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04c692a8 1=encoding utf8
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3=for comment
4Consistent formatting of this file is achieved with:
5 perl ./Porting/podtidy pod/perlhack.pod
35c336e6 6
04c692a8 7=head1 NAME
35c336e6 8
04c692a8 9perlhack - How to hack on Perl
35c336e6 10
04c692a8 11=head1 DESCRIPTION
35c336e6 12
531e2078 13This document explains how Perl development works. It includes details
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14about the Perl 5 Porters email list, the Perl repository, the Perlbug
15bug tracker, patch guidelines, and commentary on Perl development
16philosophy.
f7e1e956 17
04c692a8 18=head1 SUPER QUICK PATCH GUIDE
f7e1e956 19
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20If you just want to submit a single small patch like a pod fix, a test
21for a bug, comment fixes, etc., it's easy! Here's how:
f7e1e956 22
04c692a8 23=over 4
e018f8be 24
04c692a8 25=item * Check out the source repository
e018f8be 26
531e2078 27The perl source is in a git repository. You can clone the repository
04c692a8 28with the following command:
e018f8be 29
04c692a8 30 % git clone git://perl5.git.perl.org/perl.git perl
e018f8be 31
04c692a8 32=item * Make your change
e018f8be 33
04c692a8 34Hack, hack, hack.
7205a85d 35
04c692a8 36=item * Test your change
e018f8be 37
04c692a8 38You can run all the tests with the following commands:
b26492ee 39
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40 % ./Configure -des -Dusedevel
41 % make test
7205a85d 42
04c692a8 43Keep hacking until the tests pass.
b26492ee 44
04c692a8 45=item * Commit your change
e018f8be 46
b6538e4f 47Committing your work will save the change I<on your local system>:
7205a85d 48
04c692a8 49 % git commit -a -m 'Commit message goes here'
e018f8be 50
04c692a8 51Make sure the commit message describes your change in a single
531e2078 52sentence. For example, "Fixed spelling errors in perlhack.pod".
e018f8be 53
04c692a8 54=item * Send your change to perlbug
7a834142 55
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56The next step is to submit your patch to the Perl core ticket system
57via email.
7a834142 58
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59Assuming your patch consists of a single git commit, the following
60writes the file as a MIME attachment, and sends it with a meaningful
61subject:
e018f8be 62
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63 % git format-patch -1 --attach
64 % perlbug -s "[PATCH] $(git log -1 --oneline HEAD)" -f 0001-*.patch
e018f8be 65
04c692a8 66The perlbug program will ask you a few questions about your email
531e2078 67address and the patch you're submitting. Once you've answered them it
84b19098 68will submit your patch via email.
e018f8be 69
04c692a8 70=item * Thank you
e018f8be 71
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72The porters appreciate the time you spent helping to make Perl better.
73Thank you!
e018f8be 74
cce04beb 75=back
e018f8be 76
04c692a8 77=head1 BUG REPORTING
cc0710ff 78
9e6670f3 79If you want to report a bug in Perl, you must use the F<perlbug>
531e2078 80command line tool. This tool will ensure that your bug report includes
9e6670f3 81all the relevant system and configuration information.
7205a85d 82
04c692a8 83To browse existing Perl bugs and patches, you can use the web interface
a8d15a22 84at L<http://rt.perl.org/>.
244d9cb7 85
04c692a8 86Please check the archive of the perl5-porters list (see below) and/or
531e2078 87the bug tracking system before submitting a bug report. Often, you'll
04c692a8 88find that the bug has been reported already.
244d9cb7 89
04c692a8 90You can log in to the bug tracking system and comment on existing bug
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91reports. If you have additional information regarding an existing bug,
92please add it. This will help the porters fix the bug.
7205a85d 93
04c692a8 94=head1 PERL 5 PORTERS
7205a85d 95
04c692a8 96The perl5-porters (p5p) mailing list is where the Perl standard
531e2078 97distribution is maintained and developed. The people who maintain Perl
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98are also referred to as the "Perl 5 Porters", "p5p" or just the
99"porters".
a75f557c 100
04c692a8 101A searchable archive of the list is available at
531e2078 102L<http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/mailing-lists/perl5-porters/>. There is
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103also another archive at
104L<http://archive.develooper.com/perl5-porters@perl.org/>.
7205a85d 105
04c692a8 106=head2 perl-changes mailing list
7205a85d 107
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108The perl5-changes mailing list receives a copy of each patch that gets
109submitted to the maintenance and development branches of the perl
531e2078 110repository. See L<http://lists.perl.org/list/perl5-changes.html> for
04c692a8 111subscription and archive information.
244d9cb7 112
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113=head2 #p5p on IRC
114
115Many porters are also active on the L<irc://irc.perl.org/#p5p> channel.
116Feel free to join the channel and ask questions about hacking on the
117Perl core.
118
04c692a8 119=head1 GETTING THE PERL SOURCE
244d9cb7 120
04c692a8 121All of Perl's source code is kept centrally in a Git repository at
531e2078 122I<perl5.git.perl.org>. The repository contains many Perl revisions from
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123Perl 1 onwards and all the revisions from Perforce, the previous
124version control system.
244d9cb7 125
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126For much more detail on using git with the Perl repository, please see
127L<perlgit>.
244d9cb7 128
04c692a8 129=head2 Read access via Git
244d9cb7 130
531e2078 131You will need a copy of Git for your computer. You can fetch a copy of
04c692a8 132the repository using the git protocol:
244d9cb7 133
04c692a8 134 % git clone git://perl5.git.perl.org/perl.git perl
244d9cb7 135
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136This clones the repository and makes a local copy in the F<perl>
137directory.
