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(tye)Re4: ref, no, maybe?

by tye (Sage)
on Jan 11, 2001 at 06:44 UTC ( #51064=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: (tye)Re: ref, no, maybe?
in thread ref, no, maybe?

Yes, you shouldn't go messing with the hash behind my blessed ref when I give it to you as an object. But that isn't what I'm talking about.

You have some function that does something useful with a hash. I have an object that consists of a blessed reference to a hash. Inside the code for that class, I have to mess with my own hash. Well, if this manipulation of my own hash would be made easier by using your useful function, then why shouldn't I be allowed to do that?

Now, it'd be nice, being inside the class code, if I could get a non-blessed reference to my hash. But I can't. If that one thing were different, then I wouldn't mind the use of "HASH" eq ref($r) nearly so much.

        - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")

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Re: (tye)Re4: ref, no, maybe?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Jan 11, 2001 at 07:07 UTC
    I'm not sure this is a good example.

    If you're inside your own class, you ought to know if it's a blessed hash or not without calling ref on it.

    Not that I haven't violated that rule a few times... but we could all come up with outrageous examples where this doesn't work. We're just too smart for our own good; let's leave it at that.

      Sorry, you misunderstood me. The problem is that I write a module, Tye::IsCool, that implements objects as blessed references to a hash. Well, you already wrote a module called Chromatic::HashMangler which is just the cat's pajamas and does interesting things to hashes.

      Well, inside of sub Tye::IsCool::AmazeNAstound() I want to use your module to do complex things to the hash that implements my object. But your module does:

      sub Chromatic::HashMangler::DeepMagic { my $refToHashToMangle= shift; croak "You suck" unless "HASH" eq ref($refToHashToMangle);
      so I'm screwed because you won't get "HASH"; you'll get "Tye::IsCool" and croak.

      Its a been a long day for me (and it isn't over yet), so I hope that makes more sense. :-}

              - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
Re: (tye)Re4: ref, no, maybe?
by jlp (Friar) on Jan 11, 2001 at 07:01 UTC
    As the author of this hypothetical function, i take the stance that it is Not My Problem(tm). My flawless (haha!) docs clearly state that the function can take a plain scalar or a hashref; not a hash-based object. I contend that the burden falls on the you, the caller, to put the data in the condition my function expects.

    Now if Perl doesn't provide a good way for you to do that, that is another argument entirely.

      "I object! Your honor, to use the 'It's documented so it isn't a bug' defense, the defendant also has to document why the 'bug' wasn't just 'fixed'." ;-)

      So do you write "I'm too lazy to use UNIVERSAL::isa() -- too many keystrokes"? "I have a religious and/or philosophical objection to object implementations using my module"?

      If your documentation says "hash ref" and not "hash ref that isn't blessed", then not handling a "blessed hash ref" (which is, by the way, still a "hash ref") is a violation of your own documentation. q-:

      If your documentation says "an unblessed hash ref", then I have to ask "Why??". Are you now going to start checking tied(%$self) and croaking if the reference is to a tied hash? Is there some problem with using UNIVERSAL::isa()? A very simple change makes your module more useful. Is there some down side to this? I don't see one. I didn't see you mention one. What is your objection to this?

      And there are other cases that your theoretical module "breaks". For example, Win32::TieRegistry exposes the Win32 "Registry" as a huge hash of hashes. So the majority of things that you'd want to do can be done by just dealing with a huge hash of hashes. But for a few advanced options, the reference to this huge virtual hash of hashes is also blessed into a package so you can use it directly to make method calls.

      So it really sucks when a module, for example, to search down a hash of hashes searching for something (kind of like File::Find for hash trees) can't be used on this hash of hashes that I did all this work to make available to millions of Win32 Perl users.

      There you made me say it. Happy now?

              - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")

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