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Request for Comments: Can we close the Perl Debugger ("perl5db")Grant?

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From:
Shlomi Fish
Date:
November 21, 2012 08:47
Subject:
Request for Comments: Can we close the Perl Debugger ("perl5db")Grant?
Message ID:
20121121184733.1f2f5903@lap.shlomifish.org
Hi all,

I've written some thoughts about the Perl debugger grant here:

http://code.activestate.com/lists/perl5-porters/185727/

(Also see the comments I received).

In that message, I asked if anyone has any particular warts with the perl
debugger's code that they want to be fixed, and prove of inspiration and fodder
for more substantial refactoring work. Someone criticised my methods, but
didn't provide any concrete answers to my questions, and I continued taking a
look at the code and refactoring pieces as I ran into them. Furthermore, a
snapshot of my branch with most individual refactoring and adding tests' commits
in, has already been merged into bleadperl (thanks Ricardo).

Now I have a somewhat different question: I feel that even if I continue to
refactor stuff as I go (doing further comments to get rid of some code smells,
in accordance to http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000348.html and
the book Refactoring by Martin Fowler), I feel that there's a limit to what I
can do within the constraint of not breaking the external programmer API,
which I feel is quite vile. Another problem I've ran into are bugs I ran into,
which did not appear to be my fault, that required working around, which 

I'm not saying there's nothing left to do, but if we are to break complete
compatibility within perl5db, then we can look at Devel::Trepan or Devel::Ebug
or whatever, and just tell people to use them instead, because they are not
limited by the constraint of backwards compatibility.

Currently, my work before and during the grant has achieved:

1. More tests and better test coverage.

2. Some refactoring of the lib/perl5db.t file into a common class.

3. A lot of refactoring of lib/perl5db.pl.

4. Some bug fixes - mostly with regression tests - either caused due to the
refactoring, or to non-related regressions.

What wasn't achieved was:

1. A test coverage tool for lib/perl5db.pl's code. I tried using Devel::Cover
bug got some segfaults and test failures, and then a hacky script that parsed
lib/perl5db.pl and applied some debugging code failed to produce working code.
I have yet to try using PPI - https://metacpan.org/release/PPI .

2. A lib/perl5db.pl code that I'm completely happy with, but I doubt it can
ever be this way.

-----

So I'm asking: do you people think we can close the grant, and declare it a
partial success? Naturally, I'm not planning to stop working on the perl
debugger or on other parts of the perl core - I'd like to make some more
commits and possibly give some assistance in implementing new requested
features or fixing reported bugs. But I think I did what I could do within
the scope of the grant, and we can just move on regarding that.

Comments, anyone?

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish

-- 
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Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
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