Rabu, 14 April 2010

Data::Dumper (Unfortunately, Part 2)

One of the first things a Perl programmer will notice when learning about Data::Dumper is: how weird and "inside out" the OO interface is. This is, I think, another unfortunate accident in the Perl history, as Data::Dumper, being the first of such modules, gets into the core in early Perl 5 and remains popular up until this day. But the interface and default settings apparently annoy a lot of people so much that alternatives and wrappers like Data::Dump, Data::Dumper::Again, Data::Dumper::Concise, among others, sprung up to life.

A loose analogy would be CVS which was popular for (too long) a time, and following it the explosion of alternative version control systems. Eventually after this phase a winner will emerge or dominate. In the version control system case it appears to be git. And in the Perl case I think it will be a builtin perl() method/function, like in Perl 6. Probably in 5.14? 5.16? 5.18? Don't you think it's about time Perl can "natively" dump its own structures in Perl, just like Python, Ruby, PHP, etc have been able to for a long time?

(Btw, lest anyone thinks otherwise: I do love DD. It has lots of options and has served its purpose well over the years.)

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