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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Tuesday April 22, 2008
05:42 AM

Find the Bug! (Because I can't)

[ #36215 ]

I really get tired of needing compile time assignments for mutable values. I can't use a constant, so I'm forced to do stuff like this:

my @exception_types;
    @exception_types = qw(unused no_title tickles);

That gets tedious, so I was trying for a syntax like this:

use var \my @exception_types = qw(unused no_title tickles);
foreach my $type (@exception_types) { ... }

With this code to drive it:

package var;

use strict;
use warnings;
use Scalar::Util 'reftype';
use Carp 'croak';

sub import {
    my $class = shift;
    my $num_vals = @_ - 1;
    my $reftype = reftype $_[0] || '';
    if (!$reftype) {
        ${ $_[0] } = $_[1];
    elsif ( 'ARRAY' eq $reftype ) {
        @{ $_[0] }= @_[ 1..$#_ ];
    elsif ( 'HASH' eq $reftype ) {
        %{ $_[0] }= @_[ 1..$#_ ];
    else {
        croak "var cannot handle ($reftype)";


But I keep getting this error if I try to use that variable:

Global symbol "@foo" requires explicit package name at ...

B::Deparse is no help:

Global symbol "@foo" requires explicit package name at line 9. had compilation errors.
While deparsing near line 9,
Can't locate object method "ARRAY" via package "B::PV" at /opt/csw/lib/perl/5.8.8/B/ line 2815.
CHECK failed--call queue aborted at line 9.

Is this just not possible? Maybe some PadWalker magic ...

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  • First off: I think you mean s/@foo/@exception_types/ in your error messages and a fat arrow rather than an = in your use statement.

    I ran into this problem when developing Sub::Exporter. It lets you say:

    my $sub;
    use Thing::ThatExports exported_routing => \$sub;

    ...and the coderef goes into the scalar instead of your symbol table. This never worked:

    exporting_routine => \my $sub;

    My assumption is that it's because of this equivalency:

    use Foo bar => $baz;
    BEGIN {
      require Foo;

    • Yeah, I was getting a bit sloppy in the post. Thanks for pointing those out.

      I've tried using PadWalker to get around some of these issues, but no love. Damn.

  • use Devel::BeginLift qw( init_var );

    sub init_var(\[$%@];@) {
        my $var = shift;
        if    ( 'ARRAY' eq ref $var ) { @$var = @_ }
        elsif ( 'HASH'  eq ref $var ) { %$var = @_ }
        else                          { $$var = $_[0] }

    init_var my @foo => qw/ bar baz /;

    BEGIN { print "@foo\n" }

    =begin output

    bar baz

    • Beautiful! Mind if I clean this up and post it to the CPAN? (Or you can since you posted the code. Seems unfair to steal it from you :)

      • I was going to, but it’s obviously not going to happen, so if you want to go ahead, then do.

        • Heh. I'm heading on holiday for over a week. I doubt I'm going to get around to it, either :)