[Bioperl-l] For CVS developers - potential pitfallwith"returnundef"
sb at mrc-dunn.cam.ac.uk
Thu Jun 1 03:59:21 EDT 2006
Chris Fields wrote:
> Sendu Bala wrote:
>> Just looking for all return undef;s isn't enough. It's entirely possible
>> to do something like:
>> my $return_value;
>> # do something that assigns to return_value on success
>> # on failure, just do nothing
>> return $return_value;
> Agreed, though looking for these is obviously much harder.
> The way to get around those is:
> return $return_value if $return_value;
> which I've seen used in a number of get/set methods.
Though if anyone is using that cookie-cutter/macro style, that's much
worse because now you can't return 0.
return $return_value if defined($return_value);
In any case, it burns the eyes. I share Lincoln's POV. I also fully
understand your point about not being able to trust the docs
(Bio::Map::Marker...). But the solution is to change the code so they
match the docs when the docs make sense, not change the code so that it
no longer matches the docs[*]. In a massive OO project like bioperl the
users need to be able to rely on the docs. You can't turn around and say
"you've used this method for years, but now I'm changing how it works
because you might have used the method incorrectly". Ideally any code
changes add functionality or improve it's working without affecting code
that uses the method correctly according to its old docs.
* though if there isn't time/interest in changing the code, and the
method never worked as per the docs, then by all means change the docs
to avoid confusion - just don't change the docs on a method that worked
according to the docs, because then you can assume people use the method
and will be affected by the change
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