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What's wrong with always quoting "$vars"?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:20 UTC ( #606=perlfaq nodetype: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

The problem is that those double-quotes force stringification, coercing numbers and references into strings, even when you don't want them to be.

If you get used to writing odd things like these:

    print "$var";       # BAD
    $new = "$old";      # BAD
    somefunc("$var");   # BAD

You'll be in trouble. Those should (in 99.8% of the cases) be the simpler and more direct:

    print $var;
    $new = $old;
    somefunc($var);

Otherwise, besides slowing you down, you're going to break code when the thing in the scalar is actually neither a string nor a number, but a reference:

    func(\@array);
    sub func {
        my $aref = shift;
        my $oref = "$aref";  # WRONG
    }

You can also get into subtle problems on those few operations in Perl that actually do care about the difference between a string and a number, such as the magical ++ autoincrement operator or the syscall() function.

Stringification also destroys arrays.

    @lines = `command`;
    print "@lines";             # WRONG - extra blanks
    print @lines;               # right

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[james28909]: im not quite how to explain it any better nick. you evolved from ignorance to intelligence. not the other way. the universe evolves from gas coulds and debris into planets stars and galaxies ect. it doesnt happen any other way. hence it has ....
[james28909]: some kind of logic behind it
[james28909]: and that is also anothe rpoint i made, i think it has to do with perception of the world around you. most people think of evolution on a human scale. why could life evolve on this planet? because this planet evolved in this solar system. and so on.
[holli]: here's something for you to watch, James. I think you will like it
[erix]: for the record: I have not downvoted anyone on that subthread that was my fault
[james28909]: there are all kinds of things that had to happen to let life come to be. but at the same time, life may not be the end goal IF there is any kind of end goal lol
[james28909]: well who is the person who gets to decide which behaviour is worthy of a downvote? a person with their own beliefs? xD
[erix]: teleology -- I've never understood why that was thunk up
[erix]: ( and when teleology was brought up, during my biology-study., I couldn't get an answer either )
[1nickt]: FTR I agree with you about "design." Just not sure about the trajectory of evolution. THere are a lot of dead-ends in the evolutionary paths. I suspect homo sapiens is just one of them.

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