Technical Rants

Why Perl programs should always 'use strict'

Yes, every Perl programmer knows that you should 'use strict', but sometimes it's just easier not to. BUT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO IT ANYWAY. I just spent an hour debugging a bit of existing code where I added a bit of fork/waitpid code (copy/pasted from elsewhere) to implement concurrent child processing. And because 'use strict' wasn't on in (not my fault, the original code isn't mine), and I didn't add use POSIX ":sys_wait_h"; at the start, the WNOHANG constant wasn't defined. So perl just said "ok, I'll make that 0".


Documentation. Supposedly the bane of every programmer, system administrator, or techie person who'd rather be Doing It than Writing About It. Those same people are also the first to complain about any lack lustre documentation of technology they're trying to use, once again proving that irony is not dead. Therefore, I'm going to complain some more, because it might make me feel better, and because I think I've got something else to say along the way.

The short version of my argument is this: if it's not documented, it may as well not exist.

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