Monday, September 9, 2013

4.3.3: Example - A Flat-File Database - part 2

The Record package iterates over a stream of lines, parsing them into a Record structure and passing them on. It utilizes a new function in the iterator library, Map. Lets start by running through it.

type MapFunc func(Iterator) interface{}

type imap struct {
    fmap MapFunc
    val  interface{}
    itr  Forward

func Map(fmap MapFunc, itr Forward) Forward {
    return &imap{fmap: fmap, itr: itr, val: nil}

func (i *imap) AtEnd() bool {
    return i.itr.AtEnd()

func (i *imap) Next() error {
    i.val = nil
    return i.itr.Next()

func (i *imap) Value() interface{} {
    if i.val == nil {
        i.val = i.fmap(i.itr)
    return i.val

func (i *imap) Error() error {
    return i.itr.Error()

The Map iterator accepts a MapFunc function and a Forward iterator. It then iterates over that iterator and uses the MapFunc to transform the value before returning it. You can see source at GitHub.

type (
    Record map[string]string

func RecordItr(db *Ffdb, d Direction) i.Forward {
    return i.Map(recordParser(db), d(db))

The Record type is simply a map of strings keyed to a string. And the constructor creates a map from a stream of lines to a stream of records as defined by recordParser. The Direction is a function pointer to either the Forward or the Reverse reader.

func recordParser(db *Ffdb) i.MapFunc {
    return func(itr i.Iterator) interface{} {
        line, _ := itr.Value().(string)
        fields := db.fieldsep.Split(line, -1)
        if len(fields) != len(db.fields) {
            panic(fmt.Errorf("Unexpected number of fields in record %q, expected %d, got %d\n", line, len(db.fields), len(fields)))
        var record Record = make(map[string]string, len(fields))
        for i, v := range fields {
            record[db.fields[i]] = v
        return &record

The recordParser returns a function of type i.MapFunc. Its purpose is to accept a string, tokenize it with a field seperator defined in the Ffdb object, validate that the number of fields in the line matches with the number of fields in the Ffdb object, create a Record structure and fill it with the values from the line keyed to the fields defined in the Ffdb object.

func (r *Record) String() string {
    m := (map[string]string)(*r)
    return fmt.Sprint(m)

func (r *Record) Value(key string) string {
    return (*r)[key]

Finally we have some helper functions that allows to work with a Record structure. The Ffdb package defines the flat file database object.

type Bound struct {
    start, end int64

type Ffdb struct {
    file       *os.File
    fields     []string
    fieldnames map[string]int
    fieldsep   *regexp.Regexp
    bound      Bound

The Bound structure we've seen before, it defines the boundaries of the underlying text file for the readers. The Ffdb structure holds the neccessary state for the database: the name of the file, name of the fields, a mapping of field names to field numbers, the field seperator and the Bound structure.

func NewFfdb(name, fieldsep string, schema []string) (*Ffdb, error) {
    var db Ffdb
    var err error
    db.fieldsep = regexp.MustCompile(fieldsep)
    if db.file, err = os.Open(name); err != nil {
        return nil, err
    db.fields = schema
    db.bound.end = -1
    return &db, nil

We have to constructors for the Ffdb object. The former assumes that there is no schema in the file and therefore expects the caller to supplie a slice of strings containing the names of the fields (and indirectly the number of fields). It defines the boundaries as the entire file.

func NewFfdbHeader(name, fieldsep string) (*Ffdb, error) {
    db, err := NewFfdb(name, fieldsep, nil)
    if err != nil {
        return nil, err
    readbuf := make([]byte, 4096)
    var buf bytes.Buffer
    var pos int64
    found := false
    for !found {
        n, err := db.file.Read(readbuf)
        if err != nil && err != io.EOF {
            return nil, errors.New("Unable to read schema")
        r := bytes.NewReader(readbuf)
        for r.Len() > 0 {
            ch, _, _ := r.ReadRune()
            if ch == '\n' {
                offset, err := r.Seek(0, os.SEEK_CUR)
                if err != nil {
                    return nil, err
                pos += offset
                buf.Write(readbuf[0 : offset-1])
                found = true
        if !found {
            pos += int64(n)
    db.fields = db.fieldsep.Split(buf.String(), -1)
    db.fieldnames = make(map[string]int, len(db.fields))
    for i, v := range db.fields {
        db.fieldnames[v] = i
    db.bound.start = pos
    return db, nil

The second constructor assumes that the first line in the text file contains the schema of the data base. It attempts to read this line and parse it to fill both the fields and the fieldnames members. It also saves the ending position of the first line and uses that to define the boundaries for the readers.

func (db *Ffdb) Close() {

The Ffdb is at heart a file resource, and must therefore be closed to avoid resource leaks.

The two source files discussed here are available at GitHub: Record and Ffdb

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