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Memoize::Expire(3Perl Programmers Reference GuMemoize::Expire(3p)

       Memoize::Expire - Plug-in module for automatic expiration
       of memoized values

         use Memoize;
         use Memoize::Expire;
         tie my %cache => 'Memoize::Expire',
                            LIFETIME => $lifetime,    # In seconds
                            NUM_USES => $n_uses;

         memoize 'function', SCALAR_CACHE => [HASH => \%cache ];

       Memoize::Expire is a plug-in module for Memoize.  It
       allows the cached values for memoized functions to expire
       automatically.  This manual assumes you are already famil-
       iar with the Memoize module.  If not, you should study
       that manual carefully first, paying particular attention
       to the HASH feature.

       Memoize::Expire is a layer of software that you can insert
       in between Memoize itself and whatever underlying package
       implements the cache.  The layer presents a hash variable
       whose values expire whenever they get too old, have been
       used too often, or both. You tell "Memoize" to use this
       forgetful hash as its cache instead of the default, which
       is an ordinary hash.

       To specify a real-time timeout, supply the "LIFETIME"
       option with a numeric value.  Cached data will expire
       after this many seconds, and will be looked up afresh when
       it expires.  When a data item is looked up afresh, its
       lifetime is reset.

       If you specify "NUM_USES" with an argument of n, then each
       cached data item will be discarded and looked up afresh
       after the nth time you access it.  When a data item is
       looked up afresh, its number of uses is reset.

       If you specify both arguments, data will be discarded from
       the cache when either expiration condition holds.

       Memoize::Expire uses a real hash internally to store the
       cached data.  You can use the "HASH" option to Memo-
       ize::Expire to supply a tied hash in place of the ordinary
       hash that Memoize::Expire will normally use.  You can use
       this feature to add Memoize::Expire as a layer in between
       a persistent disk hash and Memoize.  If you do this, you
       get a persistent disk cache whose entries expire automati-
       cally.  For example:

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Memoize::Expire(3Perl Programmers Reference GuMemoize::Expire(3p)

         #   Memoize
         #      |
         #   Memoize::Expire  enforces data expiration policy
         #      |
         #   DB_File  implements persistence of data in a disk file
         #      |
         #   Disk file

         use Memoize;
         use Memoize::Expire;
         use DB_File;

         # Set up persistence
         tie my %disk_cache => 'DB_File', $filename, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666];

         # Set up expiration policy, supplying persistent hash as a target
         tie my %cache => 'Memoize::Expire',
                            LIFETIME => $lifetime,    # In seconds
                            NUM_USES => $n_uses,
                            HASH => \%disk_cache;

         # Set up memoization, supplying expiring persistent hash for cache
         memoize 'function', SCALAR_CACHE => [ HASH => \%cache ];

       There is nothing special about Memoize::Expire.  It is
       just an example.  If you don't like the policy that it
       implements, you are free to write your own expiration pol-
       icy module that implements whatever policy you desire.
       Here is how to do that.  Let us suppose that your module
       will be named MyExpirePolicy.

       Short summary: You need to create a package that defines
       four methods:

           Construct and return cache object.

           Given a function argument, is the corresponding func-
           tion value in the cache, and if so, is it fresh enough
           to use?

           Given a function argument, look up the corresponding
           function value in the cache and return it.

           Given a function argument and the corresponding func-
           tion value, store them into the cache.

           (Optional.)  Flush the cache completely.

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Memoize::Expire(3Perl Programmers Reference GuMemoize::Expire(3p)

       The user who wants the memoization cache to be expired
       according to your policy will say so by writing

         tie my %cache => 'MyExpirePolicy', args...;
         memoize 'function', SCALAR_CACHE => [HASH => \%cache];

       This will invoke "MyExpirePolicy->TIEHASH(args)".  MyEx-
       pirePolicy::TIEHASH should do whatever is appropriate to
       set up the cache, and it should return the cache object to
       the caller.

