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PSC #033 2021-08-13

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Neil Bowers
August 15, 2021 23:27
PSC #033 2021-08-13
Message ID:
PSC #033 2021-08-13
Present: Paul, Rik, Neil

Source encoding stricture

We had a follow-up discussion on the proposal that came out of last week's meeting, for a source encoding stricture[1]. One issue raised on p5p was the question of having a file with two different encodings in it. This is independent of the proposal – if you `use utf8` now, you still have this problem. And is this a real life problem? We don't think so.

The other topic was the fact that if you have non-ASCII UTF-8 in your source and the pod, then you need `use utf8` and `=encoding utf8`. Naively it would be nice if you could get away with just `use utf8` at the top of the file, but pod parsers aren't (and shouldn't be) expected to parse the non-pod parts of your source, and the utf8 pragma could be used by some module you're using, and so wouldn't be seen by the pod parser anyway.

The proposal doesn't fix everything, but it's a step in the right direction. We'll let the discussion another week or so, then make a decision on whether to go to a formal RFC.


Communicating beyond p5p

On p5p we're discussing things that are going to affect all Perl programmers, but often they're not aware of what's coming until it's released, or about to be. For most discussion points that's ok. But we agreed that for some topics the PSC should let the broader communities know of changes being considered, to give people a chance to comment, and at least set expectations.

An example of this is the change we're considering with respect to taint[2]. Neil will do a short blog post on this.


PV vs IV/NV discussion and PR

Following the discussion on improving how Perl decides whether to render a scalar as a string or number[3], we're keen to see Nick's PR[4] merged, but before we can do that the last concern is performance. We don't have tools, or even an agreed process on how to benchmark changes. This applies to the proposal for dropping taint – we believe this will bring a good performance boost, but how confident are we, and what kind of things will see the benefit?

Paul will talk to Nick to come up with something for this specific case, which we can then hopefully look to generalise.


Lord of the Quirks

We continued our review of the quirks document, but didn't get through too many, as the previous discussions took up most of the hour that was available today.

One of them was use of ' as package name separator. Rik has already kicked off that thread on p5p.


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