What Does 'Use Strict' Do?

tags: perl

I always use strict in all my code. But what does that actually mean?

Enables strict refs

Strict refs generates runtime errors when you use symbolic references.

use strict 'refs';
$ref = "yarrr matey";
print $$ref;        # runtime error but without strict refs this is ok

Enables strict vars

Strict vars generates a compile time error if you access a variable that was not declared or is not fully qualified.

use strict 'vars';
$X::foo = 1;         # ok because its fully qualified
my $foo = 10;        # ok because my() was used.
$baz = 9;            # compile time error because $baz not declared before

Enables strict subs

Strict subs generates a compile time error if you use a bareword identifier that’s not a subroutine.

no strict 'subs';
my $a = boop;
print $a; 
sub boop { return "dinosaurs smell good" }

The above prints “boop” instead of “dinosaurs smell good”.

use strict 'subs';
my $b = splarf;      # <--- compile time error here
sub splarf { return "dinosaurs smell good" }

The above generates a compile time error on line 2.

use strict 'subs';
my $b = splarf(); 
sub splarf { return "dinosaurs smell good" }

The above prints “dinosaurs smell good” which is probably the desired output.

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