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Re: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill

by mirod (Canon)
on Apr 19, 2004 at 17:49 UTC ( #346366=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill

Indeed sometimes using a module is overkill. However in a lot more cases, _not_ using a module is dangerous. I'll take overkill over bugs any time.

Some tasks look deceiptively simple. Parsing CGI parameters, CSV data, or XML (of course!) for example are all tasks that might look simple, but really aren't, and you are much better of using a well tested module than rolling your own code. Using modules also cuts down on development (and question-answering!) time, so why shouldn't we advocate it?

Finally, if installing a module is a problem for a newcomer, in the long (and even short) term, then helping them overcome that fear is doing them an even better service than solving their immediate problem.

That said, feel free to spend the time answering questions qith just core modules if you feel like it ;--)


Comment on Re: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill
Re: Re: Standard Perl Modules ~ Overkill
by hossman (Prior) on Apr 19, 2004 at 18:34 UTC
    Some tasks look deceiptively simple. Parsing CGI parameters, CSV data, or XML (of course!) for example are all tasks that might look simple, but really aren't, and you are much better of using a well tested module than rolling your own code. Using modules also cuts down on development (and question-answering!) time, so why shouldn't we advocate it?

    I think what pbeckingham is advocating is merely that people should give more thought to suggesting simple solutions using core modules, before recommending alternate, possibly simpler, approaches that require installing newer less standard modules.

    Parsing CGI parameters is a great example. We should suggest using good modules that we think provide a benefit, but let's not put the cart before the horse. Suggest use CGI first, and then if you have a particular affinity to an non standard module that you think mkes things even easier (CGI::Simple for example) then by all means suggest it.

    Another great example is when people post questions asking for "A regex that matches _______". I agree that suggesting they install Regex::Common and use it is a great idea, explaining how that way they are constantly getting tweaks, improvements, and additions from the rest of hte perl community -- but there's no reason we can't also post a particular regex from that module which meets their needs, and explain how it works so they can learn to write their own regexes.

    There is a delicate balance between teaching someone how to solve their own problems, and showing them how to utilize the work of others so they don't have to solve every problem on their own. We should all try to remember to do both with equal fervor.

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