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Re: improving $! usability (was: Re: 1b7a0411f8b7cab [...] set errno)

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Craig A. Berry
June 20, 2009 23:23
Re: improving $! usability (was: Re: 1b7a0411f8b7cab [...] set errno)
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On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 2:30 PM, Michael G Schwern<> wrote:
> Stepan Kasal wrote:

>> Perhaps the perl interpreter should make sure that eof is unset if an
>> error appears, so that we can look at it.

If you already know that you've hit end-of-file, why does it matter
that subsequent attempts to perform I/O on that stream generate
errors?  Likely I'm misunderstanding -- I just don't know how.

>> Or should we rather introduce ferror to perl?
> It might be nice to have errors attached to filehandles.  That pushes use more
> towards making real IO objects.

You mean like:

=item B<PerlIO_error(f)>

This corresponds to ferror().  Returns a true/false indication of
whether there has been an IO error on the handle.

from perlapio.pod?

> But it only helps when there's a filehandle.  unlink(), chdir(), mkdir(),
> etc... don't have a filehandle.

But these are pretty atomic and don't involve PerlIO as far as I know.
 Handling errors from these is really a different type of problem from
handling errors while reading from or writing to a stream.

>> Better yet, wouldn't it be possible to make sure that $! is not set
>> by a successful io operation?
>> Either It could be cleared after every successful io operation.
>> (Or the value could be saved before the io call and then restored if
>> the io was successful, so that backward compatibility with broken
>> perl code is maintained.)

I think the difficulty here is defining what is or is not an "io
operation."  Percolating data through the PerlIO layers may or may not
trigger various system calls that may or may not set errno.  Scaling
back the number of cases where PerlIO sets errno is a start, and we've
done that.  Blindly clearing errors seems a little dangerous to me.

I'm sure there's more work to be done here.  It's not my particular
itch to scratch.

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