SQL call formatting style

Christopher Hicks chicks at chicks.net
Sat Mar 29 17:02:58 UTC 2003

On Sat, 29 Mar 2003, Gervase Markham wrote:
> As I've said, I find quotes around strings mentally much less jarring,
> because it's what I expect. q{ } always makes me think of a function
> call (which it is, really.)

Around simple single-line strings I tend to agree, but when you're dealing 
with multi-line SQL statements or other significant hunks of inline text, 
the q{} form isn't as grating.

> We should choose what's most readable for most people in the common
> case.

Readability is deceptive in this case.  I doubt anyone wants '' because
you have to escape the 's often needs.  That leaves q{} or "".  "" would
be more readable according to your preference, but it causes side effects
that people don't expect.  Numerous scripts I've read do things like:

	$addy = "chicks at chicks.net";

Obviously these folks were ignoring warnings and otherwise naive, but it
exhibits that people new to perl don't consider the interpolation effects.  
In teaching Perl I've seen a lot of students, particularly those from the
C and COBOL worlds trip over this.  So, you're left teaching people the
plethora of interpolation intricacies or "hay, these q{} things are safe
quotes".  Particularly if the q{} is used through the main code base,
people will end up cutting and pasting it, and get used to the paradigm. I
suspect that doing so would help avoid bugs.  Avoiding escaping seems like 
a readability win too.


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will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
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