Thursday, July 27, 2006

OSCON: Day two part 5

Next up was Damian Conway's general Perl presentation, "The Conway Channel." He talked about some of the problems that exist in Perl5 syntax and showed us some of the ways that Perl6 will help solve those annoyances. Of course, he also shows us a way to do many of these Perl6 tricks in Perl5 using CPAN modules. Some of the information presented was also covered by Damian and Larry's earlier Perl6 talk, but the focus was more on solving problems right now.

Much like I was during his earlier Perl6 talk, I found myself wondering what real problems these techniques are solving, other than creating more syntactic sugar. Don't get me wrong: Syntactic sugar is great, but as a working Perl developer I'm much more interested in real functionality, like that provided by the Moose module for instance.

The next example was more useful. Contextual::Return is a CPAN module that gives developers an easy to tell in which context their code is being called. I believe he presented the same or a similar module in his best practices book. There was one trick to this that I missed the first time, which is that values returned using this module are lazily evaluated, which allows even more cool tricks. This method also supports l-values (assignment), which was pretty impressive. Go go gadget Perl5!

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