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=head1 NAME

Lucy::Object::Obj - Base class for all Lucy objects.

=head1 SYNOPSIS

    package MyObj;
    use base qw( Lucy::Object::Obj );
    
    # Inside-out member var.
    my %foo;
    
    sub new {
        my ( $class, %args ) = @_;
        my $foo = delete $args{foo};
        my $self = $class->SUPER::new(%args);
        $foo{$$self} = $foo;
        return $self;
    }
    
    sub get_foo {
        my $self = shift;
        return $foo{$$self};
    }
    
    sub DESTROY {
        my $self = shift;
        delete $foo{$$self};
        $self->SUPER::DESTROY;
    }



=head1 DESCRIPTION

All objects in the Lucy:: hierarchy descend from
Lucy::Object::Obj.  All classes are implemented as blessed scalar
references, with the scalar storing a pointer to a C struct.

=head2 Subclassing

The recommended way to subclass Lucy::Object::Obj and its descendants is
to use the inside-out design pattern.  (See L<Class::InsideOut> for an
introduction to inside-out techniques.)

Since the blessed scalar stores a C pointer value which is unique per-object,
C<$$self> can be used as an inside-out ID.

    # Accessor for 'foo' member variable.
    sub get_foo {
        my $self = shift;
        return $foo{$$self};
    }


Caveats:

=over

=item *

Inside-out aficionados will have noted that the "cached scalar id" stratagem
recommended above isn't compatible with ithreads -- but Lucy doesn't
support ithreads anyway, so it doesn't matter.

=item *

Overridden methods must not return undef unless the API specifies that
returning undef is permissible.  (Failure to adhere to this rule currently
results in a segfault rather than an exception.)

=back

=head1 CONSTRUCTOR

=head2 new()

Abstract constructor -- must be invoked via a subclass.  Attempting to
instantiate objects of class "Lucy::Object::Obj" directly causes an
error.

Takes no arguments; if any are supplied, an error will be reported.

=head1 DESTRUCTOR

=head2 DESTROY

All Lucy classes implement a DESTROY method; if you override it in a
subclass, you must call C<< $self->SUPER::DESTROY >> to avoid leaking memory.




=head1 ABSTRACT METHODS

=head2 to_i64()

Convert the object to a 64-bit integer.

=head2 to_f64()

Convert the object to a double precision floating point number.

=head2 load(dump)

Create an object from the output of a call to dump().  Implementations
must not reference the caller.

=over

=item *

B<dump> - The output of dump().

=back



=head1 METHODS

=head2 to_string()

Generic stringification: "ClassName@hex_mem_address".

=head2 equals(other)

Indicate whether two objects are the same.  By default, compares the
memory address.

=over

=item *

B<other> - Another Obj.

=back

=head2 dump()

Return a representation of the object using only scalars, hashes, and
arrays.  Some implementations support JSON serialization via dump() and
its companion method, load(); for others, dump() is only a debugging
aid.  The default simply calls to_string().





=cut