Nov 2, 2013

Would You Miss Autoderef in 5.20? solutions in search of a problem

This is a response to Chromatics blog post Would You Miss Autoderef in 5.20?, because I can't ever get comments to work on his MT for something like a year (500, or some blogger openid incompat).

In all honesty I don't find either particularly interesting. I've too often been targeting 5.8 or 5.10 for syntax... @{ $foo } is really the most I've ever needed, @$foo is nicer, but beyond that don't need it. I can't figure out the value of either autoderef or postfix deref, neither of these seem to be solving actual pain points, I think perhaps they're a solution in search of a problem. Maybe I just need someone to point out a good use case that this stuff is solving.

Where are the things I actually need? Here's hoping that 5.20 will get method signatures, or exception handling or maybe figure out how to get given/when out of experimental, something useful.

I really do appreciate all the hard work the people who are improving core perl are doing, and it's all needed. Things like __SUB__ and my sub {} are absolutely awesome, as well as all the work on unicode, and other general improvements. Maybe lexical subs will be moved to stable? but I doubt it. Basically I want something that I can point to my friends outside of the echo chamber, something they could look at and say, yeah that's cool, Perl is moving forward.


  1. IMHO the real mistake was having keys/values/each operate on arrays as well as hashes. As with "~~" and the bitwise string operators, this kind of polymorphic guessing never works in Perl.

    1. yeah possibly, I mean, you can do it if you have a good solid object interface that conforms... (though what keys would do on an array... )


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