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May 5, 2004 01:03
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-------------------- Original Message Follows --------------------
This Week on perl5-porters (26 April / 2 May 2004)
  This week, our p5p summary will describe a lot of little bugs, some of
  which were fixed, some of which weren't, in a lot of different areas of
  the perl interpreter.

Unicode problems
  It took a few iterations to get Jeff Pinyan's rewritten Unicode tables
  support in bleadperl right. Notably, some files that were named
  similarly were causing problems on case-insensitive filesystems.

  Jeff Pinyan and Sadahiro Tomoyuki also wondered about the technical
  difficulty of adding support for the POSIX character classes [=x=] and
  [.xy.] in perl's regular expressions.

  Meanwhile, Sadahiro and Nicholas Clark solved bug #29149, about substr()
  returning an erroneous return value on an UTF-8 string on which pos()
  was set; he trimmed it down to a UTF-8 cache bug.

Backward-compatible warnings
  There was some discussion about the integration of the new enhanced
  warning "Use of uninitialized value $foo" in the stable branch of perl.
  After all, it only affects warning messages emitted by perl, and not
  perl's behaviour.

  Meanwhile, this new warning caused some miscellaneous failures in the
  smoke tests, when running under some UTF-8 locales, and with
  input/output set to UTF-8 by default: this situation changed the way
  perl processed internal data, to which a defined variable name couldn't
  be attached anymore, and thus the warning message was modified (not
  reporting the variable name when it could not be figured out.)

"last" as an exit statement
  Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes filed bug #29238, where he explores the
  interaction between the "Existing eval via last" warning and the "Can't
  "last" outside a loop block" fatal error -- the eval() in the first one
  masks the second, and probably shouldn't.

eof() and non-blocking reads
  David Muir Sharnoff reported as bug #29019 that a read() on a
  non-blocking socket at eof returns undef and sets $! to EAGAIN (resource
  temporarily unavailable). Nicholas Clark replied that, since read() is
  buffered I/O, it shouldn't be used on unbuffered inputs, such as
  non-blocking sockets. A bit later, Ton Hospel investigated what does
  eof() return in this situation (bug #29277): since the system call set
  errno to EAGAIN, perl's eof() shouldn't return "true".

Other bugs
  Gisle Aas found (bug #29102) that assigning to an open lexical
  filehandle was crashing perl.

  Ton Hospel found an amusing bug (#29127): the return value of delete()
  applied to an empty hash slice seems to pick up the last value on the

  Dan Dascalescu found a six-character way to make perl segfault (bug

      perl -e 'open m'

  Those three bugs (among others) were fixed by Dave Mitchell.

  Marcus Holland-Moritz unveiled a bug in OpenBSD's, via failures in
  perl's test suite. He also implemented a workaround.

  Thorvaldur Gunnlaugsson found (bug #28993) that using the function
  eval("") in a BEGIN block mysteriously resets the $[ variable to 0 (if
  it was previously set to a non-zero value.)

  Stas Bekman found a bug that appears when an embedded perl interpreter
  is cloned after having evaluated a string that declares a new
  subroutine: this leaks memory. This bug (#29018) can be observed via the
  <Perl> sections of an apache2/mod_perl configuration file.

  Chip Salzenberg found that the special DB::sub() subroutine (used to
  write debuggers) suffers from restrictions: roughly, it can't call XSUBs
  and it can't use regular expressions. Details are given:

Other news
  Chia-liang Kao announced that svk, his source control software written
  in perl on top of Subversion, can now mirror Perforce repositories, and
  in particular the perl source repository (which access is restricted to
  a few authorized people.) John Peacock is testing it.

  After a discussion on the perl-xs mailing list, Steve Hay proposed to
  add a couple of new macros for XS coders, to push newly created mortal
  values on the stack.

About this summary
  This summary was written by Rafael Garcia-Suarez. Weekly summaries are
  published on and posted on a mailing list, which
  subscription address is Comments and
  corrections welcome. Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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