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Llama to Ram

Llama to Ram

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Llama to Ram

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  1. Llama to Ram How to think like a perl weenie Rob Napier 3/18/99

  2. Introduction • In this talk we will move from the basics of perl syntax and grammar (Llama) to the philosophy behind perl and the tools of the trade (Ram). • This talk will not cover many advanced perl topics, and in particular won't cover performance issues or advanced data structures Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  3. Topics of Discussion • Background and philosophy • Perl basics • Tools of the trade • Pitfalls • Perl rules • Gotchas Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  4. Background and Philosophy • Quotes • Influences • O’Reilly Bestiary Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  5. Quotes • Practical Extraction and Report Language • Perl is a language for getting things done. • There’s more than one way to do it Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  6. Major Influences • C • sh • regex • unix • LISP and COBOL Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  7. O’Reilly Bestiary • Learning - Llama • Programming - Camel • Cookbook - Ram • Advanced - Leopard/Panther • Also Perl/Tk, Nutshell, Win32, and others Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  8. Perl Basics • Auto-conversion (coercion) • The search for Truth • Safety nets • Data types Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  9. Auto-conversion (coercion) • Strings <=> Numbers • References => Strings • undef => Strings • Scalars => Lists • Lists => Scalar • The dreaded 1’s Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  10. The Search for Truth • False: “”, “0” • False = 0, undef, () • True = 1, ref, “0 but true”, and most anything else Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  11. Safety Nets • -w • use strict Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  12. Data types • Scalars • Lists • Hashes • Filehandles • References Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  13. Scalars • Numbers • Strings • References • undef • Typeglob • Filehandle $foo = “bar”; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  14. Lists • Heterogeneous • Both list-like and array-like, but usually list-like @foo = qw(bar baz bang); $bing = @foo[4]; @bang = @foo[4, 6]; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  15. Hashes • Associate arrays • keys, values, each, delete, exists %foo = (apple => “red”, orange => “orange”, foo => 2); $foo{apple} = “orange”; @foo{apple, orange}; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  16. Filehandles • open (FOO, “foo”); • while (<FOO>) { • while (<>) { • Includes predefined STDOUT, STDIN, STDERR Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  17. Typeglobs • Entries in the symbols table • Not used very often except for references to filehandles Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  18. References • Hard • Symbolic Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  19. Hard References • Similar to C-style pointers. $scalarref = \$foo; $arrayref = \@ARGV; $hashref = \%ENV; $coderef = \&handler; $globref = \*foo; $scalarref = \1; $arrayref = [1, 2, [‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’]]; $hashref = {‘Adam’ => ‘Eve’, ‘Clyde’ => Bonnie’ }; $coderef = sub {print “Boink!\n” }; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  20. Symbolic References • Indirect references to variable • These can be very dangerous (and aren’t allowed under ‘use strict’) • $$scalarref; • @$arrayref; • %$hashref Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  21. Tools of the trade • Lists • Hashes • Regex • Subs • Modules Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  22. Lists • Usually used as lists, instead of arrays • qw() • Sets • Slurping Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  23. Lists, seldom arrays • Usually use foreach, rather than subscripting into arrays. Instead of: for ($i =0; $i <= $#list; $i++) { do_something($list[$i]); } Do this: foreach $elem (@list) { do_something($_); } Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  24. qw() • Very good way to set lists of quoted words: @foo = qw(this is a test); Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  25. Sets @isect = @diff = @union = (); foreach $e (@a, @b) { $count{$e}++ } foreach $e (keys %count) { push(@union, $e); push @{ $count{$e} == 2 ? \@isect : \@diff }, $e; } Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  26. Slurping • Often it’s handy to just slurp a whole file and work on it in memory: open(FOO, “foo”); @foo = <FOO>; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  27. Hashes • Swiss-army knife of perl • Associative arrays • Records • “In list” applications Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  28. Associate Arrays %foo = (apple => “red”, orange => “orange”); print $foo{apple}; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  29. Records • The hard way @entry = getpwuid($<); %user = (name => $entry[0], passwd => $entry[1], uid => $entry[2], gid => $entry[3], quota => $entry[4], comment => $entry[5], […], expire => $entry[9]); print “name is $user{name}\n”; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  30. Records cont • The easy way (i.e. the perl way) @fields = qw(name passwd uid gid quota comment gcos dir shell expire); @user{@fields} = getpwuid $<; print “name is $user{name}\n”; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  31. “In list” applications • Maintaining list order sub unique { my (@list) = (@_); my %seen = (); # Hash to keep track of what we've seen my $item; # Current item my @uniq; # Unique list foreach $item (@list) { push (@uniq, $item) unless $seen{$item}++; } return @uniq; } Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  32. “In list” applications cont • Trashing list order sub unique { my (@list) = (@_) my %uniq; @uniq{@list} = (); return keys @uniq; } Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  33. Regex • Very useful for getting a lot of things done fast. Rob Napier: 9408 Erinsbrook Drive, Raleigh, NC 27613 (919)848-9523 /(.*):\s*([^,]*),\s*([^,]*),\s*(\w+)\s+(\d+)\s+(?=\()(.*)/ $name = $1; $address = $2; $city = $3; $state = $4; $zip = $5; $phone = $6; Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  34. Subs • Passing non-scalars • Returning non-scalars • Named parameters Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  35. Passing non-scalars • Try to move non-scalar to the end • If you can’t, pass a reference sub foo { my @a = @{shift()}; my @b = @{shift()}; print “@a\n”; print “@b\n”; } foo(\@bar, \@baz); Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  36. Returning non-scalars • If you can return it as a flat list (or hash), then just return it. • If you have multiple, distinct return values, return a list of references sub foo { my @a = qw(this is a test); my @b = qw(this is a test); return (\@a, \@b); } Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  37. Named parameters sub thefunc { my %args = ( INCREMENT => '10s', FINISH => 0, START => 0, @_, # argument pair list goes here ); if ($args{INCREMENT} =~ /m$/ ) { ..... } } thefunc(INCREMENT => "20s", START => "+5m", FINISH => "+30m"); Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  38. Modules • File::Path • File::Find • File::Copy • Exporter • getop • sendmail • CGI • Cwd Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  39. perl4 pitfalls • use strict! (and debatably also use -w) • local => my • chop => chomp • require => use • Avoid globals • Avoid typeglobs • Investigate complex data structures Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  40. sh pitfalls • use strict! • << instead of multiple prints • 0=false, 1=true except on system calls • Don’t over-fork. Most of what you want is in perl: rm/rm -rf, find, ls, echo, grep, awk, sed, pwd, mkdir, mkdir -p, chown, chgrp, cp, ln • Avoid globals Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  41. sh pitfalls (cont) • Don’t store lists as strings • Avoid temp files • Avoid excessive chdir() Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  42. C pitfalls • Avoid subscripting lists that you’re iterating over • printf -> print • Don’t fear labels, especially for using ‘last’ and ‘next’ • Don’t try to split a string character by character. Use regex. • Don’t overlook POSIX Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  43. General perl pitfalls • Generally you don’t need to add .pl onto script names. • Often readdir() is a better tool than glob() • tr/a-z/A-Z/ -> uc() Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  44. Perl rules • Always return() • Always check your system return codes and close() returns • use strict • $# => scalar (or scalar context) • Some people may debate this one, but I find it helps a lot. • Before writing anything complex, always check CPAN (www.cpan.com) Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  45. Gotchas • BEGIN { use strict; } • There is no real function prototype mechanism (perl prototypes aren’t what you think) • << EOF • Watch out for spaces before the EOF • != vs ne, == vs eq, + vs . • number vs. string Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  46. Gotchas cont • &&, ||, and, or • && and || bind tightly. “and” and “or” bind loosely • Generally, you use && and || in boolean logic, while “and” and “or” are used for “or die” type error checking. • print “@foo” vs print @foo • “@foo” adds spaces. This includes inside a HERE-docs Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  47. Gotchas cont • `foo` or warn • This only warns if `foo` returns no output (even if that output is an error) • split (‘ ‘, ...) • Splits on whitespace /[ \n\t]+/, not just ‘ ‘. Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier

  48. Wrapup • Thinking like a perl weenie means working with the language instead of against it. Even though “there’s more than one way to do it,” many of those ways fail to make good use of the power that perl offers. • The best way to learn to think in perl is to keep trying to make working scripts more perl-like. The best solution is usually the shortest solution that is still readable. Llama to Ram -- Rob Napier