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Review of text processing functions

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From:
Neil Bowers
Date:
May 28, 2021 10:22
Subject:
Review of text processing functions
Message ID:
66d46085-bd29-4c02-a8fa-1eb4c5844d99@Spark
During the many, many discussions on trim, there was one point on which there was broad agreement: we should review what string/text processing functions are provided in other languages and libraries, to see whether there are other gaps in Perl that we should fill.

We'd like to kick off a time-boxed project to perform this review and come back to p5p with a survey and recommendations. We're suggesting a period of about 3 months, so we'd have time to add things for the next .0 release. The actions we'd like to see include:

• Reviewing what other programming language (libraries) provide
• What functions are provided in String::, Text:: and similar namespaces on CPAN, and which are widely used?
• With trim we found that a lot of CPAN modules were rolling their own with regular expressions, but in many cases were incorrect, or at least inefficient. What other common functions are people doing with regular expressions that possibly should be built-ins?
• Solicit input from Perl programmers, to find out what text processing functions they regularly find themselves writing / using, or what features in other languages they’ve wished we had in Perl.

This will probably be easiest done by a team, given the amount of work we're expecting, but we'd like someone to volunteer to lead this effort, and take responsibility for delivering a final review and recommendations to p5p.

To be clear: we're not looking to add myriad text processing functions, but given Perl's once proud standing in this regard, we want to see if there are one or more functions with a strong argument for adding to Perl.

Exactly how they're added to Perl, and the whole namespace issue, is something we should consider independently of this - i.e. the scope of this review is whether we should add anything: and the how will be addressed independently.

If you're interested, either reply on list, to email the steering council: steering-council@perl.org

Neil

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