How to use fewer variables

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Using variables may benefit program readability, but many programmers regard it as a bit of a weak move (source: Yegor Bugayenko- programmer, blogger, and entrepreneur). Giving stuff names is emphasised in beginner tutorials, and I expect many of my programming readers use variables a little bit too much, perhaps not realising it is merely a programming technique. I will explain the drawbacks of this technique, and give some alternatives, so that by eschewing it you might improve your craft further.

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Upgrade from object-oriented to functional programming with this weird trick

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Picasso was a great man, but fond of exaggeration, so I always take it with a pinch of salt when people say it took him a lifetime to learn to draw like a child. As you might have guessed already, this post will be about me, and how I write Perl, and tracing the influence of my early periods of being sold on Haskell at university, training myself to appear worthy at interviews, and subsequently becomming a maintenance Java programmer.

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Extra functionality through pipes

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Sometimes the programs you are running aren't as fully featured as you need them to be. If it's your program, extend it to do work like you want it, the ad-hoc extensions will make it soon feel like a warm worn-in shoe. If it's not your program, and the missing feature is correctness, just fix your copy, and submit the fix to the author. Otherwise add the extra functionality outside, with an appropriate contraption. Here's a couple from me, based around pipes.

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How to parse XML with regular expressions

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There is a belief, especially popular under university graduates with heads full of Noam Chomsky, in the inherent hierarchy of grammars, and there are people out there who think it's something that has to be followed. Obey the hierarchy, they tell you. I suggest you hear them out, learn what is there to be learned, and then reply, I didn't know there were any rules about this. Dear reader, you are my fellow human and I want you to be strong and empowered. I'm gonna show you how to parse XML with regular expressions, and then you can make your own choices.

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