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> Second, as long as we're working so hard to modify the parameter list, let's make the following a fatal error: swap( qw(this that) );

Thanks for pointing out this subtle difference!

After some meditation I actually I prefer this not being a fatal error!

The (lisp like) possibility of having references to literals always confused me to hell.

Back in time when LISP was running on 4 KB RAM it certainly made sense to avoid copies, but nowadays?

this little experiment shows whats happening when dereferencing a ref to a literal

$x=\1; $y=$$x; # equivalent to $y = 1, i.e. a copy $y++; print $y; #> 2

it's a copy and I thinks thats saner.

The other point is what a modifier-routine should return.

> But they all have a return value of the swapped list, so they're useful even when modifying the parameter list isn't the goal, right?

There are many possibilities:

- dual use by returning the swap => fault tolerance

- empty return to avoid double use => explicit use, ignore error

- carping if defined wantarray. => runtime warnings

But actually these design decisions are out of my scope, cause it doesn't inflict the idiom, cause it's the same problem when using $_[0] aliases etc.

for simplicity I'd simply add an empty return() to the example:

sub swap { my ($a, $b) = \(@_); ( $$a, $$b ) = ( $$b, $$a ); return; }

Cheers Rolf

In reply to Re^2: RFC: Idiom for named read-write arguments (aliases) instead of using $_[0] etc by LanX
in thread RFC: Idiom for named read-write arguments (aliases) instead of using $_[0] etc by LanX

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