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pudge (1)

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I run this joint, see?

Journal of pudge (1)

Friday May 03, 2002
12:06 PM


[ #4649 ]

Wow. I am getting a lot of people telling me it is wrong/jarring/ungood/etc. to put "package Slash::SOAP::Journal" inside of a program. That I should put that code in a module instead, because, after all, it's a package!

Where do these people get such unreasonable ideas?

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  • It does seem odd to me... this looks like a good learning opportunity, so I'll bite. Under which circumstances is this useful? Things that come to mind are:

    1) Differentiation of namespaces within a program?

    2) Private class/object definition/functions w/ no chance of re-use by other code?

    3) Other motives?

    • In this case, SOAP::Lite requires a class name to dispatch to. So rather than writing a whole module that will only be used by this one call -- or worse, providing SOAP access to everything in the program -- I just add a package in the middle of my program, with only the symbols for SOAP in it.

      There are many other reasons, too. I don't have time now, perhaps others can mention some.
      • As much of a style Nazi as I am about Perl, having multiple packages in a file is perfectly legimate if the packages are related. Many DBD modules do this. SOAP::Lite does this. When dealing with XML::Parser, you often need to define your own package for callbacks. It's convenient and often sensible. Packages are simply namespaces. They cost nothing to use. Would you rather have one big bookcase or several smaller ones? Depends on your dwelling.

  • I've done similar things, but I tend to cordon them off inside an anonymous block.

    ## blah, blah, blah
      package Fooblitz;

      ## fooble, fooble, foo

    ## ...
    Fooble->zortz( 42 );
  • There's *lots* of good reasons to use a package declaration without having a separate module.

    Some that come to mind are small tie classes, overloads, and object classes. Also, when you want to "inline" a module for distribution purposes.
  • I believe the camel says a package is usually a class, they usually have the same name, it usually begins with a capital letter, there is usually one package per file, a package is usually a module, and so on. Usually. Not always.

    Anyone who's programmed Java knows sometimes you have extra classes in a file.

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • One of the major reasons that I normally use the one package one file rule is that it allows easier testing. It's a seperate block. It's easier to test. Yey!

    The other reason is that if I stick it in a seperate file then I can document it with POD. I can't do that in the middle of some other class (and even at the end it looks wrong)

    OTOH, sometimes you don't need to document something in the POD - I wouldn't enforce you to document every private method (you might want to hide the interface) and there