7205a85d 138
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139If you cannot use the git protocol for firewall reasons, you can also
140clone via http, though this is much slower:
7205a85d 141
04c692a8 142 % git clone http://perl5.git.perl.org/perl.git perl
7205a85d 143
04c692a8 144=head2 Read access via the web
7205a85d 145
531e2078 146You may access the repository over the web. This allows you to browse
04c692a8 147the tree, see recent commits, subscribe to RSS feeds for the changes,
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148search for particular commits and more. You may access it at
149L<http://perl5.git.perl.org/perl.git>. A mirror of the repository is
a8d15a22 150found at L<http://github.com/mirrors/perl>.
7205a85d 151
04c692a8 152=head2 Read access via rsync
7205a85d 153
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154You can also choose to use rsync to get a copy of the current source
155tree for the bleadperl branch and all maintenance branches:
7205a85d 156
efdea7e2
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157 % rsync -avz rsync://perl5.git.perl.org/perl-current .
158 % rsync -avz rsync://perl5.git.perl.org/perl-5.12.x .
159 % rsync -avz rsync://perl5.git.perl.org/perl-5.10.x .
160 % rsync -avz rsync://perl5.git.perl.org/perl-5.8.x .
161 % rsync -avz rsync://perl5.git.perl.org/perl-5.6.x .
162 % rsync -avz rsync://perl5.git.perl.org/perl-5.005xx .
7205a85d 163
a8d15a22 164(Add the C<--delete> option to remove leftover files.)
7205a85d 165
04c692a8 166To get a full list of the available sync points:
7205a85d 167
efdea7e2 168 % rsync perl5.git.perl.org::
7205a85d 169
04c692a8 170=head2 Write access via git
7205a85d 171
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172If you have a commit bit, please see L<perlgit> for more details on
173using git.
7205a85d 174
04c692a8 175=head1 PATCHING PERL
7205a85d 176
04c692a8 177If you're planning to do more extensive work than a single small fix,
531e2078 178we encourage you to read the documentation below. This will help you
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179focus your work and make your patches easier to incorporate into the
180Perl source.
244d9cb7 181
04c692a8 182=head2 Submitting patches
244d9cb7 183
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184If you have a small patch to submit, please submit it via perlbug. You
185can also send email directly to perlbug@perl.org. Please note that
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186messages sent to perlbug may be held in a moderation queue, so you
187won't receive a response immediately.
244d9cb7 188
04c692a8 189You'll know your submission has been processed when you receive an
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190email from our ticket tracking system. This email will give you a
191ticket number. Once your patch has made it to the ticket tracking
04c692a8 192system, it will also be sent to the perl5-porters@perl.org list.
244d9cb7 193
531e2078 194Patches are reviewed and discussed on the p5p list. Simple,
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195uncontroversial patches will usually be applied without any discussion.
196When the patch is applied, the ticket will be updated and you will
531e2078 197receive email. In addition, an email will be sent to the p5p list.
244d9cb7 198
531e2078 199In other cases, the patch will need more work or discussion. That will
04c692a8 200happen on the p5p list.
244d9cb7 201
04c692a8 202You are encouraged to participate in the discussion and advocate for
531e2078 203your patch. Sometimes your patch may get lost in the shuffle. It's
04c692a8 204appropriate to send a reminder email to p5p if no action has been taken
531e2078 205in a month. Please remember that the Perl 5 developers are all
04c692a8 206volunteers, and be polite.
244d9cb7 207
04c692a8 208Changes are always applied directly to the main development branch,
531e2078 209called "blead". Some patches may be backported to a maintenance branch.
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210If you think your patch is appropriate for the maintenance branch,
211please explain why when you submit it.
244d9cb7 212
04c692a8 213=head2 Getting your patch accepted
244d9cb7 214
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215If you are submitting a code patch there are several things that you
216can do to help the Perl 5 Porters accept your patch.
244d9cb7 217
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218=head3 Patch style
219
220If you used git to check out the Perl source, then using C<git
531e2078 221format-patch> will produce a patch in a style suitable for Perl. The
a126fb62 222C<format-patch> command produces one patch file for each commit you
531e2078 223made. If you prefer to send a single patch for all commits, you can use
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224C<git diff>.
225
9d440a18 226 % git checkout blead
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227 % git pull
228 % git diff blead my-branch-name
229
230This produces a patch based on the difference between blead and your
531e2078 231current branch. It's important to make sure that blead is up to date
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232before producing the diff, that's why we call C<git pull> first.
233
531e2078 234We strongly recommend that you use git if possible. It will make your
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235life easier, and ours as well.
236
237However, if you're not using git, you can still produce a suitable
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238patch. You'll need a pristine copy of the Perl source to diff against.
239The porters prefer unified diffs. Using GNU C<diff>, you can produce a
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240diff like this:
241
242 % diff -Npurd perl.pristine perl.mine
243
244Make sure that you C<make realclean> in your copy of Perl to remove any
245build artifacts, or you may get a confusing result.
246
04c692a8 247=head3 Commit message
244d9cb7 248
04c692a8 249As you craft each patch you intend to submit to the Perl core, it's
531e2078 250important to write a good commit message. This is especially important
04c692a8 251if your submission will consist of a series of commits.
244d9cb7 252
04c692a8 253The first line of the commit message should be a short description
531e2078 254without a period. It should be no longer than the subject line of an
a8d15a22 255email, 50 characters being a good rule of thumb.
f7e1e956 256
a8d15a22 257A lot of Git tools (Gitweb, GitHub, git log --pretty=oneline, ...) will
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258only display the first line (cut off at 50 characters) when presenting
259commit summaries.
7cd58830 260
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261The commit message should include a description of the problem that the
262patch corrects or new functionality that the patch adds.
7cd58830 263
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264As a general rule of thumb, your commit message should help a
265programmer who knows the Perl core quickly understand what you were
266trying to do, how you were trying to do it, and why the change matters
267to Perl.
7cd58830 268
04c692a8 269=over 4
7cd58830 270
04c692a8 271=item * Why
7cd58830 272
04c692a8 273Your commit message should describe why the change you are making is
531e2078 274important. When someone looks at your change in six months or six
04c692a8 275years, your intent should be clear.
