|We don't bite newbies here... much|
I second SQlite. I use it a lot, and if your dataset is big(ish), you don't want to be parsing flat files for every lookup.
How you store this depends on just how many [ key1=value1, key2=value2] there are.
If there is a fixed list of 'key1','key2' and it's not too many: bite the bullet and add the columns.
Otherwise, you get to use a link (This is Database 101. search for 'database normalization')
each record should be
[id], field1, field2
then in a separate table
You can also have a 3rd table with
or whatever other metadata you need to keep.
SQLite very kindly has a magic ROWID column. It wont' return it on SELECT *, but will on SELECT ROWID,*.
Of course you get to do two queries for each lookup: SELECT ROWID,* FROM main_data and then SELECT * FROM extra_data WHERE link_id = ?
TO clarify: if your 'real' data is
Then you get: