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perlop ()
  • >> perlop (1) ( Solaris man: Команды и прикладные программы пользовательского уровня )
  • perlop (1) ( Разные man: Команды и прикладные программы пользовательского уровня )


         perlop - Perl operators and precedence


         Perl operators have the following associativity and
         precedence, listed from highest precedence to lowest.
         Operators borrowed from C keep the same precedence
         relationship with each other, even where C's precedence is
         slightly screwy.  (This makes learning Perl easier for C
         folks.)  With very few exceptions, these all operate on
         scalar values only, not array values.
             left        terms and list operators (leftward)
             left        ->
             nonassoc    ++ --
             right       **
             right       ! ~ \ and unary + and -
             left        =~ !~
             left        * / % x
             left        + - .
             left        << >>
             nonassoc    named unary operators
             nonassoc    < > <= >= lt gt le ge
             nonassoc    == != <=> eq ne cmp
             left        &
             left        | ^
             left        &&
             left        ||
             nonassoc    ..  ...
             right       ?:
             right       = += -= *= etc.
             left        , =>
             nonassoc    list operators (rightward)
             right       not
             left        and
             left        or xor
         In the following sections, these operators are covered in
         precedence order.
         Many operators can be overloaded for objects.  See the
         overload manpage.


         Terms and List Operators (Leftward)
         A TERM has the highest precedence in Perl.  They include
         variables, quote and quote-like operators, any expression in
         parentheses, and any function whose arguments are
         parenthesized.  Actually, there aren't really functions in
         this sense, just list operators and unary operators behaving
         as functions because you put parentheses around the
         arguments.  These are all documented in the perlfunc
         If any list operator (print(), etc.) or any unary operator
         (chdir(), etc.)  is followed by a left parenthesis as the
         next token, the operator and arguments within parentheses
         are taken to be of highest precedence, just like a normal
         function call.
         In the absence of parentheses, the precedence of list
         operators such as `print', `sort', or `chmod' is either very
         high or very low depending on whether you are looking at the
         left side or the right side of the operator.  For example,
             @ary = (1, 3, sort 4, 2);
             print @ary;         # prints 1324
         the commas on the right of the sort are evaluated before the
         sort, but the commas on the left are evaluated after.  In
         other words, list operators tend to gobble up all arguments
         that follow, and then act like a simple TERM with regard to
         the preceding expression.  Be careful with parentheses:
             # These evaluate exit before doing the print:
             print($foo, exit);  # Obviously not what you want.
             print $foo, exit;   # Nor is this.
             # These do the print before evaluating exit:
             (print $foo), exit; # This is what you want.
             print($foo), exit;  # Or this.
             print ($foo), exit; # Or even this.
         Also note that
             print ($foo & 255) + 1, "\n";
         probably doesn't do what you expect at first glance.  See
         the Named Unary Operators entry elsewhere in this document
         for more discussion of this.
         Also parsed as terms are the `do {}' and `eval {}'
         constructs, as well as subroutine and method calls, and the
         anonymous constructors `[]' and `{}'.
         See also the Quote and Quote-like Operators entry elsewhere
         in this document toward the end of this section, as well as
         the section on "I/O Operators".
         The Arrow Operator
         "`->'" is an infix dereference operator, just as it is in C
         and C++.  If the right side is either a `[...]', `{...}', or
         a `(...)' subscript, then the left side must be either a
         hard or symbolic reference to an array, a hash, or a
         subroutine respectively.  (Or technically speaking, a
         location capable of holding a hard reference, if it's an
         array or hash reference being used for assignment.)  See the
         perlreftut manpage and the perlref manpage.
         Otherwise, the right side is a method name or a simple
         scalar variable containing either the method name or a
         subroutine reference, and the left side must be either an
         object (a blessed reference) or a class name (that is, a
         package name).  See the perlobj manpage.
         Auto-increment and Auto-decrement
         "++" and "--" work as in C.  That is, if placed before a
         variable, they increment or decrement the variable before
         returning the value, and if placed after, increment or
         decrement the variable after returning the value.
         The auto-increment operator has a little extra builtin magic
         to it.  If you increment a variable that is numeric, or that
         has ever been used in a numeric context, you get a normal
         increment.  If, however, the variable has been used in only
         string contexts since it was set, and has a value that is
         not the empty string and matches the pattern
         `/^[a-zA-Z]*[0-9]*$/', the increment is done as a string,
         preserving each character within its range, with carry:
             print ++($foo = '99');      # prints '100'
             print ++($foo = 'a0');      # prints 'a1'
             print ++($foo = 'Az');      # prints 'Ba'
             print ++($foo = 'zz');      # prints 'aaa'
         The auto-decrement operator is not magical.
         Binary "**" is the exponentiation operator.  It binds even
         more tightly than unary minus, so -2**4 is -(2**4), not
         (-2)**4. (This is implemented using C's pow(3) function,
         which actually works on doubles internally.)
         Symbolic Unary Operators
         Unary "!" performs logical negation, i.e., "not".  See also
         `not' for a lower precedence version of this.
         Unary "-" performs arithmetic negation if the operand is
         numeric.  If the operand is an identifier, a string
         consisting of a minus sign concatenated with the identifier
         is returned.  Otherwise, if the string starts with a plus or
         minus, a string starting with the opposite sign is returned.
         One effect of these rules is that `-bareword' is equivalent
         to `"-bareword"'.
         Unary "~" performs bitwise negation, i.e., 1's complement.
         For example, `0666 & ~027' is 0640.  (See also the Integer
         Arithmetic entry elsewhere in this document and the Bitwise
         String Operators entry elsewhere in this document.)  Note
         that the width of the result is platform-dependent: ~0 is 32
         bits wide on a 32-bit platform, but 64 bits wide on a 64-bit
         platform, so if you are expecting a certain bit width,
         remember use the & operator to mask off the excess bits.
         Unary "+" has no effect whatsoever, even on strings.  It is
         useful syntactically for separating a function name from a
         parenthesized expression that would otherwise be interpreted
         as the complete list of function arguments.  (See examples
         above under the Terms and List Operators (Leftward) entry
         elsewhere in this document.)
         Unary "\" creates a reference to whatever follows it.  See
         the perlreftut manpage and the perlref manpage.  Do not
         confuse this behavior with the behavior of backslash within
         a string, although both forms do convey the notion of
         protecting the next thing from interpolation.
         Binding Operators
         Binary "=~" binds a scalar expression to a pattern match.
         Certain operations search or modify the string $_ by
         default.  This operator makes that kind of operation work on
         some other string.  The right argument is a search pattern,
         substitution, or transliteration.  The left argument is what
         is supposed to be searched, substituted, or transliterated
         instead of the default $_.  When used in scalar context, the
         return value generally indicates the success of the
         operation.  Behavior in list context depends on the
         particular operator.  See the Regexp Quote-Like Operators
         entry elsewhere in this document for details.
         If the right argument is an expression rather than a search
         pattern, substitution, or transliteration, it is interpreted
         as a search pattern at run time.  This can be less efficient
         than an explicit search, because the pattern must be
         compiled every time the expression is evaluated.
         Binary "!~" is just like "=~" except the return value is
         negated in the logical sense.
         Multiplicative Operators
         Binary "*" multiplies two numbers.
         Binary "/" divides two numbers.
         Binary "%" computes the modulus of two numbers.  Given
         integer operands `$a' and `$b': If `$b' is positive, then
         `$a % $b' is `$a' minus the largest multiple of `$b' that is
         not greater than `$a'.  If `$b' is negative, then `$a % $b'
         is `$a' minus the smallest multiple of `$b' that is not less
         than `$a' (i.e. the result will be less than or equal to
         zero). Note than when `use integer' is in scope, "%" give
         you direct access to the modulus operator as implemented by
         your C compiler.  This operator is not as well defined for
         negative operands, but it will execute faster.
         Binary "x" is the repetition operator.  In scalar context or
         if the left operand is not enclosed in parentheses, it
         returns a string consisting of the left operand repeated the
         number of times specified by the right operand.  In list
         context, if the left operand is enclosed in parentheses, it
         repeats the list.
             print '-' x 80;             # print row of dashes
             print "\t" x ($tab/8), ' ' x ($tab%8);      # tab over
             @ones = (1) x 80;           # a list of 80 1's
             @ones = (5) x @ones;        # set all elements to 5
         Additive Operators
         Binary "+" returns the sum of two numbers.
         Binary "-" returns the difference of two numbers.
         Binary "." concatenates two strings.
         Shift Operators
         Binary "<<" returns the value of its left argument shifted
         left by the number of bits specified by the right argument.
         Arguments should be integers.  (See also the Integer
         Arithmetic entry elsewhere in this document.)
         Binary ">>" returns the value of its left argument shifted
         right by the number of bits specified by the right argument.
         Arguments should be integers.  (See also the Integer
         Arithmetic entry elsewhere in this document.)
         Named Unary Operators
         The various named unary operators are treated as functions
         with one argument, with optional parentheses.  These include
         the filetest operators, like `-f', `-M', etc.  See the
         perlfunc manpage.
         If any list operator (print(), etc.) or any unary operator
         (chdir(), etc.)  is followed by a left parenthesis as the
         next token, the operator and arguments within parentheses
         are taken to be of highest precedence, just like a normal
         function call.  Examples:
             chdir $foo    || die;       # (chdir $foo) || die
             chdir($foo)   || die;       # (chdir $foo) || die
             chdir ($foo)  || die;       # (chdir $foo) || die
             chdir +($foo) || die;       # (chdir $foo) || die
         but, because * is higher precedence than ||:
             chdir $foo * 20;    # chdir ($foo * 20)
             chdir($foo) * 20;   # (chdir $foo) * 20
             chdir ($foo) * 20;  # (chdir $foo) * 20
             chdir +($foo) * 20; # chdir ($foo * 20)
             rand 10 * 20;       # rand (10 * 20)
             rand(10) * 20;      # (rand 10) * 20
             rand (10) * 20;     # (rand 10) * 20
             rand +(10) * 20;    # rand (10 * 20)
         See also the section on "Terms and List Operators
         Relational Operators
         Binary "<" returns true if the left argument is numerically
         less than the right argument.
         Binary ">" returns true if the left argument is numerically
         greater than the right argument.
         Binary "<=" returns true if the left argument is numerically
         less than or equal to the right argument.
         Binary ">=" returns true if the left argument is numerically
         greater than or equal to the right argument.
         Binary "lt" returns true if the left argument is stringwise
         less than the right argument.
         Binary "gt" returns true if the left argument is stringwise
         greater than the right argument.
         Binary "le" returns true if the left argument is stringwise
         less than or equal to the right argument.
         Binary "ge" returns true if the left argument is stringwise
         greater than or equal to the right argument.
         Equality Operators
         Binary "==" returns true if the left argument is numerically
         equal to the right argument.
         Binary "!=" returns true if the left argument is numerically
         not equal to the right argument.
         Binary "<=>" returns -1, 0, or 1 depending on whether the
         left argument is numerically less than, equal to, or greater
         than the right argument.
         Binary "eq" returns true if the left argument is stringwise
         equal to the right argument.
         Binary "ne" returns true if the left argument is stringwise
         not equal to the right argument.
         Binary "cmp" returns -1, 0, or 1 depending on whether the
         left argument is stringwise less than, equal to, or greater
         than the right argument.
         "lt", "le", "ge", "gt" and "cmp" use the collation (sort)
         order specified by the current locale if `use locale' is in
         effect.  See the perllocale manpage.
         Bitwise And
         Binary "&" returns its operators ANDed together bit by bit.
         (See also the Integer Arithmetic entry elsewhere in this
         document and the Bitwise String Operators entry elsewhere in
         this document.)
         Bitwise Or and Exclusive Or
         Binary "|" returns its operators ORed together bit by bit.
         (See also the Integer Arithmetic entry elsewhere in this
         document and the Bitwise String Operators entry elsewhere in
         this document.)
         Binary "^" returns its operators XORed together bit by bit.
         (See also the Integer Arithmetic entry elsewhere in this
         document and the Bitwise String Operators entry elsewhere in
         this document.)
         C-style Logical And
         Binary "&&" performs a short-circuit logical AND operation.
         That is, if the left operand is false, the right operand is
         not even evaluated.  Scalar or list context propagates down
         to the right operand if it is evaluated.
         C-style Logical Or
         Binary "||" performs a short-circuit logical OR operation.
         That is, if the left operand is true, the right operand is
         not even evaluated.  Scalar or list context propagates down
         to the right operand if it is evaluated.
         The `||' and `&&' operators differ from C's in that, rather
         than returning 0 or 1, they return the last value evaluated.
         Thus, a reasonably portable way to find out the home
         directory (assuming it's not "0") might be:
             $home = $ENV{'HOME'} || $ENV{'LOGDIR'} ||
                 (getpwuid($<))[7] || die "You're homeless!\n";
         In particular, this means that you shouldn't use this for
         selecting between two aggregates for assignment:
             @a = @b || @c;              # this is wrong
             @a = scalar(@b) || @c;      # really meant this
             @a = @b ? @b : @c;          # this works fine, though
         As more readable alternatives to `&&' and `||' when used for
         control flow, Perl provides `and' and `or' operators (see
         below).  The short-circuit behavior is identical.  The
         precedence of "and" and "or" is much lower, however, so that
         you can safely use them after a list operator without the
         need for parentheses:
             unlink "alpha", "beta", "gamma"
                     or gripe(), next LINE;
         With the C-style operators that would have been written like
             unlink("alpha", "beta", "gamma")
                     || (gripe(), next LINE);
         Using "or" for assignment is unlikely to do what you want;
         see below.
         Range Operators
         Binary ".." is the range operator, which is really two
         different operators depending on the context.  In list
         context, it returns an array of values counting (up by ones)
         from the left value to the right value.  If the left value
         is greater than the right value then it returns the empty
         array.  The range operator is useful for writing `foreach
         (1..10)' loops and for doing slice operations on arrays.  In
         the current implementation, no temporary array is created
         when the range operator is used as the expression in
         `foreach' loops, but older versions of Perl might burn a lot
         of memory when you write something like this:
             for (1 .. 1_000_000) {
                 # code
         In scalar context, ".." returns a boolean value.  The
         operator is bistable, like a flip-flop, and emulates the
         line-range (comma) operator of sed, awk, and various
         editors.  Each ".." operator maintains its own boolean
         state.  It is false as long as its left operand is false.
         Once the left operand is true, the range operator stays true
         until the right operand is true, AFTER which the range
         operator becomes false again.  It doesn't become false till
         the next time the range operator is evaluated.  It can test
         the right operand and become false on the same evaluation it
         became true (as in awk), but it still returns true once.  If
         you don't want it to test the right operand till the next
         evaluation, as in sed, just use three dots ("...") instead
         of two.  In all other regards, "..." behaves just like ".."
         The right operand is not evaluated while the operator is in
         the "false" state, and the left operand is not evaluated
         while the operator is in the "true" state.  The precedence
         is a little lower than || and &&.  The value returned is
         either the empty string for false, or a sequence number
         (beginning with 1) for true.  The sequence number is reset
         for each range encountered.  The final sequence number in a
         range has the string "E0" appended to it, which doesn't
         affect its numeric value, but gives you something to search
         for if you want to exclude the endpoint.  You can exclude
         the beginning point by waiting for the sequence number to be
         greater than 1.  If either operand of scalar ".." is a
         constant expression, that operand is implicitly compared to
         the `$.' variable, the current line number.  Examples:
         As a scalar operator:
             if (101 .. 200) { print; }  # print 2nd hundred lines
             next line if (1 .. /^$/);   # skip header lines
             s/^/> / if (/^$/ .. eof()); # quote body
             # parse mail messages
             while (<>) {
                 $in_header =   1  .. /^$/;
                 $in_body   = /^$/ .. eof();
                 # do something based on those
             } continue {
                 close ARGV if eof;              # reset $. each file
         As a list operator:
             for (101 .. 200) { print; } # print $_ 100 times
             @foo = @foo[0 .. $#foo];    # an expensive no-op
             @foo = @foo[$#foo-4 .. $#foo];      # slice last 5 items
         The range operator (in list context) makes use of the
         magical auto-increment algorithm if the operands are
         strings.  You can say
             @alphabet = ('A' .. 'Z');
         to get all normal letters of the alphabet, or
             $hexdigit = (0 .. 9, 'a' .. 'f')[$num & 15];
         to get a hexadecimal digit, or
             @z2 = ('01' .. '31');  print $z2[$mday];
         to get dates with leading zeros.  If the final value
         specified is not in the sequence that the magical increment
         would produce, the sequence goes until the next value would
         be longer than the final value specified.
         Conditional Operator
         Ternary "?:" is the conditional operator, just as in C.  It
         works much like an if-then-else.  If the argument before the
         ? is true, the argument before the : is returned, otherwise
         the argument after the :  is returned.  For example:
             printf "I have %d dog%s.\n", $n,
                     ($n == 1) ? '' : "s";
         Scalar or list context propagates downward into the 2nd or
         3rd argument, whichever is selected.
             $a = $ok ? $b : $c;  # get a scalar
             @a = $ok ? @b : @c;  # get an array
             $a = $ok ? @b : @c;  # oops, that's just a count!
         The operator may be assigned to if both the 2nd and 3rd
         arguments are legal lvalues (meaning that you can assign to
             ($a_or_b ? $a : $b) = $c;
         Because this operator produces an assignable result, using
         assignments without parentheses will get you in trouble.
         For example, this:
             $a % 2 ? $a += 10 : $a += 2
         Really means this:
             (($a % 2) ? ($a += 10) : $a) += 2
         Rather than this:
             ($a % 2) ? ($a += 10) : ($a += 2)
         That should probably be written more simply as:
             $a += ($a % 2) ? 10 : 2;
         Assignment Operators
         "=" is the ordinary assignment operator.
         Assignment operators work as in C.  That is,
             $a += 2;
         is equivalent to
             $a = $a + 2;
         although without duplicating any side effects that
         dereferencing the lvalue might trigger, such as from tie().
         Other assignment operators work similarly.  The following
         are recognized:
             **=    +=    *=    &=    <<=    &&=
                    -=    /=    |=    >>=    ||=
                    .=    %=    ^=
         Although these are grouped by family, they all have the
         precedence of assignment.
         Unlike in C, the scalar assignment operator produces a valid
         lvalue.  Modifying an assignment is equivalent to doing the
         assignment and then modifying the variable that was assigned
         to.  This is useful for modifying a copy of something, like
             ($tmp = $global) =~ tr [A-Z] [a-z];
             ($a += 2) *= 3;
         is equivalent to
             $a += 2;
             $a *= 3;
         Similarly, a list assignment in list context produces the
         list of lvalues assigned to, and a list assignment in scalar
         context returns the number of elements produced by the
         expression on the right hand side of the assignment.
         Comma Operator
         Binary "," is the comma operator.  In scalar context it
         evaluates its left argument, throws that value away, then
         evaluates its right argument and returns that value.  This
         is just like C's comma operator.
         In list context, it's just the list argument separator, and
         inserts both its arguments into the list.
         The => digraph is mostly just a synonym for the comma
         operator.  It's useful for documenting arguments that come
         in pairs.  As of release 5.001, it also forces any word to
         the left of it to be interpreted as a string.
         List Operators (Rightward)
         On the right side of a list operator, it has very low
         precedence, such that it controls all comma-separated
         expressions found there.  The only operators with lower
         precedence are the logical operators "and", "or", and "not",
         which may be used to evaluate calls to list operators
         without the need for extra parentheses:
             open HANDLE, "filename"
                 or die "Can't open: $!\n";
         See also discussion of list operators in the Terms and List
         Operators (Leftward) entry elsewhere in this document.
         Logical Not
         Unary "not" returns the logical negation of the expression
         to its right.  It's the equivalent of "!" except for the
         very low precedence.
         Logical And
         Binary "and" returns the logical conjunction of the two
         surrounding expressions.  It's equivalent to && except for
         the very low precedence.  This means that it short-circuits:
         i.e., the right expression is evaluated only if the left
         expression is true.
         Logical or and Exclusive Or
         Binary "or" returns the logical disjunction of the two
         surrounding expressions.  It's equivalent to || except for
         the very low precedence.  This makes it useful for control
             print FH $data              or die "Can't write to FH: $!";
         This means that it short-circuits: i.e., the right
         expression is evaluated only if the left expression is
         false.  Due to its precedence, you should probably avoid
         using this for assignment, only for control flow.
             $a = $b or $c;              # bug: this is wrong
             ($a = $b) or $c;            # really means this
             $a = $b || $c;              # better written this way
         However, when it's a list-context assignment and you're
         trying to use "||" for control flow, you probably need "or"
         so that the assignment takes higher precedence.
             @info = stat($file) || die;     # oops, scalar sense of stat!
             @info = stat($file) or die;     # better, now @info gets its due
         Then again, you could always use parentheses.
         Binary "xor" returns the exclusive-OR of the two surrounding
         expressions.  It cannot short circuit, of course.
         C Operators Missing From Perl
         Here is what C has that Perl doesn't:
         unary & Address-of operator.  (But see the "\" operator for
                 taking a reference.)
         unary * Dereference-address operator. (Perl's prefix
                 dereferencing operators are typed: $, @, %, and &.)
         (TYPE)  Type-casting operator.
         Quote and Quote-like Operators
         While we usually think of quotes as literal values, in Perl
         they function as operators, providing various kinds of
         interpolating and pattern matching capabilities.  Perl
         provides customary quote characters for these behaviors, but
         also provides a way for you to choose your quote character
         for any of them.  In the following table, a `{}' represents
         any pair of delimiters you choose.
             Customary  Generic        Meaning        Interpolates
                 ''       q{}          Literal             no
                 ""      qq{}          Literal             yes
                 ``      qx{}          Command             yes (unless '' is delimiter)
                         qw{}         Word list            no
                 //       m{}       Pattern match          yes (unless '' is delimiter)
                         qr{}          Pattern             yes (unless '' is delimiter)
                          s{}{}      Substitution          yes (unless '' is delimiter)
                         tr{}{}    Transliteration         no (but see below)
         Non-bracketing delimiters use the same character fore and
         aft, but the four sorts of brackets (round, angle, square,
         curly) will all nest, which means that
         is the same as
         Note, however, that this does not always work for quoting
         Perl code:
                 $s = q{ if($a eq "}") ... }; # WRONG
         is a syntax error. The `Text::Balanced' module on CPAN is
         able to do this properly.
         There can be whitespace between the operator and the quoting
         characters, except when `#' is being used as the quoting
         character.  `q#foo#' is parsed as the string `foo', while `q
         #foo#' is the operator `q' followed by a comment.  Its
         argument will be taken from the next line.  This allows you
         to write:
             s {foo}  # Replace foo
               {bar}  # with bar.
         For constructs that do interpolate, variables beginning with
         "`$'" or "`@'" are interpolated, as are the following escape
         sequences.  Within a transliteration, the first eleven of
         these sequences may be used.
             \t          tab             (HT, TAB)
             \n          newline         (NL)
             \r          return          (CR)
             \f          form feed       (FF)
             \b          backspace       (BS)
             \a          alarm (bell)    (BEL)
             \e          escape          (ESC)
             \033        octal char      (ESC)
             \x1b        hex char        (ESC)
             \x{263a}    wide hex char   (SMILEY)
             \c[         control char    (ESC)
             \N{name}    named char
             \l          lowercase next char
             \u          uppercase next char
             \L          lowercase till \E
             \U          uppercase till \E
             \E          end case modification
             \Q          quote non-word characters till \E
         If `use locale' is in effect, the case map used by `\l',
         `\L', `\u' and `\U' is taken from the current locale.  See
         the perllocale manpage.  For documentation of `\N{name}',
         see the charnames manpage.
         All systems use the virtual `"\n"' to represent a line
         terminator, called a "newline".  There is no such thing as
         an unvarying, physical newline character.  It is only an
         illusion that the operating system, device drivers, C
         libraries, and Perl all conspire to preserve.  Not all
         systems read `"\r"' as ASCII CR and `"\n"' as ASCII LF.  For
         example, on a Mac, these are reversed, and on systems
         without line terminator, printing `"\n"' may emit no actual
         data.  In general, use `"\n"' when you mean a "newline" for
         your system, but use the literal ASCII when you need an
         exact character.  For example, most networking protocols
         expect and prefer a CR+LF (`"\012\015"' or `"\cJ\cM"') for
         line terminators, and although they often accept just
         `"\012"', they seldom tolerate just `"\015"'.  If you get in
         the habit of using `"\n"' for networking, you may be burned
         some day.
         You cannot include a literal `$' or `@' within a `\Q'
         sequence. An unescaped `$' or `@' interpolates the
         corresponding variable, while escaping will cause the
         literal string `\$' to be inserted.  You'll need to write
         something like `m/\Quser\E\@\Qhost/'.
         Patterns are subject to an additional level of
         interpretation as a regular expression.  This is done as a
         second pass, after variables are interpolated, so that
         regular expressions may be incorporated into the pattern
         from the variables.  If this is not what you want, use `\Q'
         to interpolate a variable literally.
         Apart from the behavior described above, Perl does not
         expand multiple levels of interpolation.  In particular,
         contrary to the expectations of shell programmers, back-
         quotes do NOT interpolate within double quotes, nor do
         single quotes impede evaluation of variables when used
         within double quotes.
         Regexp Quote-Like Operators
         Here are the quote-like operators that apply to pattern
         matching and related activities.
                 This is just like the `/pattern/' search, except
                 that it matches only once between calls to the
                 reset() operator.  This is a useful optimization
                 when you want to see only the first occurrence of
                 something in each file of a set of files, for
                 instance.  Only `??'  patterns local to the current
                 package are reset.
                     while (<>) {
                         if (?^$?) {
                                             # blank line between header and body
                     } continue {
                         reset if eof;       # clear ?? status for next file
                 This usage is vaguely depreciated, which means it
                 just might possibly be removed in some distant
                 future version of Perl, perhaps somewhere around the
                 year 2168.
                 Searches a string for a pattern match, and in scalar
                 context returns true if it succeeds, false if it
                 fails.  If no string is specified via the `=~' or
                 `!~' operator, the $_ string is searched.  (The
                 string specified with `=~' need not be an lvalue--it
                 may be the result of an expression evaluation, but
                 remember the `=~' binds rather tightly.)  See also
                 the perlre manpage.  See the perllocale manpage for
                 discussion of additional considerations that apply
                 when `use locale' is in effect.
                 Options are:
                     c   Do not reset search position on a failed match when /g is in effect.
                     g   Match globally, i.e., find all occurrences.
                     i   Do case-insensitive pattern matching.
                     m   Treat string as multiple lines.
                     o   Compile pattern only once.
                     s   Treat string as single line.
                     x   Use extended regular expressions.
                 If "/" is the delimiter then the initial `m' is
                 optional.  With the `m' you can use any pair of
                 non-alphanumeric, non-whitespace characters as
                 delimiters.  This is particularly useful for
                 matching path names that contain "/", to avoid LTS
                 (leaning toothpick syndrome).  If "?" is the
                 delimiter, then the match-only-once rule of
                 `?PATTERN?' applies.  If "'" is the delimiter, no
                 interpolation is performed on the PATTERN.
                 PATTERN may contain variables, which will be
                 interpolated (and the pattern recompiled) every time
                 the pattern search is evaluated, except for when the
                 delimiter is a single quote.  (Note that `$)' and
                 `$|' might not be interpolated because they look
                 like end-of-string tests.)  If you want such a
                 pattern to be compiled only once, add a `/o' after
                 the trailing delimiter.  This avoids expensive run-
                 time recompilations, and is useful when the value
                 you are interpolating won't change over the life of
                 the script.  However, mentioning `/o' constitutes a
                 promise that you won't change the variables in the
                 pattern.  If you change them, Perl won't even
                 notice.  See also the section on "qr//".
                 If the PATTERN evaluates to the empty string, the
                 last successfully matched regular expression is used
                 If the `/g' option is not used, `m//' in list
                 context returns a list consisting of the
                 subexpressions matched by the parentheses in the
                 pattern, i.e., (`$1', `$2', `$3'...).  (Note that
                 here `$1' etc. are also set, and that this differs
                 from Perl 4's behavior.)  When there are no
                 parentheses in the pattern, the return value is the
                 list `(1)' for success.  With or without
                 parentheses, an empty list is returned upon failure.
                     open(TTY, '/dev/tty');
                     <TTY> =~ /^y/i && foo();    # do foo if desired
                     if (/Version: *([0-9.]*)/) { $version = $1; }
                     next if m#^/usr/spool/uucp#;
                     # poor man's grep
                     $arg = shift;
                     while (<>) {
                         print if /$arg/o;       # compile only once
                     if (($F1, $F2, $Etc) = ($foo =~ /^(\S+)\s+(\S+)\s*(.*)/))
                 This last example splits $foo into the first two
                 words and the remainder of the line, and assigns
                 those three fields to $F1, $F2, and $Etc.  The
                 conditional is true if any variables were assigned,
                 i.e., if the pattern matched.
                 The `/g' modifier specifies global pattern
                 matching--that is, matching as many times as
                 possible within the string.  How it behaves depends
                 on the context.  In list context, it returns a list
                 of the substrings matched by any capturing
                 parentheses in the regular expression.  If there are
                 no parentheses, it returns a list of all the matched
                 strings, as if there were parentheses around the
                 whole pattern.
                 In scalar context, each execution of `m//g' finds
                 the next match, returning true if it matches, and
                 false if there is no further match.  The position
                 after the last match can be read or set using the
                 pos() function; see the pos entry in the perlfunc
                 manpage.   A failed match normally resets the search
                 position to the beginning of the string, but you can
                 avoid that by adding the `/c' modifier (e.g.
                 `m//gc').  Modifying the target string also resets
                 the search position.
                 You can intermix `m//g' matches with `m/\G.../g',
                 where `\G' is a zero-width assertion that matches
                 the exact position where the previous `m//g', if
                 any, left off.  The `\G' assertion is not supported
                 without the `/g' modifier.  (Currently, without
                 `/g', `\G' behaves just like `\A', but that's
                 accidental and may change in the future.)
                     # list context
                     ($one,$five,$fifteen) = (`uptime` =~ /(\d+\.\d+)/g);
                     # scalar context
                     $/ = ""; $* = 1;  # $* deprecated in modern perls
                     while (defined($paragraph = <>)) {
                         while ($paragraph =~ /[a-z]['")]*[.!?]+['")]*\s/g) {
                     print "$sentences\n";
                     # using m//gc with \G
                     $_ = "ppooqppqq";
                     while ($i++ < 2) {
                         print "1: '";
                         print $1 while /(o)/gc; print "', pos=", pos, "\n";
                         print "2: '";
                         print $1 if /\G(q)/gc;  print "', pos=", pos, "\n";
                         print "3: '";
                         print $1 while /(p)/gc; print "', pos=", pos, "\n";
                 The last example should print:
                     1: 'oo', pos=4
                     2: 'q', pos=5
                     3: 'pp', pos=7
                     1: '', pos=7
                     2: 'q', pos=8
                     3: '', pos=8
                 A useful idiom for `lex'-like scanners is
                 `/\G.../gc'.  You can combine several regexps like
                 this to process a string part-by-part, doing
                 different actions depending on which regexp matched.
                 Each regexp tries to match where the previous one
                 leaves off.
                  $_ = <<'EOL';
                       $url = new URI::URL "http://www/";   die if $url eq "xXx";
                       print(" digits"),         redo LOOP if /\G\d+\b[,.;]?\s*/gc;
                       print(" lowercase"),      redo LOOP if /\G[a-z]+\b[,.;]?\s*/gc;
                       print(" UPPERCASE"),      redo LOOP if /\G[A-Z]+\b[,.;]?\s*/gc;
                       print(" Capitalized"),    redo LOOP if /\G[A-Z][a-z]+\b[,.;]?\s*/gc;
                       print(" MiXeD"),          redo LOOP if /\G[A-Za-z]+\b[,.;]?\s*/gc;
                       print(" alphanumeric"),   redo LOOP if /\G[A-Za-z0-9]+\b[,.;]?\s*/gc;
                       print(" line-noise"),     redo LOOP if /\G[^A-Za-z0-9]+/gc;
                       print ". That's all!\n";
                 Here is the output (split into several lines):
                  line-noise lowercase line-noise lowercase UPPERCASE line-noise
                  UPPERCASE line-noise lowercase line-noise lowercase line-noise
                  lowercase lowercase line-noise lowercase lowercase line-noise
                  MiXeD line-noise. That's all!
                 A single-quoted, literal string.  A backslash
                 represents a backslash unless followed by the
                 delimiter or another backslash, in which case the
                 delimiter or backslash is interpolated.
                     $foo = q!I said, "You said, 'She said it.'"!;
                     $bar = q('This is it.');
                     $baz = '\n';                # a two-character string
                 A double-quoted, interpolated string.
                     $_ .= qq
                      (*** The previous line contains the naughty word "$1".\n)
                                 if /\b(tcl|java|python)\b/i;      # :-)
                     $baz = "\n";                # a one-character string
                 This operators quotes--and compiles--its STRING as a
                 regular expression.  STRING is interpolated the same
                 way as PATTERN in `m/PATTERN/'.  If "'" is used as
                 the delimiter, no interpolation is done.  Returns a
                 Perl value which may be used instead of the
                 corresponding `/STRING/imosx' expression.
                 For example,
                     $rex = qr/my.STRING/is;
                 is equivalent to
                 The result may be used as a subpattern in a match:
                     $re = qr/$pattern/;
                     $string =~ /foo${re}bar/;   # can be interpolated in other patterns
                     $string =~ $re;             # or used standalone
                     $string =~ /$re/;           # or this way
                 Since Perl may compile the pattern at the moment of
                 execution of qr() operator, using qr() may have
                 speed advantages in some situations, notably if the
                 result of qr() is used standalone:
                     sub match {
                         my $patterns = shift;
                         my @compiled = map qr/$_/i, @$patterns;
                         grep {
                             my $success = 0;
                             foreach my $pat (@compiled) {
                                 $success = 1, last if /$pat/;
                         } @_;
                 Precompilation of the pattern into an internal
                 representation at the moment of qr() avoids a need
                 to recompile the pattern every time a match `/$pat/'
                 is attempted.  (Perl has many other internal
                 optimizations, but none would be triggered in the
                 above example if we did not use qr() operator.)
                 Options are:
                     i   Do case-insensitive pattern matching.
                     m   Treat string as multiple lines.
                     o   Compile pattern only once.
                     s   Treat string as single line.
                     x   Use extended regular expressions.
                 See the perlre manpage for additional information on
                 valid syntax for STRING, and for a detailed look at
                 the semantics of regular expressions.
                 A string which is (possibly) interpolated and then
                 executed as a system command with `/bin/sh' or its
                 equivalent.  Shell wildcards, pipes, and
                 redirections will be honored.  The collected
                 standard output of the command is returned; standard
                 error is unaffected.  In scalar context, it comes
                 back as a single (potentially multi-line) string.
                 In list context, returns a list of lines (however
                 you've defined lines with $/ or
                 Because backticks do not affect standard error, use
                 shell file descriptor syntax (assuming the shell
                 supports this) if you care to address this.  To
                 capture a command's STDERR and STDOUT together:
                     $output = `cmd 2>&1`;
                 To capture a command's STDOUT but discard its
                     $output = `cmd 2>/dev/null`;
                 To capture a command's STDERR but discard its STDOUT
                 (ordering is important here):
                     $output = `cmd 2>&1 1>/dev/null`;
                 To exchange a command's STDOUT and STDERR in order
                 to capture the STDERR but leave its STDOUT to come
                 out the old STDERR:
                     $output = `cmd 3>&1 1>&2 2>&3 3>&-`;
                 To read both a command's STDOUT and its STDERR
                 separately, it's easiest and safest to redirect them
                 separately to files, and then read from those files
                 when the program is done:
                     system("program args 1>/tmp/program.stdout 2>/tmp/program.stderr");
                 Using single-quote as a delimiter protects the
                 command from Perl's double-quote interpolation,
                 passing it on to the shell instead:
                     $perl_info  = qx(ps $$);            # that's Perl's $$
                     $shell_info = qx'ps $$';            # that's the new shell's $$
                 How that string gets evaluated is entirely subject
                 to the command interpreter on your system.  On most
                 platforms, you will have to protect shell
                 metacharacters if you want them treated literally.
                 This is in practice difficult to do, as it's unclear
                 how to escape which characters.  See the perlsec
                 manpage for a clean and safe example of a manual
                 fork() and exec() to emulate backticks safely.
                 On some platforms (notably DOS-like ones), the shell
                 may not be capable of dealing with multiline
                 commands, so putting newlines in the string may not
                 get you what you want.  You may be able to evaluate
                 multiple commands in a single line by separating
                 them with the command separator character, if your
                 shell supports that (e.g. `;' on many Unix shells;
                 `&' on the Windows NT `cmd' shell).
                 Beginning with v5.6.0, Perl will attempt to flush
                 all files opened for output before starting the
                 child process, but this may not be supported on some
                 platforms (see the perlport manpage).  To be safe,
                 you may need to set `$|' ($AUTOFLUSH in English) or
                 call the `autoflush()' method of `IO::Handle' on any
                 open handles.
                 Beware that some command shells may place
                 restrictions on the length of the command line.  You
                 must ensure your strings don't exceed this limit
                 after any necessary interpolations.  See the
                 platform-specific release notes for more details
                 about your particular environment.
                 Using this operator can lead to programs that are
                 difficult to port, because the shell commands called
                 vary between systems, and may in fact not be present
                 at all.  As one example, the `type' command under
                 the POSIX shell is very different from the `type'
                 command under DOS.  That doesn't mean you should go
                 out of your way to avoid backticks when they're the
                 right way to get something done.  Perl was made to
                 be a glue language, and one of the things it glues
                 together is commands.  Just understand what you're
                 getting yourself into.
