in reply to Re: Carp; errors ala DBI
in thread Carp; errors ala DBI

Yes, I am serious. Update: But use the relatively new NEXT and all the problems can go away.

AUTOLOAD is a powerful and facile tool: a beautiful thing.
I like it a lot. So there can be overriding motives to use
AUTOLOAD, but if possible it is to be avoided by module

It is a name greedy pig.

The way Perl resolves a call is:

  1. Seek routine in package.
  2. If method: seek method in base classes.
  3. Seek AUTOLOAD in package.
  4. If method: seek AUTOLOAD in base classes.

The following code demonstrates the problem.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict; package Mumma; use vars qw( $AUTOLOAD ); sub AUTOLOAD { print "$AUTOLOAD resolved to Mumma::AUTOLOAD\n"; } package Poppa; use vars qw( $AUTOLOAD ); sub AUTOLOAD { print "$AUTOLOAD resolved to Poppa::AUTOLOAD\n"; } # Baby doesn't know that Mumma & Poppa are secret AUTOLOADERs package Baby; use vars qw( @ISA $AUTOLOAD ); @ISA = qw( Poppa Mumma ); # Order is significant. sub new { bless {}, ref $_[0] || $_[0] } package main; use vars qw( $AUTOLOAD); # Baby is supposed to live in a caring universe. sub UNIVERSAL::AUTOLOAD { print "$AUTOLOAD resolved to UNIVERSAL::AUTOLOAD\n"; } my $c = Baby->new(); # first &AUTOLOAD found hides rest. $c->wants_mumma(); $c->wants_poppa(); $c->wants_universal_truth();

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Re^3: Carp; errors ala DBI
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Sep 21, 2002 at 13:36 UTC

    Basically I agree, it can be a problem in complex class hierarchies. However:

    • We now have the lovely NEXT that allows us to write AUTOLOAD routines that gracefully decline. I would imagine that it will even be efficient once perl6 hits the streets :-)
    • I don't have an issue with AUTOLOAD as long as the module author documents it's presence.
    • It's nearly always possible to get around the problem with a bit of trivial object delegation.
    • If your code isn't OO it's not an issue