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Taming Legacy Perl

Peter Scott, Owner, Pacific Systems Design Technologies

Track: Perl
Date: Monday, July 23
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Portland 252

Have you inherited a hideous lump of code that would need an exorcism before you could get it to run under “use strict”? If you’ve acquired Perl code written by someone else, or even if your own code is giving you problems, this tutorial is for you. Based on Scott’s book Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code (Addison-Wesley, 2004), it provides first aid for the ailing program that just landed in your lap.

Perl is easy to start using. But sometimes being easy can get you into trouble. The many ways to program in Perl mean that Perl code can often be cryptic, obscure, or muddled; just because a program runs doesn’t mean it’s maintainable. Hordes of programmers have acquired just enough Perl knowledge to get a program to run, and then one day, you find yourself tasked with maintaining one of those programs, and the horror begins.

This tutorial is designed to help you deal with that horror. You’ll learn how to:

  • Write tests for legacy code
  • Make bad code conform to best practices
  • Make code warnings--and strict-compliant
  • Streamline code by using CPAN
  • Modularize code and remove duplication

Designed for beginning through intermediate Perl programmers, this class will also help you make your own code more maintainable.