                 See the section on "I/O Operators" for more
                 Evaluates to a list of the words extracted out of
                 STRING, using embedded whitespace as the word
                 delimiters.  It can be understood as being roughly
                 equivalent to:
                     split(' ', q/STRING/);
                 the difference being that it generates a real list
                 at compile time.  So this expression:
                     qw(foo bar baz)
                 is semantically equivalent to the list:
                     'foo', 'bar', 'baz'
                 Some frequently seen examples:
                     use POSIX qw( setlocale localeconv )
                     @EXPORT = qw( foo bar baz );
                 A common mistake is to try to separate the words
                 with comma or to put comments into a multi-line
                 `qw'-string.  For this reason, the `use warnings'
                 pragma and the -w switch (that is, the `$^W'
                 variable) produces warnings if the STRING contains
                 the "," or the "#" character.
                 Searches a string for a pattern, and if found,
                 replaces that pattern with the replacement text and
                 returns the number of substitutions made.  Otherwise
                 it returns false (specifically, the empty string).
                 If no string is specified via the `=~' or `!~'
                 operator, the `$_' variable is searched and
                 modified.  (The string specified with `=~' must be
                 scalar variable, an array element, a hash element,
                 or an assignment to one of those, i.e., an lvalue.)
                 If the delimiter chosen is a single quote, no
                 interpolation is done on either the PATTERN or the
                 REPLACEMENT.  Otherwise, if the PATTERN contains a $
                 that looks like a variable rather than an end-of-
                 string test, the variable will be interpolated into
                 the pattern at run-time.  If you want the pattern
                 compiled only once the first time the variable is
                 interpolated, use the `/o' option.  If the pattern
                 evaluates to the empty string, the last successfully
                 executed regular expression is used instead.  See
                 the perlre manpage for further explanation on these.
                 See the perllocale manpage for discussion of
                 additional considerations that apply when `use
                 locale' is in effect.
                 Options are:
                     e   Evaluate the right side as an expression.
                     g   Replace globally, i.e., all occurrences.
                     i   Do case-insensitive pattern matching.
                     m   Treat string as multiple lines.
                     o   Compile pattern only once.
                     s   Treat string as single line.
                     x   Use extended regular expressions.
                 Any non-alphanumeric, non-whitespace delimiter may
                 replace the slashes.  If single quotes are used, no
                 interpretation is done on the replacement string
                 (the `/e' modifier overrides this, however).  Unlike
                 Perl 4, Perl 5 treats backticks as normal
                 delimiters; the replacement text is not evaluated as
                 a command.  If the PATTERN is delimited by
                 bracketing quotes, the REPLACEMENT has its own pair
                 of quotes, which may or may not be bracketing
                 quotes, e.g., `s(foo)(bar)' or `s<foo>/bar/'.  A
                 `/e' will cause the replacement portion to be
                 treated as a full-fledged Perl expression and
                 evaluated right then and there.  It is, however,
                 syntax checked at compile-time. A second `e'
                 modifier will cause the replacement portion to be
                 `eval'ed before being run as a Perl expression.
                     s/\bgreen\b/mauve/g;                # don't change wintergreen
                     $path =~ s|/usr/bin|/usr/local/bin|;
                     s/Login: $foo/Login: $bar/; # run-time pattern
                     ($foo = $bar) =~ s/this/that/;      # copy first, then change
                     $count = ($paragraph =~ s/Mister\b/Mr./g);  # get change-count
                     $_ = 'abc123xyz';
                     s/\d+/$&*2/e;               # yields 'abc246xyz'
                     s/\d+/sprintf("%5d",$&)/e;  # yields 'abc  246xyz'
                     s/\w/$& x 2/eg;             # yields 'aabbcc  224466xxyyzz'
                     s/%(.)/$percent{$1}/g;      # change percent escapes; no /e
                     s/%(.)/$percent{$1} || $&/ge;       # expr now, so /e
                     s/^=(\w+)/&pod($1)/ge;      # use function call
                     # expand variables in $_, but dynamics only, using
                     # symbolic dereferencing
                     # Add one to the value of any numbers in the string
                     s/(\d+)/1 + $1/eg;
                     # This will expand any embedded scalar variable
                     # (including lexicals) in $_ : First $1 is interpolated
                     # to the variable name, and then evaluated
                     # Delete (most) C comments.
                     $program =~ s {
                         /\*     # Match the opening delimiter.
                         .*?     # Match a minimal number of characters.
                         \*/     # Match the closing delimiter.
                     } []gsx;
                     s/^\s*(.*?)\s*$/$1/;        # trim white space in $_, expensively
                     for ($variable) {           # trim white space in $variable, cheap
                     s/([^ ]*) *([^ ]*)/$2 $1/;  # reverse 1st two fields
                 Note the use of $ instead of \ in the last example.
                 Unlike sed, we use the \<digit> form in only the
                 left hand side.  Anywhere else it's $<digit>.
                 Occasionally, you can't use just a `/g' to get all
                 the changes to occur that you might want.  Here are
                 two common cases:
                     # put commas in the right places in an integer
                     1 while s/(\d)(\d\d\d)(?!\d)/$1,$2/g;
                     # expand tabs to 8-column spacing
                     1 while s/\t+/' ' x (length($&)*8 - length($`)%8)/e;
                 Transliterates all occurrences of the characters
                 found in the search list with the corresponding
                 character in the replacement list.  It returns the
                 number of characters replaced or deleted.  If no
                 string is specified via the =~ or !~ operator, the
                 $_ string is transliterated.  (The string specified
                 with =~ must be a scalar variable, an array element,
                 a hash element, or an assignment to one of those,
                 i.e., an lvalue.)
                 A character range may be specified with a hyphen, so
                 `tr/A-J/0-9/' does the same replacement as
                 `tr/ACEGIBDFHJ/0246813579/'.  For sed devotees, `y'
                 is provided as a synonym for `tr'.  If the
                 SEARCHLIST is delimited by bracketing quotes, the
                 REPLACEMENTLIST has its own pair of quotes, which
                 may or may not be bracketing quotes, e.g.,
                 `tr[A-Z][a-z]' or `tr(+\-*/)/ABCD/'.
                 Note also that the whole range idea is rather
                 unportable between character sets--and even within
                 character sets they may cause results you probably
                 didn't expect.  A sound principle is to use only
                 ranges that begin from and end at either alphabets
                 of equal case (a-e, A-E), or digits (0-4).  Anything
                 else is unsafe.  If in doubt, spell out the
                 character sets in full.
                     c   Complement the SEARCHLIST.
                     d   Delete found but unreplaced characters.
                     s   Squash duplicate replaced characters.
                     U   Translate to/from UTF-8.
                     C   Translate to/from 8-bit char (octet).
