mercoledì 17 dicembre 2014

A few ridicolous (to me) Perl requests

Usually I don't get personal on blogging and commenting: everyone is free to express herself on the net about pretty much any subject. And I'm not getting personal on this set of entries too, but I have to spend a few words on a Perl blogger that is requesting loudly for a set of shortcuts in the language that make no sense at all.

One is about the versioning of the Perl language: stating that Perl 6 is a different beast from Perl 5 is quite easy. But pretending to have different numbering of both versions is awkward. For external developers Perl 6 is the new version of the Perl language, and this is the thruth. The fact that Perl 6 has evolved as a more complex beast than a "simple language improvement" is another fact, but having to number them independently will cause a lot of confusion.

Another issue is about enabling use warnings; silently when specifying use 5.x;. While I understand that it would be much more easy to use a single line pragma, the author does not realize that there is a lot of legacy code that do not explicitly negates warnings since they were not enabled by default. And keeping backward compatibility is really important.
I don't want my programs to behave strangely just because a future version of Perl let me write simpler code: I just want to write simpler code in the future, without having to constantly refactor old code.

On the same mindset if the request to have package to return automatically a true value. Again, the point is valid and I believe in the future could be a reasonable way of programming, but it is not the right choice for legacy code. And moreover, it does not make sense at all when developers will use /package/ multiple times within the same file (because Perl is not Java, right?).

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