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Re: [perl #131685] Rename utf8::is_utf8() (and other functions)

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July 13, 2017 07:29
Re: [perl #131685] Rename utf8::is_utf8() (and other functions)
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On Wednesday 12 July 2017 23:44:39 H. Merijn Brand via RT wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Jul 2017 22:53:57 -0600, Karl Williamson
> <> wrote:
> > It came about not because of AvFILL, but because of the already-existing 
> > synonym, the evilly named "av_len".  This name implies it gives a 
> > length, but in fact it is one-off from that.  av_top_index, though 
> > cumbersome, accurately indicates what it returns.
> The problem with av_top_index is that it hat not (yet) been ported to
> Devel::PPPort,

Devel::PPPort is probably unmaintained... It has open couple of bugs
since 2015 without any comments. And also pull requests are not
processed since 2016. Even those security released like this:

Because of those problems, I have no motivation to prepare any other
patch for Devel::PPPort. For dead/unmaintained modules it is useless.

> so I cannot change any XS code that uses av_len into
> using the new function if that XS is to support 5.16.0 or older
> $ ack av_top_index
> ppport.h
> 1225:av_top_index||5.017009|
> $
> I know I didn't quote all of your message and I understand your
> motivation, but the problem for these misnamed functions is much wider
> than the scope of av_top_index, which is *only* available to XS, and XS
> is more or less easy to fix by adding stuff to Devel::PPPort
> For the utf8 functions, the scope is WAY wider: it is used from
> pure-perl, and renaming them (with or without aliases) would cause
> major brain damage for all authors that use these functions (correct or
> incorrect) when their code has to work on a wide range of perl versions.
> To be honest, I do not see an easy way out of that dilemma. If you have
> one, I'm open to change for the better.

Problem is that people very often use construct which I wrote in first
comment. Or they read "is_utf8" means string is UTF-8 encoded and
therefore I need to call utf8::decode() on it.

And all this happens just because of wrong name from which can be
deduced by more people what it should do -- which involves in *no*
reading documentation...

If we would not add better aliases, then broken code would be still
produced on cpan.

As utf8::is_utf8() is not needed too often, backward compatibility can
be achieved by:

 *NEW_NAME = *utf8::is_utf8;

I think this is a good compromise. If you think that upgrade and
downgrade function names are fine, OK, but at least please add better
name for is_utf8(). In original email I suggested is_upgraded(), so name
would be bound with "upgrade()" function. Because it really checks if
upgrade() was called or not.

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