7cd58830 276
04c692a8 277If you're deprecating a feature with the intent of later simplifying
531e2078 278another bit of code, say so. If you're fixing a performance problem or
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279adding a new feature to support some other bit of the core, mention
280that.
7cd58830 281
04c692a8 282=item * What
7cd58830 283
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284Your commit message should describe what part of the Perl core you're
285changing and what you expect your patch to do.
7cd58830 286
04c692a8 287=item * How
7cd58830 288
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289While it's not necessary for documentation changes, new tests or
290trivial patches, it's often worth explaining how your change works.
291Even if it's clear to you today, it may not be clear to a porter next
292month or next year.
d7889f52 293
04c692a8 294=back
d7889f52 295
04c692a8 296A commit message isn't intended to take the place of comments in your
531e2078 297code. Commit messages should describe the change you made, while code
04c692a8 298comments should describe the current state of the code.
d7889f52 299
04c692a8 300If you've just implemented a new feature, complete with doc, tests and
531e2078 301well-commented code, a brief commit message will often suffice. If,
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302however, you've just changed a single character deep in the parser or
303lexer, you might need to write a small novel to ensure that future
304readers understand what you did and why you did it.
d7889f52 305
04c692a8 306=head3 Comments, Comments, Comments
d7889f52 307
531e2078 308Be sure to adequately comment your code. While commenting every line is
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309unnecessary, anything that takes advantage of side effects of
310operators, that creates changes that will be felt outside of the
311function being patched, or that others may find confusing should be
531e2078 312documented. If you are going to err, it is better to err on the side of
04c692a8 313adding too many comments than too few.
d7889f52 314
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315The best comments explain I<why> the code does what it does, not I<what
316it does>.
d7889f52 317
04c692a8 318=head3 Style
d7889f52 319
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320In general, please follow the particular style of the code you are
321patching.
d7889f52 322
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323In particular, follow these general guidelines for patching Perl
324sources:
cce04beb 325
04c692a8 326=over 4
d7889f52
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327
328=item *
329
04c692a8 3308-wide tabs (no exceptions!)
d7889f52
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331
332=item *
333
04c692a8 3344-wide indents for code, 2-wide indents for nested CPP #defines
ee9468a2 335
cce04beb 336=item *
ee9468a2 337
04c692a8 338Try hard not to exceed 79-columns
bc028b6b 339
ee9468a2
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340=item *
341
04c692a8 342ANSI C prototypes
d7889f52
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343
344=item *
345
04c692a8 346Uncuddled elses and "K&R" style for indenting control constructs
0bec6c03 347
04c692a8 348=item *
d7889f52 349
04c692a8 350No C++ style (//) comments
d7889f52
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351
352=item *
353
04c692a8 354Mark places that need to be revisited with XXX (and revisit often!)
27565cb6
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355
356=item *
357
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358Opening brace lines up with "if" when conditional spans multiple lines;
359should be at end-of-line otherwise
27565cb6 360
04c692a8 361=item *
27565cb6 362
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363In function definitions, name starts in column 0 (return value is on
364previous line)
27565cb6 365
04c692a8 366=item *
27565cb6 367
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368Single space after keywords that are followed by parens, no space
369between function name and following paren
606fd33d 370
27565cb6
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371=item *
372
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373Avoid assignments in conditionals, but if they're unavoidable, use
374extra paren, e.g. "if (a && (b = c)) ..."
27565cb6
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375
376=item *
377
04c692a8 378"return foo;" rather than "return(foo);"
27565cb6
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379
380=item *
381
04c692a8 382"if (!foo) ..." rather than "if (foo == FALSE) ..." etc.
606fd33d 383
a8bd0d47
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384=item *
385
386Do not declare variables using "register". It may be counterproductive
387with modern compilers, and is deprecated in C++, under which the Perl
388source is regularly compiled.
389
5b48d9bb
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390=item *
391
392In-line functions that are in headers that are accessible to XS code
393need to be able to compile without warnings with commonly used extra
394compilation flags, such as gcc's C<-Wswitch-default> which warns
395whenever a switch statement does not have a "default" case. The use of
396these extra flags is to catch potential problems in legal C code, and is
397often used by Perl aggregators, such as Linux distributors.
398
606fd33d 399=back
27565cb6 400
04c692a8 401=head3 Test suite
d7889f52 402
a8d15a22 403If your patch changes code (rather than just changing documentation),
04c692a8 404you should also include one or more test cases which illustrate the bug
531e2078 405you're fixing or validate the new functionality you're adding. In
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406general, you should update an existing test file rather than create a
407new one.
2bbc8d55 408
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409Your test suite additions should generally follow these guidelines
410(courtesy of Gurusamy Sarathy <gsar@activestate.com>):
2bbc8d55 411
04c692a8 412=over 4
0bec6c03 413
04c692a8 414=item *
0bec6c03 415
531e2078 416Know what you're testing. Read the docs, and the source.
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417
418=item *
419
04c692a8 420Tend to fail, not succeed.
0bec6c03 421
04c692a8 422=item *
0bec6c03 423
04c692a8 424Interpret results strictly.
27565cb6 425
04c692a8 426=item *
27565cb6 427
04c692a8 428Use unrelated features (this will flush out bizarre interactions).
27565cb6 429
04c692a8 430=item *
27565cb6 431
04c692a8 432Use non-standard idioms (otherwise you are not testing TIMTOWTDI).
27565cb6 433
04c692a8 434=item *
d7889f52 435
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436Avoid using hardcoded test numbers whenever possible (the EXPECTED/GOT
437found in t/op/tie.t is much more maintainable, and gives better failure
438reports).
d7889f52 439
04c692a8 440=item *
d7889f52 441
04c692a8 442Give meaningful error messages when a test fails.
d7889f52 443
04c692a8 444=item *
d7889f52 445
531e2078 446Avoid using qx// and system() unless you are testing for them. If you
04c692a8 447do use them, make sure that you cover _all_ perl platforms.
d7889f52 448
04c692a8 449=item *
0bec6c03 450
04c692a8 451Unlink any temporary files you create.
