Rabu, 28 April 2010

You know you're a Perl programmer when...

You know you're a Perl programmer (or a CPAN author) when...

When you're thinking of packaging every piece of code as a CPAN module.

A couple of days ago I need a subroutine that takes a nested data structure (e.g. {vol1 => {a=>{b=>{c=>10}}}, vol2 => {a2=>{b2=>{c2=>20}}}}), a Unix-like path string (e.g. "vol1:/a/b/c") and return the branch/leaf node of the data structure according to the specified path (in this example, 10).

After browsing CPAN and a few minutes of reading the POD of some modules and not finding exactly what I wanted [*], that subroutine idea quickly transformed into an idea of a full-fledged CPAN module. The next day I uploaded Data::Filesystem to CPAN, which is actually yet another Data::Walker- / Data::Path- / Data::DPath-like module.

Turns out that I really don't need that module (yet, maybe someday). What I needed is just a simple Perl subroutine, and nothing more, because I will need to create a Javascript and PHP equivalent for it. Porting a whole module is not something I even want to do.

I wonder just how many CPAN authors that (do not) start their modules this way: overengineering of a small problem after not finding exactly what they want in CPAN.

[*] Btw, not finding what you want in one of the millions of CPAN modules has got to be one of the saddest thing in the universe. :-)

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