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Re: AUTOLOAD does not scale

by runrig (Abbot)
on May 26, 2004 at 21:16 UTC ( #356734=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to AUTOLOAD does not scale
in thread OO Inheritence

Two AUTOLOADs cannot coexist amicably in the same inheritance tree. Try it, one masks the other.

The OP only has one AUTOLOAD, in the base class. IMHO, this is fine, as long as all derived classes play nicely.

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Re: Re: AUTOLOAD does not scale
by rir (Vicar) on May 26, 2004 at 21:48 UTC
    Agreed, but I say playing nicely is a practice that does not scale. If you won't distribute the code there is nothing wrong with using AUTOLOAD.

    I am saying that AUTOLOAD does not scale well. Every use of AUTOLOAD in a program should be under the control of one party. If two separate authors use AUTOLOAD in the same program breakage is likely.

    Being conservative, I would be suspicious of any program with more than one AUTOLOAD. If two AUTOLOAD routines exist in a hierarchy there is a problem. (Don't forget UNIVERSAL.)

    This is a known problem. Consider:

    #!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings; # I decide to use a module package Vehicle; use vars '$AUTOLOAD'; sub new { return bless {}, $_[0]; } # handle all "V*" calls sub AUTOLOAD { my ($key) = $AUTOLOAD =~/::(\w+)/; return if $key =~ /^[A-Z]+$/; die "Vehicle::AUTOLOAD can't cope as $key" unless $key =~ /^[vV]/; print "Leaving Vehicle::AUTOLOAD as $key$/"; } # with my program below package Animal; use vars '$AUTOLOAD'; sub new { return bless {}, $_[0]; } # handle all "A*" calls sub AUTOLOAD { my ($key) = $AUTOLOAD =~/::(\w+)/; return if $key =~ /^[A-Z]+$/; die "Animal::AUTOLOAD can't cope as $key" unless $key =~ /^[aA]/; print "Leaving Animal::AUTOLOAD as $key$/"; } package Horse; use vars qw/ @ISA /; @ISA = qw/ Vehicle Animal /; package main; # the two usages cannot work together, I needed to # know that Vehicle used AUTOLOAD so I could avoid it # or rewrite my code to eliminate AUTOLOAD. my $h = Horse->new; $h->Veh(); $h->Ani(); # call intercepted by Vehicle AUTOLOAD
    Be well.

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