Perl::Critic::Policy::Subroutines::ProhibitReturnSort(3) Behavior of sort is not defined if called in scalar context.


This Policy is part of the core Perl::Critic distribution.


The behavior of the builtin "sort" function is not defined if called in scalar context. So if you write a subroutine that directly "return"s the result of a "sort" operation, then you code will behave unpredictably if someone calls your subroutine in a scalar context. This Policy emits a violation if the "return" keyword is directly followed by the "sort" function. To safely return a sorted list of values from a subroutine, you should assign the sorted values to a temporary variable first. For example:

   sub frobulate {
       return sort @list;  # not ok!
       @sorted_list = sort @list;
       return @sort        # ok


This Policy is not sensitive to the "wantarray" function. So the following code would generate a false violation:

   sub frobulate {
       if (wantarray) {
           return sort @list;
           return join @list;


This Policy is not configurable except for the standard options.


This Policy was suggested by Ulrich Wisser and the <> team.


Jeffrey Ryan Thalhammer <[email protected]>


Copyright (c) 2005-2011 Imaginative Software Systems. 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.