Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A simple No-SQL key-value db using self-modifying ruby script: An interesting application of Ruby's Reflection API

I am basically a java developer and I recently started learning ruby and was amazed at the ease in which you can develop in it and elegance of the language. The easiest way to learn any programming language is to develop simple applications in it that use various features of language. So when going through the various features I came across Reflection and Metaprogramming in Ruby. A very powerful feature in ruby. It amazing how the eval function allows one to write and execute ruby code dynamically. So while thinking of an application using this feature I came up with the following application.
It is a simple No-SQL key-value db that stores data in hash in ruby. The first line declares a hash. Then the following part of script reads its own code and uses eval function to execute it declare the hash. Then depending upon the function called GET/SET it either retrieves the value associated with the key or sets a new key/value in hash. Then it simply stores the new hash in the source code.
Here is the source code for the ruby script:
hash={"1"=>"Narendra", "2"=>"Mangesh", "3"=>"Viru", "4"=>"Virendra", "5"=>"Genh"}
err_msg="ruby #{__FILE__} <GET/SET> <key_to_search/key_to_set> <not_required/value_to_set>"
if ARGV.length<2 && (ARGV[0]!="GET" || ARGV[0]!="SET")
  puts err_msg
if ARGV[0]=="SET" && ARGV.length!=3
  puts err_msg
end,'r'){|f| f.each_line {|l| z<<l}}
if ARGV[0]=="GET"
  puts c[ARGV[1]] if c.include?(ARGV[1])
elsif ARGV[0]=="SET"
  z[0]="hash="+c.inspect+"\n",'w'){|f| z.each{|x| f<<x}}


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