Why return a string that the caller doesn't care about and means nothing as opposed to returning a more simple undef value?
Excuse me? this string is what the caller requests by calling the function create_snapshot_name() which was written for this very purpose. The calling line is
my $snap_name = create_snapshot_name();
in function take_new_snapshot() and the name of the variable in which this return value is stored also indicates that a string is expected as return value from that function.
I am simply saying that I prefer having explicit return values.
I had those discussions before, and I stick to the perl way: a subroutine returns, absent early returns, the result of the last computed expression, with or without explicit return statement. Were I to work with you having a coding policy in place which requires always stating explicit returns, I would do likewise, otherwise not.
Well, depends. If I was to concoct a function dependent on context for its return value, I'd use explicit returns, sometimes setting $@ if something failed. But it really boils down to two possibilities for return values as a subroutine:
- I know what I have, and this is what you get, and might honour your context.
- take that bastard, you get what you asked for
But then, for case 1, I would have to raise an exception if I have a list and am called in scalar context. Or should I? maybe they want just the number of elements? and vice versa.