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Hashes and Cookies (or more to the point, strings)

by Snuggle (Friar)
on Jul 19, 2001 at 19:16 UTC ( #98103=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Snuggle has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Monks, I bow to your buddha nature.... I ran into an interesting problem today. I am recieveing information from a cookie that is formatted in the following way:
name1,value1,name2,value2....etc.
this looks like a hash to me so I attempted to copy the cookie string to a variable like so:
my $rep= new CGI; my $cookie = $rep->cookie("cookiename");
so now $cookie has one long string with all the data separated by commas. Now, I append ()'s and quotes in all the right places, and I have a string that says something like this:
("Name1","Value1","Name2","Value2")
Setting my hash equal to this never worked right, I suspect that it has something to with the fact that the equal operator does not take the string as a literal and instead put the whole string in the first key. Is there any way to have a hash look at a string in the literal sense, or do I have to split the string into an array and hash it from there? Thanks

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.

--P. J. O'Rourke

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Hashes and Cookies (or more to the point, strings)
by bikeNomad (Priest) on Jul 19, 2001 at 19:23 UTC
    The problem is that the assignment isn't parsed as it would be in your source text. The fastest thing to do is to split it:

    my $cookie = 'name1,value1,name2,value2'; my %hash = split(',', $cookie);

    Or you can use string eval on your quoted string (but why?):

    my $cookie = '("Name1","Value1","Name2","Value2")'; my %hash = eval $cookie;

    update: But don't do that. As crazyinsomniac points out, it's not a really good idea to eval cookie contents...

Re: Hashes and Cookies (or more to the point, strings)
by lhoward (Vicar) on Jul 19, 2001 at 19:23 UTC
    Just split into a hash.
    my $rep= new CGI; my $cookie = $rep->cookie("cookiename"); my %kvpairs = split /,/,$cookie;
Re: Hashes and Cookies (or more to the point, strings)
by mikeB (Friar) on Jul 19, 2001 at 19:32 UTC
    You are correct. You cannot (usefully) assign that string to a hash. What you need to do is split the string into individual items and assign them to the hash.

    Fortunately, an array of key/value pairs can be assigned to a hash with the desired result. This often appears in code as

    %hash = (key1 => value1, key2 => value2);
    where the => operator is a pretty replacement for a comma.

    In your specific case, you want to split() the cookie string on commas, and assign the resulting array to your hash variable. Check the perldocs for details :)

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