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Re: RFC: Perl manual pages -- update to follow the perlstyle.pod guidelines

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Jari Aalto
April 3, 2010 00:44
Re: RFC: Perl manual pages -- update to follow the perlstyle.pod guidelines
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Tom Christiansen <> writes:
> Believe me, beginners very much want to see parens surrounding
> function call arguments. After twenty years of teaching them Perl, I
> long ago came to agree with them. It hurts nothing, and helps much.
> ... So yes, I do write time() and localtime(). It's a good idea. Trust
> me.

So do I where applicaple. I think functions calls like that (with no
args passed) are better to be distinguishable. But parens get in the way
in other occasions and the finesse of Perl is to allow writer to reduce

It's unfortunate that a language has all kinds of

    ' <as an old style package level var accessor, before the days of "::">

Where really, many of the langaues don't need ones for variables. That
must have been compiler design decisions (optiomization?) at the time of

So in Perl's case I firmly believe that there already is quite a many
punctuation involved on a line, and adding more of that with "&&" and
"parens" would not be making the situation better.

    A side Note: The Agile (XP) paradign favors simplicity. And I tend
    to agree.

Anyway, this is all philosophical. Let's nail something down in a spirit
of consensus.

> ...You can't expect someone to be able to read a language they don't
> know how to read: that's worse than ridiculous. There aren't very many
> people programming in Perl who haven't ever seen shell or awk or C or
> C# or C++ or Java ...

I think there is a resemblance. What is easy for the average Joe is also
easy for the well trained. There are reasons why those "and" "or"
keywords have been introduced in several languages.

    A side note: it is also interesting to remember how the SQL came to
    be. One of the oldest "programming languages" and recall the design
    decisions behind it.

If you mean that for a trained the constant switching from "&&" to "and"
is difficult, that's natural. He has developed a strong habbit to see
"&&" and interpret it in a certain way; and he wants to keep the status

I've witnessed the same as well. Those trained in traditional languages
insist on keeping "&&", no matter what language. The new trainees
however have no difficulties in using "and".

The stick would be better put according to the untrained. Not those who
already know what to do.

> Also, I see you keep using single quotes for strings that don't need them.

I don't. I believe you refer to previous message:


That was just a demonstrations of "more punctuation"; which doesn't make
statements more readable. I could have selected "" in place of ''.

An alternative example was presented below.

> I hate having to deal with backslash escapes that aren't. 

That all what I agree and use. Just take the examples as samples.

> of these perfectly reasonable constructs that are in widespread use in
> our community.

Well, if thet are not in the perlstyle.pod, that information is not
available. That's what we're seeking here: what conventions are there to
use in the official documentation

[I'll gatherr summary as we speak]

> there's something wrong with my programming, particularly when there isn't.

Discussion is always a good way to reach to an agreement. The personal
styles are (E.g. I favor modern Allman brace style) not important. But
we need to discuss and study the arguments.

Perhaps something new is learnt in the process. I have. And I hope were
are both old enough to keep learning at our both high ages :-)


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