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NAME

       Tie::Array - base class for tied arrays

SYNOPSIS

           package Tie::NewArray;
           use Tie::Array;
           @ISA = ('Tie::Array');

           # mandatory methods
           sub TIEARRAY { ... }
           sub FETCH { ... }
           sub FETCHSIZE { ... }

           sub STORE { ... }        # mandatory if elements writeable
           sub STORESIZE { ... }    # mandatory if elements can be added/deleted
           sub EXISTS { ... }       # mandatory if exists() expected to work
           sub DELETE { ... }       # mandatory if delete() expected to work

           # optional methods - for efficiency
           sub CLEAR { ... }
           sub PUSH { ... }
           sub POP { ... }
           sub SHIFT { ... }
           sub UNSHIFT { ... }
           sub SPLICE { ... }
           sub EXTEND { ... }
           sub DESTROY { ... }

           package Tie::NewStdArray;
           use Tie::Array;

           @ISA = ('Tie::StdArray');

           # all methods provided by default

           package main;

           $object = tie @somearray,'Tie::NewArray';
           $object = tie @somearray,'Tie::StdArray';
           $object = tie @somearray,'Tie::NewStdArray';

DESCRIPTION

       This module provides methods for array-tying classes. See perltie for a list of the
       functions required in order to tie an array to a package. The basic Tie::Array package
       provides stub "DESTROY", and "EXTEND" methods that do nothing, stub "DELETE" and "EXISTS"
       methods that croak() if the delete() or exists() builtins are ever called on the tied
       array, and implementations of "PUSH", "POP", "SHIFT", "UNSHIFT", "SPLICE" and "CLEAR" in
       terms of basic "FETCH", "STORE", "FETCHSIZE", "STORESIZE".

       The Tie::StdArray package provides efficient methods required for tied arrays which are
       implemented as blessed references to an "inner" perl array.  It inherits from Tie::Array,
       and should cause tied arrays to behave exactly like standard arrays, allowing for
       selective overloading of methods.

       For developers wishing to write their own tied arrays, the required methods are briefly
       defined below. See the perltie section for more detailed descriptive, as well as example
       code:

       TIEARRAY classname, LIST
           The class method is invoked by the command "tie @array, classname". Associates an
           array instance with the specified class. "LIST" would represent additional arguments
           (along the lines of AnyDBM_File and compatriots) needed to complete the association.
           The method should return an object of a class which provides the methods below.

       STORE this, index, value
           Store datum value into index for the tied array associated with object this. If this
           makes the array larger then class's mapping of "undef" should be returned for new
           positions.

       FETCH this, index
           Retrieve the datum in index for the tied array associated with object this.

       FETCHSIZE this
           Returns the total number of items in the tied array associated with object this.
           (Equivalent to "scalar(@array)").

       STORESIZE this, count
           Sets the total number of items in the tied array associated with object this to be
           count. If this makes the array larger then class's mapping of "undef" should be
           returned for new positions.  If the array becomes smaller then entries beyond count
           should be deleted.

       EXTEND this, count
           Informative call that array is likely to grow to have count entries.  Can be used to
           optimize allocation. This method need do nothing.

       EXISTS this, key
           Verify that the element at index key exists in the tied array this.

           The Tie::Array implementation is a stub that simply croaks.

       DELETE this, key
           Delete the element at index key from the tied array this.

           The Tie::Array implementation is a stub that simply croaks.

       CLEAR this
           Clear (remove, delete, ...) all values from the tied array associated with object
           this.

       DESTROY this
           Normal object destructor method.

       PUSH this, LIST
           Append elements of LIST to the array.

       POP this
           Remove last element of the array and return it.

       SHIFT this
           Remove the first element of the array (shifting other elements down) and return it.

       UNSHIFT this, LIST
           Insert LIST elements at the beginning of the array, moving existing elements up to
           make room.

       SPLICE this, offset, length, LIST
           Perform the equivalent of "splice" on the array.

           offset is optional and defaults to zero, negative values count back from the end of
           the array.

           length is optional and defaults to rest of the array.

           LIST may be empty.

           Returns a list of the original length elements at offset.

CAVEATS

       There is no support at present for tied @ISA. There is a potential conflict between magic
       entries needed to notice setting of @ISA, and those needed to implement 'tie'.

       Very little consideration has been given to the behaviour of tied arrays when $[ is not
       default value of zero.

AUTHOR

       Nick Ing-Simmons <nik@tiuk.ti.com>