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       Perl::Critic::Policy::ValuesAndExpressions::ProhibitFiletest_f -	don't
       use the -f file test

       This policy is part of the "Perl::Critic::Pulp" add-on.	It asks	you
       not to use the "-f" file	test because doing so is usually wrong or
       unnecessarily restrictive.  On that basis this policy is	under the
       "bugs" theme, see "POLICY THEMES" in Perl::Critic.

       "-f" is not the opposite	of "-d"
	   If you're traversing	a tree and want	to distinguish files from
	   directories to descend into then "-d" should	be used	so device
	   files or named pipes	can be processed.

	       if (-f $filename) {	# bad
		 process ($filename);
	       } else {
		 descend ($filename);

	       if (-d $filename) {	# better
		 descend ($filename);
	       } else {
		 process ($filename);

       "-f" doesn't mean readable/writable/seekable
	   Char	specials and named pipes are perfectly good for	reading	and
	   writing, and	char specials can support seeking.  Demanding "-f" is
	   an unnecessary restriction.	You might only ever use	ordinary files
	   normally, but there's no need to prevent someone else running it on
	   a tape drive, /dev/null, etc.  You always have to test each
	   "seek()" etc	for success anyway, and	that will tell you if a	file
	   is seekable.

	       seek HANDLE, 123, 0
		 or die	"Cannot	seek: $!";

       "-e" is better than "-f"
	   A few inflexible functions or operations may	not have good "file
	   not found" behaviour	and may	force you to check for a file before
	   invoking.  Using "-e" is better than	"-f" since as described	above
	   it doesn't unnecessarily disallow device files.

	       if (-f $filename) {	# bad
		 require $filename;

	       if (-e $filename) {	# better
		 require $filename;

       "-f" before opening is a	race condition
	   Testing a filename before opening is	bad.  Any test before opening
	   is useless because the file can change or be	removed	in between the
	   test	and the	open ("-X" in perlfunc,	and "Consider this carefully"
	   in filetest,	note this about	"-r" etc too).

	       if (-f $filename) {		 # bad
		 open HANDLE, '<', $filename

	   If you want to know if the file can be opened then open the file!
	   The error return from "open()" must be checked, so a	test
	   beforehand only duplicates that, and	is an opportunity to wrongly
	   presume what	the system or the user's permissions can or can't do.

	   When	opening, "ENOENT" will say if there was	no such	file, or
	   "EISDIR" if it's in fact a directory.

	       if (! open HANDLE, '<', $filename) {  # better
		 if ($!	== POSIX::ENOENT()) {

	   If you really do want to enquire into the nature of the file, in
	   order to only accept	ordinary files,	then open first	and "-f" on
	   the handle.	But that's unusual except for an archiving or backup

	   Incidentally, the error message in $! is normally the best thing to
	   print.  It can be slightly technical, but its wording will at least
	   be familiar from other programs and is translated into the user's
	   locale language.

       Most uses of "-f" tend to shell script style code written in Perl.  In
       the shell it's usually not possible to do better	than such tests
       (though "-d" or "-e" are	still generally	better than "-f"), but in Perl
       it is possible to do better.

       A blanket prohibition like this policy is harsh,	but is meant as	a
       building	block or at least to make you think carefully whether "-f" is
       really right.  As always	you can	disable	"ProhibitFiletest_f" from your
       .perlcriticrc in	the usual way (see "CONFIGURATION" in Perl::Critic),


       Perl::Critic::Pulp, Perl::Critic, "open"	in perlfunc, "ERRNO" in	POSIX,
       Errno, errno(3)


       Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,
       2019 Kevin Ryde

       Perl-Critic-Pulp	is free	software; you can redistribute it and/or
       modify it under the terms of the	GNU General Public License as
       published by the	Free Software Foundation; either version 3, or (at
       your option) any	later version.

       Perl-Critic-Pulp	is distributed in the hope that	it will	be useful, but
       WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
       General Public License for more details.

       You should have received	a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with Perl-Critic-Pulp.  If not, see <>.

perl v5.32.0 Perl::Critic::Policy::ValuesAndExpressions::ProhibitFiletest_f(3)


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