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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)

Wednesday February 11, 2009
12:25 PM


[ #38460 ]

Well, that was clever.

my $_combination_info = {};
sub combination_info {
    my $self = shift;
    @_ and $_combination_info->{ $self->csv_file_name } = $_[0];
    return $_combination_info->{ $self->csv_file_name };

Clever is bad. I mean TIMTOWTDI and all that, but as I'm reading through code, I hate seeing a "clever" construct that slows me down and makes me search for meaning and then bugs. It's a waste of my time.

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  • Personally, I hate the style where you test something at the beginning of a statement and then do something if it's true by using and. I much prefer using if or unless at the end of a statement:

        my $_combination_info = {};
        sub combination_info {
            my $self = shift;
            $_combination_info->{ $self->csv_file_name } = shift if @_;
            return $_combination_info->{ $self->csv_file_name };

  • I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

    You probably won’t like the way I’d write it either:

    my $_combination_info = {};
    sub combination_info {
        my $self = shift;
        my ( $info ) = @_;
        for ( $_combination_info->{ $self->csv_file_name } ) {
            $_ = $info if @_;
            return $_;

    • 5.10's given makes that a little less obscure to those unfamiliar with the idiom, or rather, since setting $_ is the only point of given, noone has to stop and think 'what's he looping over again?'
      • $ ~/perl/5.10.0/bin/perl -E '$x = 1; given ( $x ) { $_++ } say $x'
        $ ~/perl/5.10.0/bin/perl -E '$x = 1; for ( $x ) { $_++ } say $x'

        •     perl5.10.0 -E'say \my $x; given ($x) { say \$_ }'

          It's a copy? Why on earth? Nothing in Perl copies its parameters. Doesn't that just make the whole feature hugely less useful? It's not as though given (my $tmp = $x) {} is that obscure, especially given its common use in conjunction with s///...

          Oh, and look:

              perl5.10.0 -E'say \$_ given my $x'
              syntax error at -e line 1, near "$_ given"

          • I suppose it’s nice to be able to write given ( $foo ) in place of for ( my $copy = $foo ). But yeah, that threw me too. It’s a pity; a missed opportunity, even.

            The fact that you can’t use given as a statement modifier doesn’t bother me.