63796a85 452
04c692a8 453=item *
0bec6c03 454
04c692a8 455Promote unforeseen warnings to errors with $SIG{__WARN__}.
0bec6c03 456
04c692a8 457=item *
0bec6c03 458
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459Be sure to use the libraries and modules shipped with the version being
460tested, not those that were already installed.
d7889f52 461
04c692a8 462=item *
d7889f52 463
04c692a8 464Add comments to the code explaining what you are testing for.
d7889f52 465
04c692a8 466=item *
d7889f52 467
531e2078 468Make updating the '1..42' string unnecessary. Or make sure that you
04c692a8 469update it.
d7889f52 470
04c692a8 471=item *
d7889f52 472
04c692a8 473Test _all_ behaviors of a given operator, library, or function.
d7889f52 474
04c692a8 475Test all optional arguments.
d7889f52 476
04c692a8 477Test return values in various contexts (boolean, scalar, list, lvalue).
d7889f52 478
04c692a8 479Use both global and lexical variables.
d7889f52 480
04c692a8 481Don't forget the exceptional, pathological cases.
0bec6c03 482
cce04beb 483=back
0bec6c03 484
04c692a8 485=head2 Patching a core module
ee9468a2 486
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487This works just like patching anything else, with one extra
488consideration.
63796a85 489
a8d15a22 490Modules in the F<cpan/> directory of the source tree are maintained
531e2078 491outside of the Perl core. When the author updates the module, the
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492updates are simply copied into the core. See that module's
493documentation or its listing on L<http://search.cpan.org/> for more
494information on reporting bugs and submitting patches.
495
496In most cases, patches to modules in F<cpan/> should be sent upstream
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497and should not be applied to the Perl core individually. If a patch to
498a file in F<cpan/> absolutely cannot wait for the fix to be made
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499upstream, released to CPAN and copied to blead, you must add (or
500update) a C<CUSTOMIZED> entry in the F<"Porting/Maintainers.pl"> file
501to flag that a local modification has been made. See
502F<"Porting/Maintainers.pl"> for more details.
63796a85 503
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504In contrast, modules in the F<dist/> directory are maintained in the
505core.
63796a85 506
04c692a8 507=head2 Updating perldelta
63796a85 508
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509For changes significant enough to warrant a F<pod/perldelta.pod> entry,
510the porters will greatly appreciate it if you submit a delta entry
531e2078 511along with your actual change. Significant changes include, but are not
04c692a8 512limited to:
63796a85 513
04c692a8 514=over 4
63796a85 515
04c692a8 516=item *
63796a85 517
04c692a8 518Adding, deprecating, or removing core features
ee9468a2 519
04c692a8 520=item *
ee9468a2 521
04c692a8 522Adding, deprecating, removing, or upgrading core or dual-life modules
ee9468a2 523
04c692a8 524=item *
ee9468a2 525
04c692a8 526Adding new core tests
ee9468a2 527
04c692a8 528=item *
ee9468a2 529
04c692a8 530Fixing security issues and user-visible bugs in the core
cce04beb 531
04c692a8 532=item *
ad7244db 533
04c692a8 534Changes that might break existing code, either on the perl or C level
ad7244db
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535
536=item *
537
04c692a8 538Significant performance improvements
ad7244db
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539
540=item *
541
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542Adding, removing, or significantly changing documentation in the
543F<pod/> directory
ad7244db 544
cce04beb 545=item *
ad7244db 546
04c692a8 547Important platform-specific changes
d7889f52 548
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549=back
550
04c692a8 551Please make sure you add the perldelta entry to the right section
531e2078 552within F<pod/perldelta.pod>. More information on how to write good
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553perldelta entries is available in the C<Style> section of
554F<Porting/how_to_write_a_perldelta.pod>.
d7889f52 555
04c692a8 556=head2 What makes for a good patch?
d7889f52 557
531e2078 558New features and extensions to the language can be contentious. There
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559is no specific set of criteria which determine what features get added,
560but here are some questions to consider when developing a patch:
d7889f52 561
04c692a8 562=head3 Does the concept match the general goals of Perl?
d7889f52 563
04c692a8 564Our goals include, but are not limited to:
d7889f52 565
04c692a8 566=over 4
d7889f52 567
04c692a8 568=item 1.
d7889f52 569
04c692a8 570Keep it fast, simple, and useful.
cce04beb 571
04c692a8 572=item 2.
cce04beb 573
04c692a8 574Keep features/concepts as orthogonal as possible.
902b9dbf 575
04c692a8 576=item 3.
902b9dbf 577
04c692a8 578No arbitrary limits (platforms, data sizes, cultures).
a958818a 579
04c692a8 580=item 4.
ac036724 581
04c692a8 582Keep it open and exciting to use/patch/advocate Perl everywhere.
a958818a 583
04c692a8 584=item 5.
a958818a 585
04c692a8 586Either assimilate new technologies, or build bridges to them.
a958818a 587
04c692a8 588=back
a958818a 589
04c692a8 590=head3 Where is the implementation?
a958818a 591
531e2078 592All the talk in the world is useless without an implementation. In
04c692a8 593almost every case, the person or people who argue for a new feature
531e2078 594will be expected to be the ones who implement it. Porters capable of
04c692a8
DR
595coding new features have their own agendas, and are not available to
596implement your (possibly good) idea.
a1b65709 597
04c692a8 598=head3 Backwards compatibility
37c0adeb 599
531e2078 600It's a cardinal sin to break existing Perl programs. New warnings can
04c692a8 601be contentious--some say that a program that emits warnings is not
531e2078 602broken, while others say it is. Adding keywords has the potential to
04c692a8
DR
603break programs, changing the meaning of existing token sequences or
604functions might break programs.
f50e5b73 605
04c692a8
DR
606The Perl 5 core includes mechanisms to help porters make backwards
607incompatible changes more compatible such as the L<feature> and
531e2078 608L<deprecate> modules. Please use them when appropriate.
