Wouldn't it be more useful for the module to just die and report its own error message directly to the user (with the added benefit that he/she then
has a line number with which to inquire into the module's source)?
Yes, it would. The reply above from Zaxo
seems to miss the point---
a module that does not return a true value throws an exception anyway
so nothing would be lost by saying that modules that want to
signal initialization failures should call die
I think Larry agrees that the "true value" thing was a mistake.
(Compounding the mistake was Larry's decision to make failure,
rather than success, the
Way back when, I proposed that this mistake should be removed
in Perl 6; the revised proposal is here.
While I was researching the proposal, I looked at all the modules distributed
with the current version of Perl 5 to see if the "return false value to indicate failure"
feature was actually used. It turned out it was, but very infrequently.
99 of the 102 modules ended with an explicit 1;.
Two modules used the feature; the other called die explicitly
to indicate failure.