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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The situation with Perl's warnings and errors is not always so rosey. For example, with this program:

    #!/usr/bin/perl

    use strict;
    use warnings;

    $name = "Sophie";

    print "Hello $name!\n";

    We get:

    Global symbol "$name" requires explicit package name at test.pl line 6.
    Global symbol "$name" requires explicit package name at test.pl line 8.
    Execution of test.pl aborted due to compilation errors.

    After years of using use strict I got used to the fact that it means that I haven't declared the variable using a "my" or an "our" or whatever. However, many newcomers fall on it when they are trying to add "strict" to their programs, and then ask us about it on Freenode's #perl.

    Granted, it may be too late to change this message due to backwards compatibility. "use diagnostics" seems to help, though.

    Regarding Subversion, it is documented in "Dispelling Subversion FUD" [red-bean.com] that "A lot of error messages could be clearer. We're working on it.". And I'm not sure the error messages emitted by most other programs (including most Perl programs) will be much clearer if they suddenly run out of disk-space on the device.