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Re: Complex Problems vs. Simple Tools

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Peter Scott
July 24, 2000 18:41
Re: Complex Problems vs. Simple Tools
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At 07:16 PM 7/24/00 -0600, Tom Christiansen wrote:
> >I have been reading Camel III and am a little disappointed that it does not
> >recommend -w and strictness as essential to the beginner.
>page 15:
>     So like topicalization in a natural language, topicalization in Perl
>     "warps" the language that you'll use from there to the end of the 
> program.
>     In fact, some of the built-in modules don't actually introduce verbs at
>     all, but simply warp the Perl language in various useful ways.  These
>     special modules we call I<pragmas>.  For instance, you'll often see 
> people
>     use the pragma C<strict>, like this:
>         use strict;
>     What the C<strict> module does is [snip]
>page 20:
>     A not-so-random clue: while learning Perl, and even after you think you
>     know what you're doing, we suggest using the B<-w> option [snip]
>See also pp 137 and 601, just to name a few.

Yes, I read that.  I won't dispute that it's there, nor will I try and 
force the Perl 5 documentation be as insistent as I would like about it; 
just that I want to go *much* further in Perl 6, and make -w and strict the 
defaults, and not tell the beginner how to turn them off until they're well 
into the book/docs.  It doesn't foil the expert nor the poet; they lose 
little by having to say 'no strict'.  Might as a concession to 
communicating in one-liners make that the default for -e, if that's not too 

By way of further inflammatory suggestions, I would like the (less) 
strictness levels to be install-time options, so that sites can make 
policies for their developers that prohibit some or all strictness being 
turned off in their perl.  Clearly that doesn't work with the strict pragma 
we currently have, because there are places you have to turn parts of it 
off that have nothing to do with bad programming.  But it's not 
inconceivable that some other pragma which might deserve a different name 
could fit this model, or that we could change Perl so that there were no 
longer any good reasons for cancelling strictness.  I'm just trying to fix 
this 'Perl programs are unmaintainable' image.

Peter Scott
Pacific Systems Design Technologies

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