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This Week on perl5-porters (10-16 February 2003)

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Rafael Garcia-Suarez
February 19, 2003 12:13
This Week on perl5-porters (10-16 February 2003)
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This Week on perl5-porters (10-16 February 2003)
  Here is the popular digest of the Perl 5 porters mailing list for the
  second week of February. Featuring new proposals, new command-line
  switches, new ideas, and fixes for all sorts of bugs.

lvalue length
  Fergal Daly asked why "length($a)" isn't a lvalue. This would allow to
  trim a string by changing directly its length. But there is a problem :
  defining the proper behavior when the length of $a has to grow. Should
  $a be kept unchanged, or should it be blank- (or null-) padded ? For
  this reason, Hugo decided that length() isn't going to return a lvalue

Unexpected scientific notation
  Abigail reports (bug #20827) that a large number (1597009560 ** 2) is
  sometimes print by perl as an integer, and sometimes in the scientific
  notation. When this square operation has been constant folded, the
  number is stored by perl as an integer, but when it occurs at run time,
  perl uses a floating point value, hence the difference in output.

gzipped modules
  François Pons proposed a patch to allow to load gzipped modules, via the
  PerlIO-gzip layer. Slaven Rezic pointed out that this functionality was
  probably not worth being put in the core, because it can be implemented
  via the coderef-in-@INC feature.

The -C Unicode switch
  Jarkko Hietaniemi implemented the -C command-line switch he proposed
  some weeks ago. This switch (with additional option letters) can be used
  to control perl's Unicode behavior : for example, to turn on/off the
  utf-8-ness of the standard input or output, or of input files supplied
  on @ARGV. This new flag will be available in perl 5.8.1 as well.

Namespace pollution
  To address a namespace pollution issue raised by John Lenz, Jarkko
  implemented a new C preprocessor symbol, PERL_NO_SHORT_NAMES, which
  prevents the #definition of the short form of any of the Perl_*

In brief
  Our pumpking, Hugo van der Sanden, who was quite busy those last weeks,
  caught up with the developments. Most notably, the patch that Salvador
  Fandiño sent in November to add assertion support to Perl is now in.

  Rafael Garcia-Suarez implemented a new function in Scalar::Util, that
  allows to change the prototype of a function.

  Jos Boumans proposed (with a patch) to advertise Test::More and
  Module::Build in the perlmodstyle man page.

  Fergal Daly imagined a new, more concise way to invoke Exporter, and
  sent a patch to implement his idea.

  Bug #20920 pertains to the new safe signal implementation in perl 5.8.0 :
  apparently, when a signal handler is running, the corresponding
  signals are not blocked, whereas they should be. This can lead to
  segfaults. Slaven Rezic provided a fix.

  Bug #20912, fixed by Enache Adrian, is about a split() on a utf-8 string
  that causes the unusual error message "Split loop" to be thrown.

  Mark Mielke produced a strange case of core dump, involving ties and

  Jarkko reminds us that someone has to make sure that the "fields" pragma
  still works, now that pseudo-hashes have been removed. (The plan being
  to use read-only hashes.) That could be a bite-sized task for someone.
  (And while we're at it, there are still traces of the old 5005 threads
  to be cleaned up.)

About this summary
  This summary brought to you once more by Rafael Garcia-Suarez. Summaries
  are available on and/or via a mailing list, which
  subscription address is Comments and
  corrections are welcome.

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