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Re: Never guess at code!

by epoptai (Curate)
on Jul 03, 2001 at 22:01 UTC ( #93605=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Never guess at code!

I know what you mean but am not sure it's about pride. Trial and error, and guessing are key strategies people use to learn, expand and deploy their language skills. I'm always learning new things about perl when ignorance and incomprehensible documentation demand experimentation. It's also natural for acquired skills to settle into habitual patterns of unconscious behavior so they can be used spontaneously without having to think about them.

I agree with your conclusion that this tendency needs to be overcome when using language to speak with machines. They demand a much more exact grammer and syntax since the other constructs we habitually use to convey meaning such as inflection and body language don't apply (yet).

So I think that saying 'never guess at code' is a little too strict :-). Instead, guess away and learn new ways to do things, but always double check your guesses, and question your own coding habits.

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[Corion]: Yaerox: There is Encode::Guess, but that needs a limited set of inputs, and it also cannot handle multiple single-byte encodings
[Corion]: If you have a BOM, that's a really easy way to recognize UTF-8. Otherwise, you can try to decode a file from UTF-8, and if that works OK and doesn't crash, most likely the file was valid UTF-8
[Corion]: But as "ansi" (Latin-1?) is a single-byte encoding, any file is a valid ANSI file

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