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O'Reilly Open Source Convention


Techniques for Writing Maintainable Perl
Adam Turoff

Track: Perl
Date: Tuesday, July 08
Time: 8:45am - 12:15pm
Location: Salon I

There are many ways to write Perl programs, and some are easier to maintain than others. Maintainability is not an issue for a quickly written script that can be thrown away or easily rewritten. However, maintainability is a serious issue for large, multi-developer projects that take weeks or months to write.

Some of the simple issues deal with matters of coding style: brace placement, idiomatic usage, and naming conventions. Other issues are more complex: pathological coupling, variable scoping, side effects and mixing code with data. These issues are not unique to Perl, yet they continue to plague Perl programmers.

Large applications are about managing complexity. Your code structure will determine where that complexity rests in your application. Will you need to keep track of a dozen low-level issues, or can you hide the complexity in good code design?

This tutorial will review some of the lesser-known coding issues, which can lead to Perl applications that are difficult to maintain. It will also highlight techniques to hide that complexity, leading to more maintainable Perl applications.

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