902b9dbf 609
04c692a8 610=head3 Could it be a module instead?
902b9dbf 611
04c692a8 612Perl 5 has extension mechanisms, modules and XS, specifically to avoid
531e2078 613the need to keep changing the Perl interpreter. You can write modules
04c692a8
DR
614that export functions, you can give those functions prototypes so they
615can be called like built-in functions, you can even write XS code to
616mess with the runtime data structures of the Perl interpreter if you
617want to implement really complicated things.
902b9dbf 618
04c692a8
DR
619Whenever possible, new features should be prototyped in a CPAN module
620before they will be considered for the core.
902b9dbf 621
04c692a8 622=head3 Is the feature generic enough?
902b9dbf 623
04c692a8
DR
624Is this something that only the submitter wants added to the language,
625or is it broadly useful? Sometimes, instead of adding a feature with a
626tight focus, the porters might decide to wait until someone implements
627the more generalized feature.
902b9dbf 628
04c692a8 629=head3 Does it potentially introduce new bugs?
902b9dbf 630
04c692a8
DR
631Radical rewrites of large chunks of the Perl interpreter have the
632potential to introduce new bugs.
902b9dbf 633
04c692a8 634=head3 How big is it?
902b9dbf 635
531e2078 636The smaller and more localized the change, the better. Similarly, a
04c692a8 637series of small patches is greatly preferred over a single large patch.
902b9dbf 638
04c692a8 639=head3 Does it preclude other desirable features?
902b9dbf 640
04c692a8 641A patch is likely to be rejected if it closes off future avenues of
531e2078 642development. For instance, a patch that placed a true and final
04c692a8
DR
643interpretation on prototypes is likely to be rejected because there are
644still options for the future of prototypes that haven't been addressed.
902b9dbf 645
04c692a8 646=head3 Is the implementation robust?
902b9dbf 647
04c692a8 648Good patches (tight code, complete, correct) stand more chance of going
531e2078 649in. Sloppy or incorrect patches might be placed on the back burner
04c692a8
DR
650until the pumpking has time to fix, or might be discarded altogether
651without further notice.
902b9dbf 652
04c692a8 653=head3 Is the implementation generic enough to be portable?
902b9dbf 654
531e2078 655The worst patches make use of system-specific features. It's highly
04c692a8
DR
656unlikely that non-portable additions to the Perl language will be
657accepted.
902b9dbf 658
04c692a8 659=head3 Is the implementation tested?
902b9dbf 660
04c692a8
DR
661Patches which change behaviour (fixing bugs or introducing new
662features) must include regression tests to verify that everything works
663as expected.
902b9dbf 664
04c692a8
DR
665Without tests provided by the original author, how can anyone else
666changing perl in the future be sure that they haven't unwittingly
667broken the behaviour the patch implements? And without tests, how can
668the patch's author be confident that his/her hard work put into the
669patch won't be accidentally thrown away by someone in the future?
902b9dbf 670
04c692a8 671=head3 Is there enough documentation?
902b9dbf 672
04c692a8 673Patches without documentation are probably ill-thought out or
531e2078 674incomplete. No features can be added or changed without documentation,
04c692a8
DR
675so submitting a patch for the appropriate pod docs as well as the
676source code is important.
902b9dbf 677
04c692a8 678=head3 Is there another way to do it?
902b9dbf 679
04c692a8 680Larry said "Although the Perl Slogan is I<There's More Than One Way to
531e2078 681Do It>, I hesitate to make 10 ways to do something". This is a tricky
04c692a8
DR
682heuristic to navigate, though--one man's essential addition is another
683man's pointless cruft.
902b9dbf 684
04c692a8 685=head3 Does it create too much work?
902b9dbf 686
04c692a8
DR
687Work for the pumpking, work for Perl programmers, work for module
688authors, ... Perl is supposed to be easy.
902b9dbf 689
04c692a8 690=head3 Patches speak louder than words
902b9dbf 691
531e2078 692Working code is always preferred to pie-in-the-sky ideas. A patch to
04c692a8
DR
693add a feature stands a much higher chance of making it to the language
694than does a random feature request, no matter how fervently argued the
531e2078 695request might be. This ties into "Will it be useful?", as the fact that
04c692a8
DR
696someone took the time to make the patch demonstrates a strong desire
697for the feature.
c406981e 698
04c692a8 699=head1 TESTING
c406981e 700
04c692a8
DR
701The core uses the same testing style as the rest of Perl, a simple
702"ok/not ok" run through Test::Harness, but there are a few special
703considerations.
c406981e 704
531e2078
FC
705There are three ways to write a test in the core: L<Test::More>,
706F<t/test.pl> and ad hoc C<print $test ? "ok 42\n" : "not ok 42\n">. The
04c692a8 707decision of which to use depends on what part of the test suite you're
531e2078 708working on. This is a measure to prevent a high-level failure (such as
04c692a8 709Config.pm breaking) from causing basic functionality tests to fail.
c406981e 710
04c692a8
DR
711The F<t/test.pl> library provides some of the features of
712L<Test::More>, but avoids loading most modules and uses as few core
713features as possible.
902b9dbf 714
9e6670f3
DR
715If you write your own test, use the L<Test Anything
716Protocol|http://testanything.org>.
902b9dbf
MLF
717
718=over 4
719
bb52f720 720=item * F<t/base>, F<t/comp> and F<t/opbasic>
902b9dbf 721
04c692a8 722Since we don't know if require works, or even subroutines, use ad hoc
531e2078 723tests for these three. Step carefully to avoid using the feature being
bb52f720
JK
724tested. Tests in F<t/opbasic>, for instance, have been placed there rather
725than in F<t/op> because they test functionality which F<t/test.pl> presumes
726has already been demonstrated to work.
