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Re^5: The Most Essential Perl Development Tools Today

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Jan 11, 2013 at 19:44 UTC ( #1012964=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: The Most Essential Perl Development Tools Today
in thread The Most Essential Perl Development Tools Today

If you're arguing that the default choices are inappropriate

Oh, the defaults are absolutely abominable, and when P::C first hit our consciousness, I argued fervently that a) they should be changed; b) that considerable thought (and preferably open discussion), be put into deciding what they should be changed to. I was ignored.

Now, having seen the way the overall project has evolved, my position now is far stronger: fixing the defaults would not fix the problems, which run far too deep for this to simply be a "configuration issue".

One problem is the matter of "quality control".

Anyone can write and upload a 'policy module'; and it seems that most of them get adopted without any serious consideration of their efficacy.

That is best exampled by tye's stark demonstration of your own misunderstanding with regard to the bareword filehandles issue. Do not feel bad about that, I think many others are in a similar position with regard to this issue. and many others. And there in a nutshell is the bigger problem.

A Perl::Critic policy for something, no matter how trivial:eg. trailing commas; capricious:eg. spell-checking POD; misunderstood:eg. bareword filehandles; or just out&out wrong:eg. requiring use base; becomes widely, and wrongly, legitimised

Witness the number of replies we see here that completely ignore the question asked and respond with edicts that "You must use lexical filehandles", even when they are unrelated to the question, and barewords are being used completely safely.

Configuration is not enough.

File-scope granularity for defaults is simply not enough. Programmers can (and should!) make their judgements on the appropriateness of particular constructs and idioms dynamically, ie. On a case-by-case basis.

Eg 1. If a subroutine requires stepping through an array by 2s, 5s, or 10s, a C-style for loop is the ideal construct; but like most perlers, I prefer to use a perlish for loop for most cases.

Eg 2. Using <> rather than <STDIN> may be the 'right thing to do' in most cases; but sometimes the requirement calls for reading from both in the same loop(s).

As a teaching aid, P::C does more harm than good.

Giving beginner's a bunch of arbitrary, capricious, pedantic and outright wrong "rules" to follow rather than encouraging them to experiment and learn by their mistakes; and learning to read the (amazingly comprehensive, if somewhat difficult) perl documentation carefully and thoroughly, will bread new generations of Perl programmers every bit as damaged as the archetypal VB programmers from yesteryear.

Monkey see, monkey do

This has nothing to do with snobbery; or being a "highly-sophisticated programmer"; it has everything to do with wanting to protect my favorite language and its future practitioners from the capricious, java-wannabe, idiots that think that they can save money on training by reducing Perl to some bland, flavorless, generic programming language.

We should not be entertaining, much less encouraging, people who think that while( ! eof() ){

is any clearer or easier to understand that until( eof() ) { .

Or that for my $line_out ( @array ) { say $line_out } is clearer, more understandable; or dog forbid, 'more correct' than say for @array.


With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.


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