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It depends how you code. It is certainly easy to code in a way where 'undef' warnings are both common and uninteresting. And 'undef' warnings are easily the ones that are mostly likely to be annoyingly common and annoyingly uninteresting.

But I usually code in a way where 'undef' warnings are much less common and much more likely to indicate a real mistake. I only rarely find myself disabling 'undef' warnings.

My biggest disagreement with the original posting is that I've never seen "isn't numeric" be a warning that I would just ignore. That warning is almost always an indication of a serious problem when I run into it.

I've only once been bitten by a bug caused by a reference being usable as a number without warning. But I agree that this could be extremely useful to be able to flag such things. I certainly want to be able to do $ref1 == $ref2. I very, very rarely even want to do things like pack "p", $ref. And 0+$ref, especially with a literal zero like that, should probably never cause a warning. But any other uses of the numeric value from a reference should generate a warning. Unfortunately, that looks rather difficult to implement in Perl, at least in some respects. Maybe not so bad if we just add a flag to scalars.

Worse was when read-only access of undef as a reference could be fatal! But maybe all of those cases have now been fixed. I've always had a hard time remembering exactly how to reproduce this failure but gave up trying to reproduce it on a modern Perl today. I'm hopeful that this just isn't a problem in modern Perls.

- tye        


In reply to Re^3: Four annoying warnings (undef, refs) by tye
in thread Four annoying warnings by tobyink

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