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Re^3: why require a true value

by Dominus (Parson)
on Nov 01, 2005 at 05:48 UTC ( #504511=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: why require a true value
in thread why require a true value

Says Errto:
Wouldn't it be more useful for the module to just die and report its own error message directly to the user (with the added benefit that he/she then has a line number with which to inquire into the module's source)?
Yes, it would. The reply above from Zaxo seems to miss the point--- a module that does not return a true value throws an exception anyway, so nothing would be lost by saying that modules that want to signal initialization failures should call die.

I think Larry agrees that the "true value" thing was a mistake. (Compounding the mistake was Larry's decision to make failure, rather than success, the default.)

Way back when, I proposed that this mistake should be removed in Perl 6; the revised proposal is here. While I was researching the proposal, I looked at all the modules distributed with the current version of Perl 5 to see if the "return false value to indicate failure" feature was actually used. It turned out it was, but very infrequently. 99 of the 102 modules ended with an explicit 1;. Two modules used the feature; the other called die explicitly to indicate failure.

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