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Re (tilly) 1: When to use Prototypes?

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Nov 09, 2001 at 17:19 UTC ( #124349=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to When to use Prototypes?

As you well know, my answer to when to use prototypes is generally, Don't!

And an example that I would point to of what the bugs caused by prototypes working as designed (rather than by their being buggy) look like in practice, take a look at printf vs. sprintf. How quickly could you, or more importantly a co-worker of yours, figure out what went wrong there? Why would you want to subject yourself to going wrong like that when you have a choice?

On whether prototypes are a bad idea, I don't think they are in a language where they do something reasonable. But they don't in Perl.


Comment on Re (tilly) 1: When to use Prototypes?
Re: Re (tilly) 1: When to use Prototypes?
by Masem (Monsignor) on Nov 09, 2001 at 19:13 UTC
    ...or at least in Perl 5.

    As pointed out in Apocolypse 2 (where's the danged thing on perl.com??) or Exegensis 2, perl 6 will have much better prototyping featurs, such that you can have something like:

    # PERL 6!!!! @array1 = ( 1..5 ); @array2 = ( 6..10 ); do_array_magic( @array1, @array2 ); #... #... sub do_array_magic ( ARRAY $a, ARRAY $b ) { # @a is [ 1,2,3,4,5] # @b is [ 6,7,8,9,10 ] }
    instead of
    # PERL 5 @array1 = ( 1..5 ); @array2 = ( 6..10 ); do_array_magic( @array1, @array2 ); #... #... sub do_array_magic { (@a, @b) = @_; # @a is [1..10] # @b is empty. }

    But prototyping in p5 is mearly a pain, and even if you do check the args by prototype, you still probably need a block of warn or die statements as you check arguments for validity at the start of the sub. So they mearly get in the way instead of being useful currently.

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