nested_dictionaries

This library provides nested dictionary implementations based on private extensions to the dictionaries library objects. The representations of a nested dictionary should be regarded as opaque terms and only accessed using the library predicates.

This library is experimental, a work in progress, and future versions can introduce incompatible changes.

API documentation

Open the ../../docs/library_index.html#nested_dictionaries link in a web browser.

Loading

To load all entities in this library, load the loader.lgt file:

| ?- logtalk_load(nested_dictionaries(loader)).

Testing

To test this library predicates, load the tester.lgt file:

| ?- logtalk_load(nested_dictionaries(tester)).

Usage

First, select the nested dictionary implementation that you want to use. For cases where the number of elements is relatively small and performance is not critical, nbintree can be a good choice. For other cases, navltree or nrbtree are likely better choices. If you want to compare the performance of the implementations, either define an object alias or use an uses/2 directive so that you can switch between implementations by simply changing the alias definition or the first argument of the directive. Note that you can switch between implementations at runtime without code changes by using a parameter variable in the first argument of an uses/2 directive.

To create an empty nested dictionary, you can use the new/1 predicate. For example:

| ?- navltree::new(Dictionary).
Dictionary = ...
yes

You can also create a new nested dictionary from a curly bracketed term representation (see below) by using the predicate as_nested_dictionary/2. For example:

| ?- navltree::as_nested_dictionary(
        {a-1, b-{c-3, d-{e-7,f-8}}},
        Dictionary
     ).

Dictionary = ...
yes

Several predicates are provided to insert, lookup, update, and delete key-value pairs given a list of keys interpreted as an access path to a nested dictionary. For example:

| ?- navltree::as_nested_dictionary(
        {a-1, b-{c-3, d-{e-7,f-8}}},
        Dictionary
     ),
     navltree::lookup_in([b,d,f], Value, Dictionary).

Dictionary = ...
Value = 8
yes

For details on these and other provided predicates, consult the library API documentation.

Curly term representation

To simplify importing and exporting data into a nested dictionary, the library provides as_nested_dictionary/2 and as_curly_bracketed/2 predicates that work with a curly term representation. This format is based on the JSON data interchange format.

A dictionary is represented by the {Pairs} term where Pairs is a conjunction of Key-Value or Key:Value pairs and Value can be a nested dictionary or lists of pairs. An empty dictionary is represented using the {} term.