develooper Front page | perl.perl5.porters | Postings from July 2001

[ longmess and shortmess? (was Re: This Week on perl5-porters)]

Thread Next
Simon Cozens
July 5, 2001 07:45
[ longmess and shortmess? (was Re: This Week on perl5-porters)]
Message ID:
Eek. Good point.

----- Forwarded message from -----

Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 10:34:36 -0400
Subject: longmess and shortmess? (was Re: This Week on perl5-porters)
To: Simon Cozens <>
X-Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 5.0.7  March 21, 2001

Did it ever occur to the core maintainers that some modules (CGI::Carp and
Win32::EventLog::Carp come to mind)  use Carp::longmess and
Carp::shortmess, and that those modules will break if they are changed to
yodel and yelp?

                    Simon Cozens                                                                 
                    <simon@netthi        To:             
          >            cc:                                                     
                                         Subject:     This Week on perl5-porters                 
                    08:36 AM                                                                     

[ Apologies for recent lapses in mailing list service; I've been
finishing off my University exams and then taking a break in Japan.
Normal service has been resumed for now, but may get hairy nearer to
TPC. - SC]

The HTML version will be up in a few hours (if it isn't already) at

The current report is always available at

An RSS file of this week's report will be available at

The current RSS file is always available at

The archive of past reports:

To subscribe to this digest, send an empty message to

To unsubscribe:

For help:


  This week on perl5-porters (25 June--02 July 2001)

     * Notes
     * Module Versioning and Testing
     * Carpentry
     * Regex Capture-to-variable
     * Perl on S390
     * UTS Amdahl
     * Various


   Please send corrections and additions to where YYYYMM is the current year
   and month. Changes and additions to the perl5-porters biographies are
   particularly welcome.

   This was a reasonably normal week, seeing the usual 500 or so

   Many thanks again to Leon for last week's summary.

  Module Versioning and Testing

   There's a move on to make the modules under ext/ free-standing: that
   is, to be able to say

   cd ext/File/Glob

   make dist

   and get a bundle that can be uploaded to CPAN or otherwise
   distributed. The only problem with this is tests. Currently the tests
   are kept under t/ of the main root of the Perl source tree, and are
   run when a make test is done there. To make the modules freestanding,
   you'd have to move the tests to ext/Foo/Bar/t/ and have the main make
   test also traverse the extension subdirectories and run the tests
   there. But then, of course, there's another problem. Can you spot it?

   make test is run from an uninstalled Perl, which needs explicit hints
   about where to find the Perl library. Hence, the tests in t/ directly
   wibble @INC. This wouldn't work if we're making the modules
   freestanding, or if we move the tests to ext/Foo/Bar/t/. So the trick,
   which nobody's done yet, is to move the tests to the right place,
   change the main make test to recurse extension subdirectories, but
   also to propagate an environment variable telling the module where to
   find the library. ( PERL5LIB is what you want for this.) That would be
   a nice little task for someone...

   Speaking of testing, [1]Schwern got Test::Simple and Test::More added
   to the core, bringing the first All Your Base reference into the Perl
   source tree. Oh, and how many different testing mechanisms?

   [2]Robin Houston incremented B::Deparse's version number and added
   some change notes. Here's what's improved since 5.6.1:
    Changes between 0.60 and 0.61 (mostly by Robin Houston)
    - many bug-fixes
    - support for pragmas and 'use'
    - support for the little-used $[ variable
    - support for __DATA__ sections
    - UTF8 support
    - BEGIN, CHECK, INIT and END blocks
    - scoping of subroutine declarations fixed
    - compile-time output from the input program can be suppressed, so that

      output is just the deparsed code. (a change to in fact)
    - our() declarations
    - *all* the known bugs are now listed in the BUGS section
    - comprehensive test mechanism (TEST -deparse)

   The new test mechanism is great: it runs the standard Perl test suite
   through B::Deparse and then back through Perl again to ensure the
   deparsed code still passes the tests. And, as a testament to the work
   that's been done on B::Deparse, they mostly do pass.

   Schwern also bumped up ExtUtils::Manifest, which caused Jarkko to
   appeal for a script which checks two Perl source trees to find updated
   versions of modules without a version change. Larry Shatzer provided
   one, and Jarkko used it to update the versions in the current tree.
   Schwern also put Cwd on CPAN, and found a weird dynamic loading bug
   with the XS version of Cwd. Oh, and noted that after his benchmarking,
   there's no significant performance loss between 5.6.1 without PerlIO
   and bleadperl with it.


   [3]Mike Guy partially fixed a problem whereby when a magic variable
   like $1 is passed as a subroutine parameter, carp and the debugger
   don't see it properly. Tony Bowden took the opportunity to ask for
   either more or less documentation for longmess and shortmess depending
   on whether or not they were meant to be internal to Carp. Tony wrote a
   documentation patch himself.

   Schwern asked for a better name for those functions, perhaps more in
   line with the carp/croak/cluck theme. Jarkko suggested yodel and yelp
   which Schwern implemented.

   [4]Andreas had a quick bitch about Schwern's, uh, idiosyncratic naming

     Your style of naming things is just plain sick:

     AnyLoader does anything but interface to any loader. Ima::DBI has
     something to do with DBI, but nothing with Ima. D::oh is the only
     really funny one. But it's from 1999 and getting old. Sex: I still
     don't know if it is fun or what. Bone::Easy? Same here.
     Semi::Semicolon? Same here.

     And now yodle!

   Unfair, though, since yodel and yelp weren't his...

