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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I just don't find SQL that hard, and if you create a neatly packaged data access layer it doesn't get in the way of building your application too much, plus you get all the benefits of writing your own code, without the frustration of having to figure out how to do that stuff in an ORM.
    • Theoretically, a good ORM provides a neatly packaged data access layer. It can certainly get in your way though if you're trying to do things that are mostly reports and don't have any use for turning the results into objects.
    • I tend to put my SQL into a package and call it from that. Neat and tidy and no SQL intermixed with my code. I am sure there are better ways of doing it and I might like some of the ORM stuff but at this point in time I haven't missed it.
      • That's exactly what I do. I've built some pretty high performance apps that way (like in the order of 10m hits/day) and it's worked well for me.
  • When people talk about ORMs, I think they're generally looking at them the wrong way. The more I work with them, the more I think that trying to marry an class and a table is a terrible idea. I recently worked on a system where I could do something like this:

    $server->disable;

    That mapped to a table representing dedicated server, but that class had several other ORM classes it needed to interact with. That particular method hid tons of complexity behind it, including logging, deallocating IP addres

    • I disagree, kind of.

      I agree that a direct marrying of a class to a table can be a bad idea.

      I disagree that the abstraction cannot be a positive thing.

      My non-CPAN ORM ignores the class to table link and models the data at an entity-relationship level.

      From there, it derives BOTH the classes and the tables.

      Some of those classes don't have a table ("Transient Entities", imagine doing FormMail with all the structure and support of an ORM, but not ever needing to actually store the data) or don't write (I have "V
    • That sounds very much like how I think of DBIx::Class. Have you looked at it? I don’t think of DBIC as an ORM so much as I think of it as an OO API for SQL. Its basic unit is the result set – in other words, an OO wrapper around an SQL query. The main win for me is that I can accumulate conditions into queries (including composing result sets into one another) and let DBIC build the resulting SQL for me, instead of having to manually write template-ish SQL-generating logic for highly parametrisa

      • I've looked at DBIx::Class and it looks very nice, but I chose Rose::DB::Object. The project in question was an attempt to apply some discipline to a system where the code was rather typical of "legacy" systems. It was basically a bunch of CGIs and some of it already was a tad slow. One of our developers already had some performance issues with DBIx::Class on another project and I read some experiences others had with its performance. Since Rose is known for how incredibly fast it is (and I love how it

      • The main win for me is that I can accumulate conditions into queries (including composing result sets into one another) and let DBIC build the resulting SQL for me, instead of having to manually write template-ish SQL-generating logic for highly parametrisable queries.

        Any chance you could show an example? This is frequently cited as an interesting feature of DBIC, but there's not much in the docs about it. How is accumulating conditions and letting it build the SQL different from what the other SQL builders
        • It’s sort of a higher-order SQL.

          I can pass a ResultSet to someone else, and they can add constraints, joins, a group clause or such, as they like. This makes it much easier to decouple (and sometimes reuse) code. F.ex. I can build a ResultSet piecemeal along a chain of controllers in URI dispatch. I can even change some aspect of the query from within a template, eg. add a LIMIT clause to a passed-in ResultSet, without automatically having to tie the template to that particular query.

          Such a thing

          • Thanks, that's the best explanation I've heard of it.

            I've mostly used the data structure approach. RDBO includes a query builder which is much more powerful than SQL::Abstract and is able to represent joins and complex conditions reasonably well. I've done work with that where the conditions are built up similar to what you describe and then passed to the query builder to be turned into SQL.
  • Class::DBI does get on my nerves at times, but the thing I absolutely love about it is how easy it is to drop into SQL and back out again. Any SELECT query can return C::DBI based objects. And most of the other annoyances you took care of for us with your patches :)
  • What I really want an ORM for is to take care of the mind-numbing SQL. The stuff you write repeatedly to "get a row with this primary key so I can look at those four columns". That's going to be 80% of your SQL coding in a moderate-sized app.

    But I agree with you... the other 20% can be split into "stuff that can be represented with convoluted Perl" vs "stuff that is better represented as real SQL". The line between those will vary from app to app, but the important thing is that that last category be re

    --
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
  • My job is reporting. So while most Perl programmers seem to be hurrying as fast as they can to keep from having to write SQL, I'm going the other way - I don't want the necessary bits of Perl to obscure the big chunks of SQL.

    When it makes sense, I'm happy to recommend an ORM. Most transactional applications fall in that boat. But when I see convoluted APIs to try to build complex SQL in Perl, I always am left thinking, "Why should I learn an API that is as complicated as SQL to get less capability than r