I am the current maintainer of the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) distribution on CPAN, and thus a the other day ago I got an e-mail about a crash:
The code looks like this:
use strict; use warnings; use SVG; my $svg = SVG->new( width => 10, height => 10 ); my $filename = "svg.xml"; open( SVG, ">", $filename ); print SVG $svg->xmlify; close( SVG );
Can you spot the problem?
Running the above script I get the folling error message:
usage: GLOB->new([FILENAME [,MODE [,PERMS]]]) at ... line 5.
Always use lexical variables for file handles!
Besides the fact the return value of open is not checked, the main problem is that the programmer happened to use the same name (SVG) for the file-handle as the name of the module. By the time the execution reached the SVG->new line perl already decided that instead of the module, SVG will represent the file-GLOB. (This happens at compile time.)
Hence the error is reported on the line of the SVG->new call.
I think this is a lovely error. Probably perl should have warned when it noticed that we try to overwrite the SVG name-space with a GLOB, but I have to admit a very similar problem happened to me too a while ago in Python.
My conclusion from this error is to remind people to always use lexical variables as file handles!
The working solution looks like this:
use strict; use warnings; use SVG; my $svg = SVG->new( width => 10, height => 10 ); my $filename = "svg.xml"; open( my $SVG, ">", $filename ) or die; print $SVG $svg->xmlify; close( $SVG );