902b9dbf 727
a8d15a22 728=item * F<t/cmd>, F<t/run>, F<t/io> and F<t/op>
902b9dbf 729
04c692a8
DR
730Now that basic require() and subroutines are tested, you can use the
731F<t/test.pl> library.
902b9dbf 732
a8d15a22 733You can also use certain libraries like Config conditionally, but be
04c692a8 734sure to skip the test gracefully if it's not there.
902b9dbf 735
04c692a8 736=item * Everything else
902b9dbf 737
04c692a8 738Now that the core of Perl is tested, L<Test::More> can and should be
531e2078 739used. You can also use the full suite of core modules in the tests.
902b9dbf
MLF
740
741=back
742
a8d15a22 743When you say "make test", Perl uses the F<t/TEST> program to run the
531e2078 744test suite (except under Win32 where it uses F<t/harness> instead). All
04c692a8 745tests are run from the F<t/> directory, B<not> the directory which
531e2078 746contains the test. This causes some problems with the tests in F<lib/>,
04c692a8 747so here's some opportunity for some patching.
902b9dbf 748
531e2078 749You must be triply conscious of cross-platform concerns. This usually
04c692a8
DR
750boils down to using L<File::Spec> and avoiding things like C<fork()>
751and C<system()> unless absolutely necessary.
7a834142 752
04c692a8 753=head2 Special C<make test> targets
07aa3531 754
04c692a8 755There are various special make targets that can be used to test Perl
531e2078
FC
756slightly differently than the standard "test" target. Not all them are
757expected to give a 100% success rate. Many of them have several
04c692a8
DR
758aliases, and many of them are not available on certain operating
759systems.
07aa3531 760
04c692a8 761=over 4
d44161bf 762
04c692a8 763=item * test_porting
7a834142 764
04c692a8
DR
765This runs some basic sanity tests on the source tree and helps catch
766basic errors before you submit a patch.
7a834142 767
04c692a8 768=item * minitest
51a35ef1 769
04c692a8
DR
770Run F<miniperl> on F<t/base>, F<t/comp>, F<t/cmd>, F<t/run>, F<t/io>,
771F<t/op>, F<t/uni> and F<t/mro> tests.
51a35ef1 772
499cea6b 773=item * test.valgrind check.valgrind
51a35ef1 774
04c692a8 775(Only in Linux) Run all the tests using the memory leak + naughty
531e2078 776memory access tool "valgrind". The log files will be named
04c692a8 777F<testname.valgrind>.
83f0ef60 778
04c692a8 779=item * test_harness
83f0ef60 780
04c692a8 781Run the test suite with the F<t/harness> controlling program, instead
531e2078 782of F<t/TEST>. F<t/harness> is more sophisticated, and uses the
04c692a8 783L<Test::Harness> module, thus using this test target supposes that perl
531e2078
FC
784mostly works. The main advantage for our purposes is that it prints a
785detailed summary of failed tests at the end. Also, unlike F<t/TEST>, it
04c692a8 786doesn't redirect stderr to stdout.
83f0ef60 787
04c692a8
DR
788Note that under Win32 F<t/harness> is always used instead of F<t/TEST>,
789so there is no special "test_harness" target.
83f0ef60 790
04c692a8
DR
791Under Win32's "test" target you may use the TEST_SWITCHES and
792TEST_FILES environment variables to control the behaviour of
531e2078 793F<t/harness>. This means you can say
83f0ef60 794
04c692a8
DR
795 nmake test TEST_FILES="op/*.t"
796 nmake test TEST_SWITCHES="-torture" TEST_FILES="op/*.t"
83f0ef60 797
78087e0a
R
798=item * test-notty test_notty
799
800Sets PERL_SKIP_TTY_TEST to true before running normal test.
801
83f0ef60
JH
802=back
803
04c692a8 804=head2 Parallel tests
83f0ef60 805
04c692a8 806The core distribution can now run its regression tests in parallel on
531e2078 807Unix-like platforms. Instead of running C<make test>, set C<TEST_JOBS>
04c692a8 808in your environment to the number of tests to run in parallel, and run
531e2078 809C<make test_harness>. On a Bourne-like shell, this can be done as
07aa3531 810
04c692a8 811 TEST_JOBS=3 make test_harness # Run 3 tests in parallel
07aa3531 812
04c692a8
DR
813An environment variable is used, rather than parallel make itself,
814because L<TAP::Harness> needs to be able to schedule individual
815non-conflicting test scripts itself, and there is no standard interface
816to C<make> utilities to interact with their job schedulers.
51a35ef1 817
9e6670f3 818Note that currently some test scripts may fail when run in parallel
531e2078 819(most notably F<ext/IO/t/io_dir.t>). If necessary, run just the failing
9e6670f3 820scripts again sequentially and see if the failures go away.
51a35ef1 821
04c692a8 822=head2 Running tests by hand
51a35ef1 823
9e6670f3
DR
824You can run part of the test suite by hand by using one of the
825following commands from the F<t/> directory:
51a35ef1 826
04c692a8 827 ./perl -I../lib TEST list-of-.t-files
51a35ef1 828
04c692a8 829or
51a35ef1 830
04c692a8 831 ./perl -I../lib harness list-of-.t-files
51a35ef1 832
a8d15a22 833(If you don't specify test scripts, the whole test suite will be run.)
51a35ef1 834
04c692a8 835=head2 Using F<t/harness> for testing
51a35ef1 836
9e6670f3 837If you use C<harness> for testing, you have several command line
531e2078 838options available to you. The arguments are as follows, and are in the
9e6670f3 839order that they must appear if used together.
51a35ef1 840
04c692a8
DR
841 harness -v -torture -re=pattern LIST OF FILES TO TEST
842 harness -v -torture -re LIST OF PATTERNS TO MATCH
07aa3531 843
a8d15a22 844If C<LIST OF FILES TO TEST> is omitted, the file list is obtained from
531e2078 845the manifest. The file list may include shell wildcards which will be
04c692a8 846expanded out.
