root (Scribe)
on Dec 23, 1999 at 00:53 UTC ( #1266=perlfunc: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


See the current Perl documentation for Tie::Hash.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

Tie::Hash, Tie::StdHash - base class definitions for tied hashes

    package NewHash;
    require Tie::Hash;
    @ISA = (Tie::Hash);
    sub DELETE { ... }          # Provides needed method
    sub CLEAR { ... }           # Overrides inherited method
    package NewStdHash;
    require Tie

This module provides some skeletal methods for hash-tying classes. See perltie for a list of the functions required in order to tie a hash to a package. The basic Tie::Hash package provides a new method, as well as methods TIEHASH, EXISTS and CLEAR. The Tie::StdHash package provides most methods required for hashes in perltie. It inherits from Tie::Hash, and causes tied hashes to behave exactly like standard hashes, allowing for selective overloading of methods. The new method is provided as grandfathering in the case a class forgets to include a TIEHASH method.

For developers wishing to write their own tied hashes, the required methods are briefly defined below. See the perltie section for more detailed descriptive, as well as example code:

TIEHASH classname, LIST

The method invoked by the command tie %hash, classname. Associates a new hash instance with the specified class. LIST would represent additional arguments (along the lines of AnyDBM_File and compatriots) needed to complete the association.

STORE this, key, value

Store datum value into key for the tied hash this.

FETCH this, key

Retrieve the datum in key for the tied hash this.


Return the (key, value) pair for the first key in the hash.

NEXTKEY this, lastkey

Return the next key for the hash.

EXISTS this, key

Verify that key exists with the tied hash this.

DELETE this, key

Delete the key key from the tied hash this.

CLEAR this

Clear all values from the tied hash this.


The perltie documentation includes a method called DESTROY as a necessary method for tied hashes. Neither Tie::Hash nor Tie::StdHash define a default for this method. This is a standard for class packages, but may be omitted in favor of a simple default.


The packages relating to various DBM-related implemetations (DB_File, NDBM_File, etc.) show examples of general tied hashes, as does the Config module. While these do not utilize Tie::Hash, they serve as good working examples.

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