Provided by: perl-doc_5.26.1-6_all bug


       diagnostics, splain - produce verbose warning diagnostics


       Using the "diagnostics" pragma:

           use diagnostics;
           use diagnostics -verbose;

           enable  diagnostics;
           disable diagnostics;

       Using the "splain" standalone filter program:

           perl program 2>diag.out
           splain [-v] [-p] diag.out

       Using diagnostics to get stack traces from a misbehaving script:

           perl -Mdiagnostics=-traceonly


   The "diagnostics" Pragma
       This module extends the terse diagnostics normally emitted by both the perl compiler and
       the perl interpreter (from running perl with a -w switch or "use warnings"), augmenting
       them with the more explicative and endearing descriptions found in perldiag.  Like the
       other pragmata, it affects the compilation phase of your program rather than merely the
       execution phase.

       To use in your program as a pragma, merely invoke

           use diagnostics;

       at the start (or near the start) of your program.  (Note that this does enable perl's -w
       flag.)  Your whole compilation will then be subject(ed :-) to the enhanced diagnostics.
       These still go out STDERR.

       Due to the interaction between runtime and compiletime issues, and because it's probably
       not a very good idea anyway, you may not use "no diagnostics" to turn them off at
       compiletime.  However, you may control their behaviour at runtime using the disable() and
       enable() methods to turn them off and on respectively.

       The -verbose flag first prints out the perldiag introduction before any other diagnostics.
       The $diagnostics::PRETTY variable can generate nicer escape sequences for pagers.

       Warnings dispatched from perl itself (or more accurately, those that match descriptions
       found in perldiag) are only displayed once (no duplicate descriptions).  User code
       generated warnings a la warn() are unaffected, allowing duplicate user messages to be

       This module also adds a stack trace to the error message when perl dies.  This is useful
       for pinpointing what caused the death.  The -traceonly (or just -t) flag turns off the
       explanations of warning messages leaving just the stack traces.  So if your script is
       dieing, run it again with

         perl -Mdiagnostics=-traceonly my_bad_script

       to see the call stack at the time of death.  By supplying the -warntrace (or just -w)
       flag, any warnings emitted will also come with a stack trace.

   The splain Program
       While apparently a whole nuther program, splain is actually nothing more than a link to
       the (executable) module, as well as a link to the diagnostics.pod
       documentation.  The -v flag is like the "use diagnostics -verbose" directive.  The -p flag
       is like the $diagnostics::PRETTY variable.  Since you're post-processing with splain,
       there's no sense in being able to enable() or disable() processing.

       Output from splain is directed to STDOUT, unlike the pragma.


       The following file is certain to trigger a few errors at both runtime and compiletime:

           use diagnostics;
           print NOWHERE "nothing\n";
           print STDERR "\n\tThis message should be unadorned.\n";
           warn "\tThis is a user warning";
           print "\nDIAGNOSTIC TESTER: Please enter a <CR> here: ";
           my $a, $b = scalar <STDIN>;
           print "\n";
           print $x/$y;

       If you prefer to run your program first and look at its problem afterwards, do this:

           perl -w 2>test.out
           ./splain < test.out

       Note that this is not in general possible in shells of more dubious heritage, as the

           (perl -w >/dev/tty) >& test.out
           ./splain < test.out

       Because you just moved the existing stdout to somewhere else.

       If you don't want to modify your source code, but still have on-the-fly warnings, do this:

           exec 3>&1; perl -w 2>&1 1>&3 3>&- | splain 1>&2 3>&-

       Nifty, eh?

       If you want to control warnings on the fly, do something like this.  Make sure you do the
       "use" first, or you won't be able to get at the enable() or disable() methods.

           use diagnostics; # checks entire compilation phase
               print "\ntime for 1st bogus diags: SQUAWKINGS\n";
               print BOGUS1 'nada';
               print "done with 1st bogus\n";

           disable diagnostics; # only turns off runtime warnings
               print "\ntime for 2nd bogus: (squelched)\n";
               print BOGUS2 'nada';
               print "done with 2nd bogus\n";

           enable diagnostics; # turns back on runtime warnings
               print "\ntime for 3rd bogus: SQUAWKINGS\n";
               print BOGUS3 'nada';
               print "done with 3rd bogus\n";

           disable diagnostics;
               print "\ntime for 4th bogus: (squelched)\n";
               print BOGUS4 'nada';
               print "done with 4th bogus\n";


       Diagnostic messages derive from the perldiag.pod file when available at runtime.
       Otherwise, they may be embedded in the file itself when the splain package is built.   See
       the Makefile for details.

       If an extant $SIG{__WARN__} handler is discovered, it will continue to be honored, but
       only after the diagnostics::splainthis() function (the module's $SIG{__WARN__}
       interceptor) has had its way with your warnings.

       There is a $diagnostics::DEBUG variable you may set if you're desperately curious what
       sorts of things are being intercepted.

           BEGIN { $diagnostics::DEBUG = 1 }


       Not being able to say "no diagnostics" is annoying, but may not be insurmountable.

       The "-pretty" directive is called too late to affect matters.  You have to do this
       instead, and before you load the module.

           BEGIN { $diagnostics::PRETTY = 1 }

       I could start up faster by delaying compilation until it should be needed, but this gets a
       "panic: top_level" when using the pragma form in Perl 5.001e.

       While it's true that this documentation is somewhat subserious, if you use a program named
       splain, you should expect a bit of whimsy.


       Tom Christiansen <>, 25 June 1995.