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command line perldoc and Padre, the Perl IDE

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Gabor Szabo
September 10, 2009 10:54
command line perldoc and Padre, the Perl IDE
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perldoc has all sorts of problems, it is hard to use to people who
don't yet know how to use it and it does not give you a useful
answer to many questions.

It gives you a correct answer, it is just not very useful to beginners.

try    perldoc -f open

It has a long explanation on all kinds of cases while the beginner
 - IMHO - wants a simple example on how to open a file.
Later s/he might want to read more but first s/he wants to get the job done.

In addition you have to understand when to use -f , when -q and there
is no way to get information on $. or on the any of the words 'while', 'for',
'and' or '&&'.  Even does not yet find these.

You can install Pod::Perldoc 3.15 (but of course a beginner first needs to
learn how to install a module which is not trivial) and then you can use the
new meaning of the -v option:

perldoc -v '$.'

and I think on windows it needs to be

perldoc -v "$."

but of course most of the windows people will freak out if they need to
use the command line and I don't blame them. I hate to use the Windows
command shell as well.

That's an improvement but it still does not give you an answer on the
words and expressions I mentioned above.

There is the new  perlopref  document by Chas. Owens who is also on
this list. That's great. Thanks Chas!  That will be able to explain
certain expressions such as &&.

I am sure he will be happy to get some help from you.

In Padre we try to hide all that complexity under one key
(currently F2) so you already get explanation on things like
$. or &&

It still does not know what is !! but I am sure it will learn.

I am also hoping to have the ability to get help on things like


Explaining that it is an element of @_
even if the user highlighted the $_ part only.

I would like to see an explanation on   $VERSION  or just $somevar
and I guess it should also understand constructs such
as $$_ and be able to explain them.

It would be great if people on this list could help us either by trying
Padre and telling us what is still missing or by writing some
documentations or by implementing the code that understands the

Padre can be found on and you can talk to the
Padre developers either via #padre on or on our mailing list
(See )


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