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Postings from February 2004
From: Brent "Dax" Royal-Gordon
February 23, 2004 22:23
Message ID: 403AEDB3.firstname.lastname@example.org
(Apologies if this is a repeat--I tried to send something on the same
subject a few days ago, but apparently it didn't get through.)
A few weeks ago, my father and I were discussing Perl. (He is a
professional programmer of about twenty-five years; the last seven or so
have been spent building Visual FoxPro apps for a major financial
institution.) I ended up explaining Perl's module loading mechanism to
him; he agreed that the concept was elegant, but thought that calling
the subroutine "import" was a bad idea, because it kept users from
creating a sub with that name for other purposes.
It occurred to me that Perl has a "syntax" in place for dealing with
this problem--subroutines with special purposes have names in all-caps.
(Besides all the blocks like BEGIN and END, consider DESTROY. I also
seem to remember that there's an all-caps object initializing method in
Perl 6.) I suggest that this mechanism be extended to import, making it
IMPORT instead. This would return to the module writer's domain a
common English word that is often used in computer contexts, which is
probably a Good Thing.
Of course, this entire post assumes that import isn't going away entirely.
--Brent "Dax" Royal-Gordon <email@example.com>
Perl and Parrot hacker
Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
by Brent "Dax" Royal-Gordon