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down with err, up with dor

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Ricardo SIGNES
September 3, 2007 10:24
down with err, up with dor
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We're rapidly getting toward a real 5.10, when all the stuff that's been
getting worked on will be released to the world and more or less set in stone
for the next ten years.  If there are lingering mistakes, we should really try
to fix them now, rather than 2017, by which time I assume we will all be
sipping pina coladas in a global socialist paradise.

I was very happy to see the mistake of assertions fixed.  I just have one more
Big Mistake that I'd like to see fixed before I can start working on perfecting
my pina colada mix.

'err' is just about the worst name possible for low-precedence //.  I guess
some sort of fifty-character string of gibberish mixing 1 and l would be worse.
err is pretty bad, though.

Its meaning is entirely unclear to anyone who is not already inside the Perl
Echo Chamber.  When you're showing a non-Perl programmer some perl code that
contains err, what will you say when he asks, "Why is that called err?"  I
guess you can say, "Because it sort of sounds like or.  Get it?"

(I've *just* asked Larry, in IRC, what the reasoning behind 'err' as a name is,
but I'm waiting on a response and too impatient to not send this right now.)

Not only is the actual meaning not very tied to the name, but another meaning
seems quite tied to it: errors.  I mean, err actually *means* to make an error!
I think that's what we're doing by using "err" to mean //-but-low-precidence.

I've heard tell that we're not using "dor" because Larry doesn't like it, and
Larry gets the final say.  I think "dor" is an excellent name, because it
matches up with or and xor.  Let's say it's right out, though... there must be
some third alternative that isn't confusing like err or Larry-displeasing like

Alternatives from the top of my head: default, ifundef, els, uor.  Maybe there
are other, better alternatives.  (I really do like 'dor', though.)


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