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Re: Detecting scoping/namespace conflicts

by stephen (Priest)
on Apr 03, 2002 at 22:10 UTC ( #156459=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Detecting scoping/namespace conflicts

I'll start with a brief discussion of my and local. However, the best way of dealing with this situation is to pull out the $localdata assignment into a subroutine. See the end of this note for a discussion of that.

Good: use 'my' not 'local'

Use my not local. local is used primarily for making a local-scope copy of a global variable; for example:

#!/usr/bin/perl use strict; sub foo { local $, = '... '; print ('a', 'list', 'of', "things\n"); } foo(); print "This", "is", "a", "test\n";
prints out:
a... list... of... things Thisisatest
my, on the other hand, always creates a new lexically-scoped variable that is only visible in the enclosing block or file. Use my for all of the variables that you yourself create. So, to modify your code:
use strict; # Transform 'local' to 'my', and get rid of needless # initialization to 'undef' my $usefuldata = 1; # in real life, lots of logic here if ( blah_blah() ) { # Eliminated second definition of $usefuldata $usefuldata = 2; # in real life, lots of logic here } insert_into_database($usefuldata)

Note: code untested

Better: Refactor To Subroutine

Problem is, $usefuldata serves no purpose here except as a placeholder. Nobody is incrementing it; nobody is altering it. It's either 1 or 2. (I know this is a simplified case, but the point still holds no matter how complex the logic.) It's far better from your code's standpoint to pull out the code that calculates $usefuldata into its own subroutine.

use strict; # Put all of the $usefuldata stuff in a subroutine sub get_useful_data { # Eliminated initial assignment of $usefuldata... # There's no need to calculate it if blah_blah() # is true and we're going to replace the value anyway if ( blah_blah() ) { # No need to store $usefuldata in a variable... # just return it return 2; } else { # Since blah_blah() is false, we return the default # case return 1; } } # Now we can calculate $usefuldata exactly where we want it insert_into_database( get_useful_data() )

Note: Code untested

An advantage to this is that you've eliminated $usefuldata entirely, and never need to wonder if somehow some other bit of code might have altered it. Everything having to do with $usefuldata is in one place.

Gets off soapbox

Update: Looking back, I'm not quite sure if you intended '1' to be the default case, or if the other $usefuldata was completely unrelated. This note assumes that you intended '1' to be inserted if your 'if' statement was false. In any case, replacing the variable assignment with a subroutine will solve the problem, because redefining a subroutine will cause a warning under '-w' anyway.


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