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Re: RFC 246 (v1) - RFC 250 pack/unpack enhancements

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Glenn Linderman
September 18, 2000 11:29
Re: RFC 246 (v1) - RFC 250 pack/unpack enhancements
Message ID:
Perl6 RFC Librarian wrote:

> RFC 246: pack/unpack uncontrovercial enhancements

> RFC 247: pack/unpack C-like enhancements
> RFC 248: enhanced groups in pack/unpack
> RFC 249: Use pack/unpack for marshalling
> RFC 250: hooks in pack/unpack
> The following enhancement covers almost all the of the remaining ways
> to store binary data, but it is substantially higher on the "bizzareness"
> scale:
This series of enhancements to pack/unpack do, indeed, vary from minor, perhaps
uncontrovsial, enhancements to the truly bizarre.

They appear to cover the same functional territory as RFC 142, although these are
complex enough that I can't grasp them quickly enough to state definitively if the
complete set of functionality is an exact match, a superset, or a subset, or to
say precisely what the functional differences are, if there are any.  It certainly
seems like the intention was to build up from the existing syntax in an
incremental way, to achieve the total pack/unpack functionality of RFC 142, but I
cannot presently say whether this was achieved or not.   The cosmetic differences
appear to be:

1) They "preserve" the "single string parameter" of the current pack/unpack to
perform all the work
2) They produce/take an array of unpacked data of various types which must
directly correspond to the types of the operations defined within the string, just
like the current pack/unpack.

Thusly, they preserve the worst parts of pack/unpack while extending them to be
ever more complex, per the following comment from Michael G Schwern:

> Its just damn unperlish.  Perhaps that's in its nature, being that its
> for converting data from things which are Perl, but we've got to be
> able to do better.

RFC 142 may not be perfect, but it results in similar functionality as this set of
RFCs, but creates a friendlier access interface.

Even if you're on the right track,
you'll get run over if you just sit there.
                       -- Will Rogers

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