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Re: Do you use format and write?

by VSarkiss (Monsignor)
on Mar 10, 2005 at 15:34 UTC ( #438295=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Do you use format and write?

I use formats quite often, actually.

I would guess they're not very popular mainly because of two reasons:

  1. There's a bit of a learning curve to get over, as soon as you start doing things a little fancy, like filling columns, using multiple formats, and so on.
  2. There isn't much call for flat reports these days. Most output that has to be nicely formatted is put into HTML.

But I've wondered about their popularity (or lack thereof) also.

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Re^2: Do you use format and write?
by jhourcle (Prior) on Mar 10, 2005 at 16:20 UTC

    I think those are two good points, but I think part of it is also just mindset of the programmers. Perl has a whole lot of functions that do similar things, as it borrows from many different languages. For instance, someone who's only dealt with perl might wonder why someone would ever do:

    $string = join ( $replace, split ( $search, $string ) );

    Which is roughly equivalent to:

    $string =~ s/$search/$replace/g;

    If you came from a language without regex matching, it makes perfect sense, though. You can use a person's choice of text output method to try to guess their background -- if you have almost all of the output coming from write, I'd assume that the programmer has a Fortran or similar background. if it's almost exclusively printf, then I'd assume they came from C. If it's all concatination without string interpolation, I'd assume something like JavaScript. I'm not going to be right every time, of course, but it seems that your thought processes about how to get things done is influenced by what tools to had available (or what tools you knew you had available, and you thought you knew how to use).

    Personally, I did my time with Fortran, and I like the power of formats in it... but I don't think I've ever used write in perl. I'm more likely to use printf. One of these days, I'll actually get around to implementing a (s)printf that supports the LPC extensions like column mode, table mode, and arrays.

    Oh -- and for 'nicely formatted' HTML, there's always preformatted text. After implementing it, the preformatted versions got more hits than the HTML table versions. (they even gave up on the table formatting ... too bad I never got preformatted promoted above the paragraph style)

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