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Re^3: (~OT) How to measure Perl skills?

by QM (Vicar)
on Mar 24, 2004 at 23:33 UTC ( #339588=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: How to measure Perl skills?
in thread How to measure Perl skills?

A bit OT, but I think you've given a simplified answer to a simplified question.

I'm not sure how AUTOLOAD breaks encapsulation, as the AUTOLOAD code can decide what is allowed and what isn't [die "Horribly" comes to mind]. And AUTOLOAD only needs to be called the first time an unregistered method is requested -- the symbol table hockey will avoid future AUTOLOAD calls on that method, at least.

But maybe you meant to just generate all of the sub refs at initialization, so all the methods didn't need explicit coding, just a method factory? Autogenerating all method code is probably faster than the AUTOLOAD runtime on just one method (for some values of all method code).

On further reflection, it sounds like we might be in violent agreement.

-QM
--
Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of


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Re: Re^3: (~OT) How to measure Perl skills?
by diotalevi (Canon) on Mar 24, 2004 at 23:40 UTC
    This is a nit but anytime the symbol table is altered the method cache table is invalidated so all your calls to $obj->foo have to do the full @ISA check again as well. That makes it nice to do symbol table updates only as needed or preferrably before the cache is going to be desired.
      There's a method cache table??? You [or I, in this case] learn something new everyday.

      -QM
      --
      Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

        Sure. If you say $obj->foo more than once only the first time suffers an OO penalty. The rest are just hash lookups and IIRC aren't more expensive than function calls. The whole OO-penalty thing people go on about is really about the process of finding foo in $obj's @ISA but that only happens when there isn't a current cache entry to pull from.
Re^4: (~OT) How to measure Perl skills?
by hardburn (Abbot) on Mar 25, 2004 at 04:52 UTC

    If you're using AUTOLOAD instead of methods like this:

    sub foo { my $self = shift; $self->{foo} = shift if @_; $self->{foo}; }

    Then you're breaking encapsulation. You were better off just providing a hash and a few subroutines to work on it. In a well-designed class heriachracy, you will need very few accessors/mutators (i.e., methods that directly access the internal attributes of the object). OOP purists will tell you that you need none at all, but I find that in practical code, you'll have a hard time factoring out the last few.

    (I suspect the reason for this is a diminishing-returns thing. You can theoretically get rid of all accessors and mutators, but eventually the work required to do so just isn't worth it.)

    This isn't the only use of AUTOLOAD, but it is almost certainly the most common.

    Ignoring OO purity for the moment, AUTOLOAD still isn't the best way to get accessors/mutators, provided you know what fields you want to work with in advance (if you don't, then you'll probably have to use AUTOLOAD). Example:

    foreach my $field (qw/ foo bar baz /) { no strict 'refs'; *$field = sub { my $self = shift; $self->{$field} = shift if @_; $self->{$field}; }; }

    This gives you a little overhead when the module is loaded. It has the advantage of being as fast as a regular method lookup, in addition to saving memory (because it's making a reference to the same subroutine each time).

    ----
    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

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