Jul 20, 2023

Extremely fast configuration file parser

This module is designed to provide an extremely lightweight way to parse moderately complex configuration files. As such, it exports a single function - fastconfig - and does not provide any OO access methods. Still, it is fairly full-featured.

Here’s how it works

cf = fastconfig$file, $delim;

Basically, the fastconfig function returns a hash of keys and values based on the directives in your configuration file. By default, directives and values are separated by whitespace in the config file, but this can be easily changed with the delimiter argument see below.

When the configuration file is read, its modification time is first checked and the results cached. On each call to fastconfig, if the config file has been changed, then the file is reread. Otherwise, the cached results are returned automatically. This makes this module great for mod_perl modules and scripts, one of the primary reasons I wrote it. Simply include this at the top of your script or inside of your constructor function

my cf = fastconfig'/path/to/config/file.conf';

If the file argument is omitted, then fastconfig looks for a file named $0.conf in the ../etc directory relative to the executable. For example, if you ran


Then fastconfig will automatically look for


This is great if you’re really lazy and always in a hurry, like I am.

If this doesn’t work for you, simply supply a filename manually. Note that filename generation does not work in mod_perl, so you’ll need to supply a filename manually.

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