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rjbs (4671)

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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Monday February 26, 2007
11:04 AM

fixing/breaking email::simple::creator

[ #32511 ]

Email::Simple::Creator crams a create method into Email::Simple. It lets you provide an array of headers and a body, and it returns a new Email::Simple object.

I thought I'd have a quick run through Email::Simple::Creator to clean up some of its foibles. Here is another one that makes me wonder...

_add_to_header is called by the create method. A reference to a string is passed in, along with each name/value pair for the headers. _add_to_header appends a line to the string.

sub _add_to_header {
    my ($class, $header, $key, $value) = @_;
    return unless $value;
    ${$header} .= join(": ", $key, $value) . $CRLF;

That return unless $value is nuts! It means that you can't create a message with "0" or "" as a header value. This is clearly a bug.

The problem is that unless a Date header is specified, one is generated and added. Currently if one specifies a false Date header, nothing is added, either the given (false) value or a generated value.

The code below creates a message with one header, Subject:

my $email = Email::Simple->create(
  header => [ Date => undef, Subject => 'foo' ],
  body   => "Hello sailor.",

If the bug is fixed in the way that seem obvious to me -- use '' for empty and undefined headers and 0 for literal zero headers -- then people using constructs like the above will now have Date fields again -- they'll just be blank.

I don't really like the idea of "undef is skipped but '' is not."

I am sort of leaning toward special-casing Date. It sucks, but it's already a special case to begin with.

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