Conway lists a collection of English words which are highly ambiguous as variable or subroutine names. For example, $last can mean previous or final.

This policy tests against a list of ambiguous words for variable names.


The default list of forbidden words is:

  last set left right no abstract contract record second close bases

This list can be changed by giving a value for forbid of a series of forbidden words separated by spaces.

For example, if you decide that bases is an OK name for variables (e.g. in bioinformatics), then put something like the following in $HOME/.perlcriticrc:

  forbid = last set left right no abstract contract record second close



Currently this policy checks the entire variable and subroutine name, not parts of the name. For example, it catches $last but not $last_record. Hopefully future versions will catch both cases.

Some variable statements will be false positives if they have assignments where the right hand side uses forbidden names. For example, in this case the last incorrectly triggers a violation.

    my $previous_record = $Foo::last;


Chris Dolan <cdolan@cpan.org>


Copyright (c) 2005-2007 Chris Dolan. All rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. The full text of this license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.