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Re: Are prototypes evil?

by lestrrat (Deacon)
on Sep 03, 2002 at 10:05 UTC ( #194715=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Are prototypes evil?

I think when they are called for ( such as when you described "... I like the ability to use subs like built-ins.." ), they can be good. The reason most people that I know detest them is because it gives you false sense of security

For example, you may think that a sub foo($) would force perl to raise an error if you passed an array to it. But this produces no errors:

my @list = qw/ foo bar baz /; foo( @list );

instead, you get size of the list.

I find this to be extremely dangerous, because a lot of people expect "prototypes" to work sort of like C/C++/Java prototypes, and what's worse, it sometimes seems to work that way as well (For example, foo($a,$b) would in fact generate an error)

That's exactly why I don't like them, and almost never use them except for in esoteric cases. At the very least, I think the use should NOT be encouraged.

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