07aa3531 847
04c692a8 848=over 4
4ae3d70a 849
04c692a8 850=item * -v
4ae3d70a 851
04c692a8
DR
852Run the tests under verbose mode so you can see what tests were run,
853and debug output.
51a35ef1 854
04c692a8 855=item * -torture
4ae3d70a 856
04c692a8 857Run the torture tests as well as the normal set.
4ae3d70a 858
04c692a8 859=item * -re=PATTERN
6c41479b 860
531e2078 861Filter the file list so that all the test files run match PATTERN. Note
04c692a8
DR
862that this form is distinct from the B<-re LIST OF PATTERNS> form below
863in that it allows the file list to be provided as well.
6c41479b 864
04c692a8 865=item * -re LIST OF PATTERNS
6c41479b 866
04c692a8 867Filter the file list so that all the test files run match
531e2078 868/(LIST|OF|PATTERNS)/. Note that with this form the patterns are joined
04c692a8
DR
869by '|' and you cannot supply a list of files, instead the test files
870are obtained from the MANIFEST.
6c41479b 871
04c692a8 872=back
6c41479b 873
04c692a8 874You can run an individual test by a command similar to
6c41479b 875
a8d15a22 876 ./perl -I../lib path/to/foo.t
6c41479b 877
04c692a8
DR
878except that the harnesses set up some environment variables that may
879affect the execution of the test:
6c41479b
JH
880
881=over 4
882
04c692a8 883=item * PERL_CORE=1
6c41479b 884
a8d15a22 885indicates that we're running this test as part of the perl core test
531e2078 886suite. This is useful for modules that have a dual life on CPAN.
6c41479b 887
04c692a8 888=item * PERL_DESTRUCT_LEVEL=2
6c41479b 889
04c692a8 890is set to 2 if it isn't set already (see
a8d15a22 891L<perlhacktips/PERL_DESTRUCT_LEVEL>).
6c41479b 892
04c692a8 893=item * PERL
6c41479b 894
04c692a8
DR
895(used only by F<t/TEST>) if set, overrides the path to the perl
896executable that should be used to run the tests (the default being
897F<./perl>).
6c41479b 898
04c692a8 899=item * PERL_SKIP_TTY_TEST
6c41479b 900
531e2078 901if set, tells to skip the tests that need a terminal. It's actually set
04c692a8
DR
902automatically by the Makefile, but can also be forced artificially by
903running 'make test_notty'.
6c41479b 904
04c692a8 905=back
6c41479b 906
04c692a8 907=head3 Other environment variables that may influence tests
6c41479b 908
04c692a8 909=over 4
6c41479b 910
04c692a8 911=item * PERL_TEST_Net_Ping
6c41479b 912
04c692a8 913Setting this variable runs all the Net::Ping modules tests, otherwise
531e2078 914some tests that interact with the outside world are skipped. See
04c692a8 915L<perl58delta>.
6c41479b 916
04c692a8 917=item * PERL_TEST_NOVREXX
cce04beb 918
04c692a8 919Setting this variable skips the vrexx.t tests for OS2::REXX.
cce04beb 920
04c692a8 921=item * PERL_TEST_NUMCONVERTS
cce04beb 922
04c692a8 923This sets a variable in op/numconvert.t.
cce04beb 924
ff5db609
TC
925=item * PERL_TEST_MEMORY
926
927Setting this variable includes the tests in F<t/bigmem/>. This should
928be set to the number of gigabytes of memory available for testing,
929eg. C<PERL_TEST_MEMORY=4> indicates that tests that require 4GiB of
930available memory can be run safely.
931
04c692a8 932=back
cce04beb 933
04c692a8
DR
934See also the documentation for the Test and Test::Harness modules, for
935more environment variables that affect testing.
cce04beb 936
04c692a8 937=head1 MORE READING FOR GUTS HACKERS
cce04beb 938
04c692a8 939To hack on the Perl guts, you'll need to read the following things:
cce04beb 940
04c692a8 941=over 4
cce04beb 942
04c692a8 943=item * L<perlsource>
b8ddf6b3 944
531e2078 945An overview of the Perl source tree. This will help you find the files
04c692a8 946you're looking for.
b8ddf6b3 947
04c692a8 948=item * L<perlinterp>
b8ddf6b3 949
04c692a8
DR
950An overview of the Perl interpreter source code and some details on how
951Perl does what it does.
b8ddf6b3 952
04c692a8 953=item * L<perlhacktut>
b8ddf6b3 954
04c692a8 955This document walks through the creation of a small patch to Perl's C
531e2078 956code. If you're just getting started with Perl core hacking, this will
04c692a8 957help you understand how it works.
b8ddf6b3 958
04c692a8 959=item * L<perlhacktips>
b8ddf6b3 960
531e2078 961More details on hacking the Perl core. This document focuses on lower
04c692a8
DR
962level details such as how to write tests, compilation issues,
963portability, debugging, etc.
b8ddf6b3 964
04c692a8 965If you plan on doing serious C hacking, make sure to read this.
b8ddf6b3 966
04c692a8 967=item * L<perlguts>
b8ddf6b3 968
04c692a8 969This is of paramount importance, since it's the documentation of what
531e2078 970goes where in the Perl source. Read it over a couple of times and it
04c692a8
DR
971might start to make sense - don't worry if it doesn't yet, because the
972best way to study it is to read it in conjunction with poking at Perl
973source, and we'll do that later on.
b8ddf6b3 974
04c692a8
DR
975Gisle Aas's "illustrated perlguts", also known as I<illguts>, has very
976helpful pictures:
9965345d 977
04c692a8 978L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/illguts/>
9965345d 979
04c692a8 980=item * L<perlxstut> and L<perlxs>
f1fac472 981
04c692a8
DR
982A working knowledge of XSUB programming is incredibly useful for core
983hacking; XSUBs use techniques drawn from the PP code, the portion of
531e2078 984the guts that actually executes a Perl program. It's a lot gentler to
04c692a8
DR
985learn those techniques from simple examples and explanation than from
986the core itself.
