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Re: How on earth did we manage to break pack() so badly?

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January 14, 2014 21:15
Re: How on earth did we manage to break pack() so badly?
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On 14 January 2014 21:12, Johan Vromans <> wrote:
> "Paul \"LeoNerd\" Evans" <> writes:
>> Personally I'd be in favour of prototyping a brand new pack-alike
>> thing on CPAN, to fix these and some other issues.
> Personally, I'd like to carry this even a step further.
> The Perl programming language has a couple of features that are
> basically programming languages within the programming language. These
> features are pattern matching, pack/unpack and formats. While
> historically this may have been a good approach, these features have
> seen a lot of evolution in the last 25 years and one may wonder whether
> keeping them as a language within a language is still a good thing.
> For most common purposes it's okay to have these features as they are
> right now, but when it comes to substantial extensions and improvements
> it may be worth to consider a new and totally different approach.
> For pack/unpack I'd love to see a CPAN module that uses a well defined,
> user friendly and less cryptic method to describe the data packing and
> unpacking.
> I know that it is a deadly sin to make a suggestion like this without
> offering a completely worked out design -- so be it. Nevertheless I do
> hope that it may free some minds from the dead end track of even more
> super-cryptic pack/unpack templates.

I have no objection to moving pack to CPAN. I think its quite a bit
different from moving the regex engine though, I wouldnt want to
conflate the two discussions.


perl -Mre=debug -e "/just|another|perl|hacker/"

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