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CGI and persistent data (without Storable)

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Steve Bertrand
August 27, 2009 16:40
CGI and persistent data (without Storable)
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I put this out as my first ever post to PerlMonks, but I feel a bit
queasy about the whole web-question thing until I get a better feel for
it. I'm more at home in plain-text, so here goes:

I'm writing a web interface using CGI::Application for a project that
houses numerous methods within a dozen modules.

One particular process displays a template to the user with passed in
data, and then has four more steps before completing. The result of this
procedure will be the modification of an elaborate data structure. The
data structure may need to be modified along the way.

Given that I can get through the web GUI portion of the process with
just a couple of params, I'd like to find a way to retain the entire
data structure without having to re-instantiate it (which requires
rebuilding numerous objects etc), or pass each variable within it as a
param on each CGI invocation.

Can I, and is it plausible to create a cyclic ref redundancy of the data
structure, store the memory location in a variable, pass the variable
data as a param, and then recreate the data based on the variable that
contains the memory location at the end of the entire CGI process? Is
exploiting Perl's garbage collection like this possible, and ok to do?

I'd like to be able to 'carry' the data structure without having to
'store' it to disk, if possible


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