March 17, 2000

What are collections?

Like Rusty mentioned, we've been working a lot on Collections in perl. I probably picked the wrong term to use when I started writing them a number of months ago, because I think collection has some computer science baggage attached to it. It might be good baggage, I'm not sure. But since I don't remember enough of my CS classes to even be dangerous...

Anyway, a Collection is an object that represents some thing: a person who uses a website, a term in a dictionary, a translation between terms of two different languages in a dictionary, a relation between two terms in a dictionary (you can tell where I've been doing a lot of work recently). And the base Collection classes (currently two: Collection and Collection::DBI) don't make any assumptions about what the thing is. Collections basically just serialize (and cache) objects for later use. And generally the implementation classes are fairly simple, in the easiest case just defining some configuration information (database information such as fields, field types, table name, etc) and that's it. The interface for calling one collection object from another is fairly simple and you can build some fairly complicated relationships in this manner.

That it for now, more later.

(Originally posted elsewhere)

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