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Well, the problem, as I see it, with writing this as a wrapper for File::Find is that that would be suboptimal for the most important use case, and that is perl one-liners (-pe and -ne). Also, for that matter, what this does and what File::Find do really only partially overlap, in that they both traverse directories... but that's about the end of it.

The ultimate intent of this is to DWIM when I say perl -mr -ne 'print if /foo/' *, and to not do anything silly in the process, like creating a list of every file on the file-system. Maybe I'm wrong, here, but I think that this is an important enough goal (both to do and to do well), that it outweighs the importance of reusing File::Find. Granted, I'm not saying that reuse shouldn't be involved... I sure as heck wouldn't want to reimplement File::Spec.

Really, what it comes down to is that File::Find implements a "push" interface from the file-system... that is, File::Find pushes file names into your code (because you give it a code-ref as an entry-point for your code). The thing is, though, that perl -ne or perl -pe would need a "pull" interface. That is, they translate to while (<>) { ... }. Which, itself, is essentially:

while (@ARGV) { $ARGV = shift @ARGV; open ARGV, $ARGV or warn("Couldn't open $ARGV: $!\n"), next; while (<ARGV>) { ... } }
Now, to look at that code, you can see that it is definitely trying to pull filenames out of @ARGV... so the easiest way to implement an interface on that is to tie a behavior to reading from @ARGV... which is exactly what I've done.

Now, it's true that I could make this pulling from @ARGV use File::Find as the behavior which underlies the read-event... but if I did that, then I'd end up reading in the whole file-system tree (or the whole sub-tree that is being accessed)... and if there's no good reason to do it that way, then I'd rather not. Granted, if File::Find offered a means to essentially say "depth => 1" (that is, give me all the contents of this directory, but don't traverse sub directories), then that might be worthwhile... as it would save the effort of opendir; readdir; closedir; grep; fix-file-names.... but that's just not what File::Find does. Moreover, I've never been happy with the fact that File::Find actually chdir's into the directory as it goes... that's just ugly. It should use File::Spec to prepend the leading path... but I digress.

Anyway, I hope that explains why I didn't want to use File::Find for this. I did give it serious consideration... but ultimately, I think that the method I arrived at in the end is the best one that I considered. It is simple, elegant, efficient, and useful. And doing it with File::Find just couldn't make it be all of those at once.

------------ :Wq Not an editor command: Wq

In reply to Re: Re: Re^4 Useful addition to Perl? by etcshadow
in thread Useful addition to Perl? by tilly

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