SPUG: Perl and OO and Unit Testing
dancerboy at strangelight.com
Mon Jul 22 13:54:56 CDT 2002
At 4:58 pm -0700 2002-07-21, Asim Jalis wrote:
>I have recently been playing with Perl again. I
>lay the blame for this on Damian's talk.
>For some reason writing unit tests in Perl feels
>really weird. I feel like Perl code is simply not
>supposed to be OO in the same way as Python and
>Java are. OO at the same fine granularity seems
>wrong in Perl somehow.
>Whenever I start writing Perl with tiny trivial
>objects -- the way Java and Python make you do --
>I feel like I am being stupid and un-Perl-ish.
>This is how I feel when I use any of the OO
>techniques in Damian's book.
I can totally relate: I feel the same vague un-ease when writing
truly OO Perl as well. My suggestion: ignore the discomfort and
create tiny, Java-esque classes anyway.
>Part of it is that Perl is built around this idea
>that you want to work on giant trees of data
>containing hashes/arrays of hashes/arrays many
Keep in mind that in Perl, objects *are* references to data
structures, so when you create objects whose data members are objects
whose data members are objects... etc. you are, in fact, creating
hashes/arrays of hashes/arrays many levels deep -- only you're
"hiding" those trees (encapsulating them) behind the OO interface.
This is a Good Thing: instead of having to write procedural code to
traverse those trees yourself, you can write OO code that ignores the
underlying tree structure, and let the Perl interpreter traverse the
tree for you.
(This just made me think of a nice metaphor: in Perl, OOP lets you
see the forest instead of the trees.)
Also, remember that no language is perfect (no, not even Perl! ;-)
Sometimes you have to "fight" the language a little bit to do things
right: so just because something is "un-Perlish" doesn't necessarily
mean that it's wrong. Personally, I consider Java to be the closest
thing to a "perfect" computer language yet invented, with Perl being
a close second. So whenever I can "twist" Perl to behave more like
Java, I do so. It may not be "Perl-ish", but so what? I consider
Java-esque Perl to be *better* than Perl-ish Perl.
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