Template::Tutorial::Datafile is a Perl module for creating Data Output Files Using the Template Toolkit.
This tutorial gives an overview of the Template Toolkit, showing in particular how to use it to read and write data files in various different formats and styles. It was written by Dave Cross and first appeared as a lead article at http://www.perl.com/ earlier in the year (2001).
Introducing the Template Toolkit
There are a number of Perl modules that are universally recognised as The Right Thing To Use for certain tasks. If you accessed a database without using DBI, pulled data from the WWW without using one of the LWP modules or parsed XML without using XML::Parser or one of its subclasses then you'd run the risk of being shunned by polite Perl society.
I believe that the year 2000 saw the emergence of another 'must have' Perl module - the Template Toolkit. I don't think I'm alone in this belief as the Template Toolkit won the 'Best New Module' award at the Perl Conference last summer. Version 2.0 of the Template Toolkit (known as TT2 to its friends) was recently released to the CPAN.
TT2 was designed and written by Andy Wardley. It was born out of Andy's previous templating module, Text::Metatext, in best Fred Brooks 'plan to throw one away' manner; and aims to be the most useful (or, at least, the most used) Perl templating system.
TT2 provides a way to take a file of fixed boilerplate text (the template) and embed variable data within it. One obvious use of this is in the creation of dynamic web pages and this is where a lot of the attention that TT2 has received has been focussed. In this article, I hope to demonstrate that TT2 is just as useful in non-web applications.