File::Sip - file parser intended for big files that don't fit into main memory.


version 0.003


In most of the cases, you don't want to use this, but File::Slurp::Tiny instead.

This class is able to read a line from a file without loading the whole file in memory. When you want to deal with files of millions of lines, on a limited environment, brute force isn't an option.

An index of all the lines in the file is built in order to be able to access their starting position depending on their line number.

The memory used is then limited to the size of the index plus the size of the line that is read (until the line separator character is reached).

It also provides a way to nicely iterate over all the lines of the file, using only the amount of memory needed to store one line at a time, not the whole file.



Required, file path as a string.


Optional, regular expression of the newline seperator, default is /(\015\012|\015|\012)/.


Optional, flag to tell if the file is utf8-encoded, default is true.

If true, the line returned by read_line will be decoded.


Index that contains positions of all lines of the file, usage:

    $sip->index->[ $line_number ] = $seek_position;



Return the line content at the given position (terminated by line_separator).

    my $line = $sip->read_line( $line_number );

It's also possible to read the entire file, line by line without providing a line number to the method, until undef is returned:

    while (my $line = $sip->read_line()) {
        # do something with $line


This module was written at Weborama when dealing with huge raw files, where huge means "oh no, it really won't fit anymore in this compute slot!" (which are limited in main-memory).


File::Sip is not faster than in-memory parsers like File::Slurp::Tiny but it has a lower memory footprint. With small files, it's not obvious (when the file is small, the cost of the index is almost equal to the cost of all the characters of the file). But when the file gets bigger, the gain in main memory grows.

With files bigger than few megabytes, File::Sip will consume up to 20 times less memory than File::Slurp. This factor of 20 appears to be an asymptotic limit as size of studied files grows.

If you want to estimate the memory size of a running process that uses File::Sip, you can then assume that the size of the index will be around 1/20th of the size of the processed file.


This module has been written at Weborama by Alexis Sukrieh and Bin Shu.


Alexis Sukrieh <>


This software is copyright (c) 2014 by Weborama.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.