Perl::Critic::Policy::Subroutines::ProhibitReturnSort - 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 returns the result of a sort operation, then your 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!

       my @sorted_list = sort @list;
       return @sorted_list # 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 <>


Copyright (c) 2005-2017 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.