[development] Variables, lookups, and memory usage
allie at pajunas.com
Thu Dec 15 18:24:56 UTC 2005
I've written a lookup module to store and manage generic name/value
pairs, organized by "realms". For example:
REALM NAME VALUE
state MN Minnesota
state TX Texas
country US United States
The basic premise is to keep this type of data in one place, rather
than all over the map (e.g. a states table for ecommerce, a states
table for something else, so-on.) With the lookup API, any module
can stash/get its codes in the table, and it supports importing from
a text file. I got used to working this way at my last job (a big
Oracle shop - I think this model is called "one true lookup table")
I'm considering using this for module settings to save memory. Some
of my modules (e.g. send) have lots of settings for email templates,
default message text, etc. It's silly to shove all of this into the
variables table and haul it around on each page request, when 1 out
of 5,000 page views will actually require it.
So, I'd add:
REALM NAME VALUE
send template <html><body>...
send message Here's some content from ...
I still have a consistent place to stash these settings ( lookup_set
() , lookup_get() ), but I only pull them as needed. An overall
memory savings, and handy as well.
The lookup_get() is functionally similar to the variable_get()
function, except that it requires a $realm parameter:
lookup_get($realm, $name=null); // without a name, it returns a
keyed array of the whole realm
1) There's potential overlap with variables and probably other
stuff too. Is there a better way?
2) Is it weird to create a confusing-sounding component module
like this and require it for other modules? Should this (or a
derivative of this) functionality be available in core instead?
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