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Re: Pre-RFC: builtin:: functions for detecting numbers vs strings

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Karl Williamson
February 23, 2022 22:48
Re: Pre-RFC: builtin:: functions for detecting numbers vs strings
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On 2/23/22 15:03, Graham Knop wrote:
> After the merge of, it is
> possible to reliably distinguish between values that started as
> numbers vs values that started as strings. Essentially, if the POK
> flag is set, the value started as a string. If the POK flag is not set
> and IOK or NOK is set, it started as a number. These flags can be
> checked in XS, or via the B module, but cannot currently be checked in
> pure perl. For serializers, being able to detect the original type of
> a value is essential, so it would help to provide functions to provide
> this information. For example, providing builtin::isnumber and
> builtin::isstring, to go along with builtin::isbool.
> This does potentially have a huge impact on the language as a whole.
> While this is needed for serializers, providing easy access to this
> type data will pretty much inevitably result in people using the
> functions within perl for things like parameter validation. The values
> "2" and 2 are meant to be fully interchangeable inside perl, and new
> code distinguishing them will break many expectations.
> Even with caveats, I do think this is something that the language
> should provide. I am uncertain on the naming of the functions.
> builtin::isnumber and builtin::isstring are perhaps the most
> obvious, but they also imply that distinguishing these types is a
> normal thing to do. We may want the function names to be more
> opinionated, implying more strongly that they are meant to be used for
> things like serialization, not internal type checking. That feels like
> a losing battle though once any function of this type is available.

What pops into my head is making them longer to type with sewn doubt:
for example

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