The Problems of Perl: The Future of Bugzilla

Max Kanat-Alexander mkanat at
Thu May 3 17:50:57 UTC 2007

On Thu, 03 May 2007 09:53:05 -0400 Bill Barry <after.fallout at>
> How difficult would it be to create tests for code style with a tool 
> like perl-critic? Can we merge tests that others have written?
> Is it possible to do things like type analysis in perl with tests?
> [snip]

	Sure, lots of things are possible to automate and improve Perl
code. But why should we have to write those? Why should we have to
*bend* a language to be usable for a large project? These suggestions
will add *more* development time to Bugzilla, and my goal is to be able
to add more features in *less* development time.

> Switching the language will not help in either case. I have been
> working on in c# for a while now (with resharper to help with
> coding style; everyone has the same configuration). I still end up
> fixing problems with code design (person uses while loop where they
> should use a foreach, 3000 line functions, ...).

	Honestly, ASP is a terrible piece of crap that I wouldn't touch
with a ten-foot pole unless I was forced to. That's also a community
that has a history of even worse code standards than the Perl or PHP

> The subject can be used for most elegant code as well. Most parts of 
> perl have their purpose and when used correctly can be very readable
> and easy to understand.

	Maybe that's true, but I don't think so. Most of us here have
been using Perl extensively for over a year, and so its various
strangenesses are normal to us. But for example, even some of the most
basic Perl code can be hard to decipher. It took me a long time to
realize the difference between [] and (). And when you could use () for
a hash and when you had to use {} and make it a hashref.

	It's little things like that--things intrinsic to the design of
Perl--that make it hard to read. You can say "You have to know any
language to read it," but I've used Ruby for maybe a total of 1/2 hour
in my life, and I find it pretty readable. I could read Python pretty
easily after just a few hours of using it.

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