f1fac472 987
04c692a8 988=item * L<perlapi>
f1fac472 989
04c692a8
DR
990The documentation for the Perl API explains what some of the internal
991functions do, as well as the many macros used in the source.
f1fac472 992
04c692a8 993=item * F<Porting/pumpkin.pod>
f1fac472 994
04c692a8
DR
995This is a collection of words of wisdom for a Perl porter; some of it
996is only useful to the pumpkin holder, but most of it applies to anyone
997wanting to go about Perl development.
f1fac472 998
04c692a8 999=back
f1fac472 1000
04c692a8 1001=head1 CPAN TESTERS AND PERL SMOKERS
f1fac472 1002
04c692a8
DR
1003The CPAN testers ( http://testers.cpan.org/ ) are a group of volunteers
1004who test CPAN modules on a variety of platforms.
b8ddf6b3 1005
a8d15a22 1006Perl Smokers ( http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.daily-build/ and
04c692a8
DR
1007http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.daily-build.reports/ )
1008automatically test Perl source releases on platforms with various
1009configurations.
f1fac472 1010
531e2078 1011Both efforts welcome volunteers. In order to get involved in smoke
04c692a8 1012testing of the perl itself visit
531e2078 1013L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/Test-Smoke/>. In order to start smoke
04c692a8
DR
1014testing CPAN modules visit
1015L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/CPANPLUS-YACSmoke/> or
1016L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/minismokebox/> or
1017L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/CPAN-Reporter/>.
f1fac472 1018
04c692a8 1019=head1 WHAT NEXT?
a422fd2d 1020
04c692a8
DR
1021If you've read all the documentation in the document and the ones
1022listed above, you're more than ready to hack on Perl.
a422fd2d 1023
04c692a8 1024Here's some more recommendations
a422fd2d 1025
04c692a8 1026=over 4
a422fd2d
SC
1027
1028=item *
1029
1030Subscribe to perl5-porters, follow the patches and try and understand
1031them; don't be afraid to ask if there's a portion you're not clear on -
1032who knows, you may unearth a bug in the patch...
1033
1034=item *
1035
04c692a8 1036Do read the README associated with your operating system, e.g.
531e2078 1037README.aix on the IBM AIX OS. Don't hesitate to supply patches to that
04c692a8 1038README if you find anything missing or changed over a new OS release.
a1f349fd
MB
1039
1040=item *
1041
a422fd2d 1042Find an area of Perl that seems interesting to you, and see if you can
531e2078
FC
1043work out how it works. Scan through the source, and step over it in the
1044debugger. Play, poke, investigate, fiddle! You'll probably get to
04c692a8
DR
1045understand not just your chosen area but a much wider range of
1046F<perl>'s activity as well, and probably sooner than you'd think.
a422fd2d
SC
1047
1048=back
1049
04c692a8 1050=head2 "The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began."
a422fd2d 1051
04c692a8 1052If you can do these things, you've started on the long road to Perl
531e2078 1053porting. Thanks for wanting to help make Perl better - and happy
04c692a8 1054hacking!
a422fd2d 1055
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1056=head2 Metaphoric Quotations
1057
1058If you recognized the quote about the Road above, you're in luck.
1059
04c692a8 1060Most software projects begin each file with a literal description of
531e2078 1061each file's purpose. Perl instead begins each with a literary allusion
04c692a8 1062to that file's purpose.
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04c692a8 1064Like chapters in many books, all top-level Perl source files (along
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1065with a few others here and there) begin with an epigrammatic
1066inscription that alludes, indirectly and metaphorically, to the
1067material you're about to read.
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a8d15a22 1069Quotations are taken from writings of J.R.R. Tolkien pertaining to his
531e2078 1070Legendarium, almost always from I<The Lord of the Rings>. Chapters and
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1071page numbers are given using the following editions:
1072
1073=over 4
1074
04c692a8 1075=item *
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531e2078 1077I<The Hobbit>, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The hardcover, 70th-anniversary
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1078edition of 2007 was used, published in the UK by Harper Collins
1079Publishers and in the US by the Houghton Mifflin Company.
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1080
1081=item *
1082
531e2078 1083I<The Lord of the Rings>, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The hardcover,
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108450th-anniversary edition of 2004 was used, published in the UK by
1085Harper Collins Publishers and in the US by the Houghton Mifflin
1086Company.
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1087
1088=item *
1089
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1090I<The Lays of Beleriand>, by J.R.R. Tolkien and published posthumously
1091by his son and literary executor, C.J.R. Tolkien, being the 3rd of the
531e2078 109212 volumes in Christopher's mammoth I<History of Middle Earth>. Page
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1093numbers derive from the hardcover edition, first published in 1983 by
1094George Allen & Unwin; no page numbers changed for the special 3-volume
1095omnibus edition of 2002 or the various trade-paper editions, all again
1096now by Harper Collins or Houghton Mifflin.
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1097
1098=back
1099
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1100Other JRRT books fair game for quotes would thus include I<The
1101Adventures of Tom Bombadil>, I<The Silmarillion>, I<Unfinished Tales>,
1102and I<The Tale of the Children of Hurin>, all but the first
531e2078 1103posthumously assembled by CJRT. But I<The Lord of the Rings> itself is
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1104perfectly fine and probably best to quote from, provided you can find a
1105suitable quote there.
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1107So if you were to supply a new, complete, top-level source file to add
1108to Perl, you should conform to this peculiar practice by yourself
1109selecting an appropriate quotation from Tolkien, retaining the original
1110spelling and punctuation and using the same format the rest of the
531e2078 1111quotes are in. Indirect and oblique is just fine; remember, it's a
04c692a8 1112metaphor, so being meta is, after all, what it's for.
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1114=head1 AUTHOR
1115
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1116This document was originally written by Nathan Torkington, and is
1117maintained by the perl5-porters mailing list.
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