Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:
So here's the problem: I have a CGI application for creating web pages which currently stores a representation of the links and data of a web site in a perl hash-of-hashes structure that I write to disk with Data::Dumper (see http://chicodigital.com/webtool.html). This is fine for a dozen medium sized web pages, but at some point, loading the data file for each CGI execution is going to make this app slow. Using mod_perl would solve this (right?), but my target users are either on shared servers (and thus don't have mod_perl) or don't want to deal with setting up a database. I also know I can use Storable.pm as a faster file storage solution, but that still writes to disk. So I started thinking about how it might be possible to retrieve persistent data through a Unix socket.
Here's the idea: Multiple CGI processes all talk to a persistent process that just hands them the perl hash (or accepts an updated hash) through a Unix socket. The process would die after a timeout period. It would be started by the inital CGI request, which would check if the process existed and create one if it didn't. Another way to think of this idea: it's just a home-made database connection, but the data is cached in memory (it doesn't read from disk on every request, only the first one, or after a modify).
Is this possible? (I think it is). Is this just a bad idea? Comments? I'm not avoiding mySQL, but I am catering to users who either don't have access to a database or don't want to set one up.