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TheNomad (7014)

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Journal of TheNomad (7014)

Monday June 19, 2006
12:34 PM

First journal entry and accessors

[ #29958 ]

I finally registered on this site after looking for some ideas about how to automagically generate accessors. I had spent a whole day trying to get Class::MakeMethods do what it is supposed to do, especially in relation to arrays.

See perl doesn't have a standard way of dealing with accessors and I've never liked the common $foo->bar, $foo->bar('some value') type of accessors. I like "Afforability Accessors", so $foo->get_bar and $foo->set_bar('some value'). I was encouraged by Damian Conway's view that best practice is to use get_ and set_. Yippee!

So I gave up on Class::MakeMethods and decided to play with Class::Accessor. Wow! What a module! It is simple and it does what it says on the package. It is even easy to change the way that 'get' and 'set' work.

Which brings me to another point. In perl people write setters that return the value being set. Surely, it would be better to return the object, because that way it is easy to chain accessors.

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  • ..but if you chain operators you aren't checking for failure :)

    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;
    • That is not necessarily true. You can easily eval the whole thing, and die with, e.g. "'Some value' illegal value for property 'bar'". Though I'm not making an argument about whether or not chaining setters is a good practice.
    • Good point!

      But it sort of sounds like an argument for design by contract.

      Oh btw, thanks to the two so far who have left a comments on my first over post! :)

    • If you are chaining methods you have to do error via exceptions.
    • Thanks perfect!

      I haven't made up my mind whether accessors that return the object are such a good idea. Say, for example, you have some basic code:

      package DoStuff;
      .... code to make accessors goes here. We have get_foo and set_foo.

      sub make_foo_value {
      $self = shift;


      package main;

      my $stuff = DoStuff->new;

      What should make_foo_value return? If it returns $self, then you need to go:

      print $stuff->make_foo_value->get_foo;

      On the other hand, if