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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • That's a very clear explanation of what I've thought for some time, but was unable to phrase.

    A quick way to upgrade yourself from level 2 to 3 is reading [] ;-).
    • Thank *you* for the good tutorial.

      So, I've been thinking there need to be some standards for CPAN modules to declare if it accept/return strings or bytes. (If they need to handle both)

      For instance, HTML::Parser has an instance method called utf8_mode [].

      Another example (that triggered me to write this entry) is Catalyst's uri_for() method []. At some release the developers changed the implementation to accept only strings (UTF-8 flagged or not) in its %query_values hash.

      Based on the complaints and patches made by
      • Strings or bytes is not the right distinction, because both kinds are strings. I usually call them "text string" and "binary string", or "character string" and "byte string". Sometimes I call the former "Unicode string" to emphasize that all text strings are Unicode strings.

        A trap is the UTF-8 string, which is a byte string representing characters, and has "the flag" off (which to perluninewbies is confusing because this flag is called UTF8). Compare this with the result of pack "N*", LIST, which is a byte
        • Hm, just to clarify, I prefer to use characters vs. bytes like you say. If I sometimes use "strings" somewhere, it's just a slip of keystrokes, or I meant Unicode strings instead.

          And also, I'm a bit afraid that you misunderstood what I meant with mention to I didn't mean we should call "use bytes" in this situation to force string operations to be bytes-wise. Not at all.

          I meant declaring "use bytes" *might be* a good way for programmers to tell the module authors "Hey I want this module to do whatever string operations as bytes, not as characters".

          But obviously that has a side effect and might not be a good thing at all. But I like the idea of having a pragma or something to explicitly say "I DONT WANT UNICODE WISE HERE".

          BTW, I find that BLOB module would be useful for other stuff too.
          • "use bytes;" is lexical: it cannot influence what a module does. I don't know who to thank for this, but I'm happy that at least my code won't be broken at a distance by the numerous uninformed and misinformed people who throw a "use bytes" at their code to replace one kind of (for them) vague behavior with another kind of vague behavior. :)

            Experience has show so far that the only workable way of supporting both byte strings and text strings in your function, is to provide two separate functions, or a mecha
            • Agreed in both: we should use two different functions to accept characters or bytes, and also would be useful to DWIM. :)