SPUG: Advice on sub return-code policies?

Brian Wisti brianwisti at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 5 11:03:28 PDT 2006

Tim Maher wrote:
> The client I'm working with this week wants to develop a large
> enterprise application in Perl using a special policy: every sub needs
> to return a standardized "error code".
> They won't be writing /everything/ in the OO style, so encapsulating
> the error codes within objects isn't an attractive choice.
> Any ideas on how they can comply with their policy without undermining
> their ability to do normal things, like chain functions together (as
> in reverse sort keys)?
> An "out-of-band" delivery mechanism would seem to be needed, but it
> would have to be sophisticated enough to be usable with multi-
> threaded apps, and no too inefficient. Are there any CPAN modules
> that can help?
> What advice would you offer to a client like this?
> -Tim

I am curious about why they want a standardized error code returned from 
every function. I think I know why they they think they want it, but 
maybe there's an easier way to get what they really want without doing 
it the way they think they want it done. I think.

My first thought would be to incorporate a __DIE__ handler and parse the 
error code from the input to &die. I don't know how efficient or 
thread-safe that solution is, though.

Kind Regards,

Brian Wisti

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