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On sequentially-named variables

by merlyn (Sage)
on Apr 23, 2003 at 13:51 UTC ( #252539=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to space saving wanted!

Sequentially-named variables are almost always a sign of bad design.

Consider describing $calc3 by itself. What does the name mean? If in describing the variable in human terms, you mention "third" anywhere in the description, then the variable almost certainly should have been the third element of an array.

If it's the "third" of something, you're very likely to want to perform operations on the "first", "second", "third", and so on of that category (as you discovered). And the easiest way to do that is with an array.

Just because Perl can frequently go behind the scenes and help you discover "all variables named as $calcnnn" doesn't mean that you should contemplate your navel in every single program. Too much introspection leads to fragile programs, and in that case, be very careful how much information you put about your authorship, because your maintenance programmer will hunt you down and kill you.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

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