On 6 February 2013 17:29, Junio C Hamano <gits...@pobox.com> wrote:
> Ted Zlatanov <t...@lifelogs.com> writes:
>>  - As in C (see above), we avoid using braces unnecessarily (but Perl
>>    forces braces around if/unless/else/foreach blocks, so this is not
>>    always possible).
> Is it ever (as opposed to "not always") possible to omit braces?

Only in a statement modifier.

> It sounds as if we encourage the use of statement modifiers, which
> certainly is not what I want to see.

As you mention below statement modifiers have their place. For instance

  next if $whatever;

Is considered preferable to

if ($whatever) {


open my $fh, ">", $filename
   or die "Failed to open '$filename': $!";

Is considered preferable by most Perl programmers to:

my $fh;
if ( not open $fh, ">", $filename ) {
  die "Failed to open '$filename': $!";

> You probably would want to mention that opening braces for
> "if/else/elsif" do not sit on their own line,
> and closing braces for
> them will be followed the next "else/elseif" on the same line
> instead, but that is part of "most of the C guidelines above apply"
> so it may be redundant.
>>  - Don't abuse statement modifiers (unless $youmust).
> It does not make a useful guidance to leave $youmust part
> unspecified.
> Incidentally, your sentence is a good example of where use of
> statement modifiers is appropriate: $youmust is rarely true.

"unless" often leads to maintenance errors as the expression gets more
complicated over time, more branches need to be added to the
statement, etc. Basically people are bad at doing De Morgans law in
their head.

> In general:
>         ... do something ...
>         do_this() unless (condition);
>         ... do something else ...
> is easier to follow the flow of the logic than
>         ... do something ...
>         unless (condition) {
>                 do_this();
>         }
>         ... do something else ...
> *only* when condition is extremely rare, iow, when do_this() is
> expected to be almost always called.

if (not $condition) {

Is much less error prone in terms of maintenance than

unless ($condition) {


do_this() if not $condition;

leads to less maintenance errors than

do_this() unless $condition;

So if you objective is maintainability I would just ban "unless" outright.


perl -Mre=debug -e "/just|another|perl|hacker/"
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