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Re: Modules to reduce syntax?

by kcott (Archbishop)
on Dec 22, 2021 at 14:29 UTC ( #11139829=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Modules to reduce syntax?

G'day sectokia,

I often see code that does seem to have the "can't see the woods for the trees" problem. Much of that can usually be mitigated by a better understanding of the syntax that currently exists. Some examples:

  • Unnecessary quotes: $ref->{'foo'}{$bar} vs. $ref->{foo}{$bar}
  • Unnecessary dereferencing: $ref->{x}->[$i]->{$y} vs. $ref->{x}[$i]{$y}
  • Unnecessary parentheses to fix precedence issues: open(my $fh, '<', $file) || die vs. open my $fh, '<', $file or die

Finding ways to removed sigils is, in my opinion, a rather pointless exercise. It's extra work up-front and results in code that looks like it's from a different language: reduces readability; by extension, reduces maintainability; and makes the code more error-prone.

Removing whitespace, because Perl doesn't need it, has much the same effect as using too much punctuation: itcanmakeitverydifficulttoreadthecode.

Avoid excessive comments by using meaningful names. Good:

$grand_total += $sub_total;

Less good:

# Add the current sub-total to the grand-total $x += $y;

There are many more examples; these just came to mind as I was writing this post. You'd be better off spending time learning more about the existing syntax than learning a new, syntax-reducing module.

— Ken

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