   However, Hugo objected to yodel/ yelp because the other verbs write to
   standard error, hence "speaking" whereas longmess and shortmess don't
   actually "say" anything. Jarkko agreed, and there the matter rested.
   (Modulo Rich Lafferty's suggestion of "flame" for objections in a
   written medium...)

  Regex Capture-to-variable

   Jeffrey Friedl (he of the Regexp book) came up with an interesting
   patch which adds the new special variable $^N for the most-recently
   assigned bracket match. This is different from $+ which is the highest
   numbered match; that's to say, given

   then $+ is equivalent to $2, whereas $^N is equivalent to the bracket
   match for the last closing bracket; that is, $1. This essentially
   allows you to do capture-to-variable, like this:
    (?:(\d+)(?{ $phone_number = $^N }))

   without having to worry about which number bracket the match was.
   (Especially useful if you have to change your regexp around.) Whether
   this makes regular expressions cleaner or dirtier, I'll leave up to
   you... However, Jeffrey also noted that you can use regexp overloading
   (my, that's an obscure feature - look at to make such syntax as

   work. Now that's cool.

   Phillip Newton added a nmenomic: $^N is the most recently closed
   Nested parenthesis.

  Perl on S390

   Hal Morris got Perl going on Linux/390, with only one test failing.
   Good news for the new generation of mainframe hackers.

   There's mixed news for the old-timers, though; Peter Prymmer has got
   it down to 10 test failures, but one of the tests completely hangs
   Perl. Apparently study under OS/390 is best avoided. He also started
   some investigation of a Bigint bug, under the direction of Tels and
   John Peacock, but left for his holidays and the discussion moved to
   the perl-mvs mailing list.

  UTS Amdahl

   Oh, and talking of weird platforms, UTS. Hal (who's actually from UTS
   Global, so much kudos there) has been testing out recent Perl builds
   on UTS, and turning up some ... take a deep breath ... icky numeric
   conversion issues.

   [5]Nicholas Clark was convinced they (well, some of them at least)
   were due to UTS C going through a foo-- statement twice, but Hal
   pointed out he didn't expect UTS C to be quite that braindead. On the
   other hand, Nick's analysis looked convincing...

   Hal also fixed up hints/ so that UTS now configures and builds
   nicely at least.


   David Wheeler found a known but really, really weird bug with lexical
   arrays; if you do:
    my @a = foo(); my @b = foo();
    sub foo { $x = 0; my @ary; push @ary, "hi" if $x; push @ary, "ho";
return @
ary }

   @a gets "ho" as you'd expect, but @b gets "ho","ho". Ronald Kimball
   told him Not To Do That, Then.

   Peter Prymmer noted that Perl on VMS was bailing out during the test
   suite, leading to lots of bogus failures. This only happens if none of
   the DBM libraries (GDBM, DB_File, NDBM or SDBM) were built. As the
   first three require external libraries that VMS doesn't have and the
   last one is currently broken, it's no wonder Perl is bailing out. The
   fix is to work out why SDBM has stopped building on VMS. Peter also
   produced a lot of other VMS and HPUX reports.

   [6]Andy was pleasantly surprised to note that the promised "binary
   compatibility with 5.005" actually works even in bleadperl. Perhaps we
   need to break more things.

   John Peacock asked a portability question for XS bit-twiddling; he's
   trying to adapt a math library which depends on casting two numbers to
   a long and adding them together to avoid overflow. Jarkko's fantastic
   architecture experience was brought to bear as he revealed that Cray
   Unicos has long == short == int == double. Oh, and type casting has
   issues too, so you have to use a union. Nicholas Clark suggested the
   old trick of comparing the operands of an addition with the result; if
   the result is smaller than either of the operands, you've overflowed,
   so you add a carry and off you go.

   The news that GCC 3.0 was out brought a rush of people testing Perl
   out with it; I got it through on Linux with all tests successful, as
   did H. Merijn Brand on HPUX, but with rather a lot more warnings. This
   was because HPUX messed up the test for __attribute__ due to using a
   HP linker instead of a GNU one. Merijn and Jarkko got this fixed up.

   Artur continued his iThreads quest; he renamed the "shared" attribute
   to "static", (and then again to "unique" after objections) presumably
   to free it up for an attribute which actually does share variables
   between interpreters, and also added a function which cloned the Perl
   host. He said that threads-0.01, the new threading module, will be
   released to CPAN when 5.7.2 hits the road. (Which Jarkko keeps hinting
   will be very, very, very soon now.) He also complained bitterly when
   Marcel Grunauer tried to document as useful, despite the
   fact that Marcel has some really very cool modules on CPAN based on

   Marcel also found, and Radu Greab fixed, an insiduous bug in split,
   whereby if the default whitespace pattern was used for one iteration
   of a loop, it would be used for all succeeding ones; the PMf_WHITE
   flag for the regular expression was being set but never unset. Urgh.

   [7]Ilya produced some rough changes documentation for OS/2, as well as
   some other little patches. Norton Allen provided some QNX updates.

   [8]Phillip Newton documented the neat
    $count = () = function()

   idiom for counting the number of return values from an operation. That
   was something I hadn't seen before; you learn something new every
   day... Until next week I remain, your humble and obedient servant,

   [9]Simon Cozens



----- End forwarded message -----
"It [Starbucks Coffee]'s probably filled with MIND EXPANDING DRUGS, mind you. 
Now /they're/ fun things to take of a Saturday evening. Why kick a tramp to 
death whilst high on smacky booze in order to get a mention on BBC NEWS when 
you can watch the same tramp excrete spiders from his eyelids?" - J-P

Thread Next Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
Comments to Ask Bjørn Hansen at | Group listing | About