       For example, MyExpirePolicy::TIEHASH might create an
       object that contains a regular Perl hash (which it will to
       store the cached values) and some extra information about
       the arguments and how old the data is and things like
       that.  Let us call this object `C'.

       When Memoize needs to check to see if an entry is in the
       cache already, it will invoke "C->EXISTS(key)".  "key" is
       the normalized function argument.  MyExpirePolicy::EXISTS
       should return 0 if the key is not in the cache, or if it
       has expired, and 1 if an unexpired value is in the cache.
       It should not return "undef", because there is a bug in
       some versions of Perl that will cause a spurious FETCH if
       the EXISTS method returns "undef".

       If your EXISTS function returns true, Memoize will try to
       fetch the cached value by invoking "C->FETCH(key)".  MyEx-
       pirePolicy::FETCH should return the cached value.  Other-
       wise, Memoize will call the memoized function to compute
       the appropriate value, and will store it into the cache by
       calling "C->STORE(key, value)".

       Here is a very brief example of a policy module that
       expires each cache item after ten seconds.

               package Memoize::TenSecondExpire;

               sub TIEHASH {
                 my ($package, %args) = @_;
                 my $cache = $args{HASH} || {};
                 bless $cache => $package;

               sub EXISTS {
                 my ($cache, $key) = @_;
                 if (exists $cache->{$key} &&
                     $cache->{$key}{EXPIRE_TIME} > time) {
                   return 1
                 } else {
                   return 0;  # Do NOT return `undef' here.

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Memoize::Expire(3Perl Programmers Reference GuMemoize::Expire(3p)

               sub FETCH {
                 my ($cache, $key) = @_;
                 return $cache->{$key}{VALUE};

               sub STORE {
                 my ($cache, $key, $newvalue) = @_;
                 $cache->{$key}{VALUE} = $newvalue;
                 $cache->{$key}{EXPIRE_TIME} = time + 10;

       To use this expiration policy, the user would say

               use Memoize;
               tie my %cache10sec => 'Memoize::TenSecondExpire';
               memoize 'function', SCALAR_CACHE => [HASH => \%cache10sec];

       Memoize would then call "function" whenever a cached value
       was entirely absent or was older than ten seconds.

       You should always support a "HASH" argument to "TIEHASH"
       that ties the underlying cache so that the user can spec-
       ify that the cache is also persistent or that it has some
       other interesting semantics.  The example above demon-
       strates how to do this, as does "Memoize::Expire".

       Brent Powers has a "Memoize::ExpireLRU" module that was
       designed to work with Memoize and provides expiration of
       least-recently-used data.  The cache is held at a fixed
       number of entries, and when new data comes in, the least-
       recently used data is expired.  See

       Joshua Chamas's Tie::Cache module may be useful as an
       expiration manager.  (If you try this, let me know how it
       works out.)

       If you develop any useful expiration managers that you
       think should be distributed with Memoize, please let me

       This module is experimental, and may contain bugs.  Please
       report bugs to the address below.

       Number-of-uses is stored as a 16-bit unsigned integer, so
       can't exceed 65535.

       Because of clock granularity, expiration times may occur
       up to one second sooner than you expect.  For example,
       suppose you store a value with a lifetime of ten seconds,
       and you store it at 12:00:00.998 on a certain day.

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Memoize::Expire(3Perl Programmers Reference GuMemoize::Expire(3p)

       Memoize will look at the clock and see 12:00:00.  Then
       9.01 seconds later, at 12:00:10.008 you try to read it
       back.  Memoize will look at the clock and see 12:00:10 and
       conclude that the value has expired.  This will probably
       not occur if you have "Time::HiRes" installed.

       Mark-Jason Dominus (mjd-perl-memoize+@plover.com)

       Mike Cariaso provided valuable insight into the best way
       to solve this problem.


       The Memoize man page.

       http://www.plover.com/~mjd/perl/Memoize/  (for news and

       I maintain a mailing list on which I occasionally announce
       new versions of Memoize.  The list is for announcements
       only, not discussion.  To join, send an empty message to

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