                 If the `/c' modifier is specified, the SEARCHLIST
                 character set is complemented.  If the `/d' modifier
                 is specified, any characters specified by SEARCHLIST
                 not found in REPLACEMENTLIST are deleted.  (Note
                 that this is slightly more flexible than the
                 behavior of some tr programs, which delete anything
                 they find in the SEARCHLIST, period.) If the `/s'
                 modifier is specified, sequences of characters that
                 were transliterated to the same character are
                 squashed down to a single instance of the character.
                 If the `/d' modifier is used, the REPLACEMENTLIST is
                 always interpreted exactly as specified.  Otherwise,
                 if the REPLACEMENTLIST is shorter than the
                 SEARCHLIST, the final character is replicated till
                 it is long enough.  If the REPLACEMENTLIST is empty,
                 the SEARCHLIST is replicated.  This latter is useful
                 for counting characters in a class or for squashing
                 character sequences in a class.
                 The first `/U' or `/C' modifier applies to the left
                 side of the translation.  The second one applies to
                 the right side.  If present, these modifiers
                 override the current utf8 state.
                     $ARGV[1] =~ tr/A-Z/a-z/;    # canonicalize to lower case
                     $cnt = tr/*/*/;             # count the stars in $_
                     $cnt = $sky =~ tr/*/*/;     # count the stars in $sky
                     $cnt = tr/0-9//;            # count the digits in $_
                     tr/a-zA-Z//s;               # bookkeeper -> bokeper
                     ($HOST = $host) =~ tr/a-z/A-Z/;
                     tr/a-zA-Z/ /cs;             # change non-alphas to single space
                     tr [\200-\377]
                        [\000-\177];             # delete 8th bit
                     tr/\0-\xFF//CU;             # change Latin-1 to Unicode
                     tr/\0-\x{FF}//UC;           # change Unicode to Latin-1
                 If multiple transliterations are given for a
                 character, only the first one is used:
                 will transliterate any A to X.
                 Because the transliteration table is built at
                 compile time, neither the SEARCHLIST nor the
                 REPLACEMENTLIST are subjected to double quote
                 interpolation.  That means that if you want to use
                 variables, you must use an eval():
                     eval "tr/$oldlist/$newlist/";
                     die $@ if $@;
                     eval "tr/$oldlist/$newlist/, 1" or die $@;
         Gory details of parsing quoted constructs
         When presented with something that might have several
         different interpretations, Perl uses the DWIM (that's "Do
         What I Mean") principle to pick the most probable
         interpretation.  This strategy is so successful that Perl
         programmers often do not suspect the ambivalence of what
         they write.  But from time to time, Perl's notions differ
         substantially from what the author honestly meant.
         This section hopes to clarify how Perl handles quoted
         constructs.  Although the most common reason to learn this
         is to unravel labyrinthine regular expressions, because the
         initial steps of parsing are the same for all quoting
         operators, they are all discussed together.
         The most important Perl parsing rule is the first one
         discussed below: when processing a quoted construct, Perl
         first finds the end of that construct, then interprets its
         contents.  If you understand this rule, you may skip the
         rest of this section on the first reading.  The other rules
         are likely to contradict the user's expectations much less
         frequently than this first one.
         Some passes discussed below are performed concurrently, but
         because their results are the same, we consider them
         individually.  For different quoting constructs, Perl
         performs different numbers of passes, from one to five, but
         these passes are always performed in the same order.
         Finding the end
             The first pass is finding the end of the quoted
             construct, whether it be a multicharacter delimiter
             `"\nEOF\n"' in the `<<EOF' construct, a `/' that
             terminates a `qq//' construct, a `]' which terminates
             `qq[]' construct, or a `>' which terminates a fileglob
             started with `<'.
             When searching for single-character non-pairing
             delimiters, such as `/', combinations of `\\' and `\/'
             are skipped.  However, when searching for single-
             character pairing delimiter like `[', combinations of
             `\\', `\]', and `\[' are all skipped, and nested `[',
             `]' are skipped as well.  When searching for
             multicharacter delimiters, nothing is skipped.
             For constructs with three-part delimiters (`s///',
             `y///', and `tr///'), the search is repeated once more.
             During this search no attention is paid to the semantics
             of the construct.  Thus:
                   bar       # NOT a comment, this slash / terminated m//!
             do not form legal quoted expressions.   The quoted part
             ends on the first `"' and `/', and the rest happens to
             be a syntax error.  Because the slash that terminated
             `m//' was followed by a `SPACE', the example above is
             not `m//x', but rather `m//' with no `/x' modifier.  So
             the embedded `#' is interpreted as a literal `#'.
         Removal of backslashes before delimiters
             During the second pass, text between the starting and
             ending delimiters is copied to a safe location, and the
             `\' is removed from combinations consisting of `\' and
             delimiter--or delimiters, meaning both starting and
             ending delimiters will should these differ.  This
             removal does not happen for multi-character delimiters.
             Note that the combination `\\' is left intact, just as
             it was.
             Starting from this step no information about the
             delimiters is used in parsing.
             The next step is interpolation in the text obtained,
             which is now delimiter-independent.  There are four
             different cases.
             `<<'EOF'', `m''', `s'''', `tr///', `y///'
                 No interpolation is performed.
             `''', `q//'
                 The only interpolation is removal of `\' from pairs
             `""', ```', `qq//', `qx//', `<file*glob>'
                 `\Q', `\U', `\u', `\L', `\l' (possibly paired with
                 `\E') are converted to corresponding Perl
                 constructs.  Thus, `"$foo\Qbaz$bar"' is converted to
                 `$foo . (quotemeta("baz" . $bar))' internally.  The
                 other combinations are replaced with appropriate
                 Let it be stressed that whatever falls between `\Q'
                 and `\E' is interpolated in the usual way.
                 Something like `"\Q\\E"' has no `\E' inside.
                 instead, it has `\Q', `\\', and `E', so the result
                 is the same as for `"\\\\E"'.  As a general rule,
                 backslashes between `\Q' and `\E' may lead to
                 counterintuitive results.  So, `"\Q\t\E"' is
                 converted to `quotemeta("\t")', which is the same as
                 `"\\\t"' (since TAB is not alphanumeric).  Note also
                   $str = '\t';
                   return "\Q$str";
                 may be closer to the conjectural intention of the
                 writer of `"\Q\t\E"'.
                 Interpolated scalars and arrays are converted
                 internally to the `join' and `.' catentation
                 operations.  Thus, `"$foo XXX '@arr'"' becomes:
                   $foo . " XXX '" . (join $", @arr) . "'";
                 All operations above are performed simultaneously,
                 left to right.
                 Because the result of `"\Q STRING \E"' has all
                 metacharacters quoted, there is no way to insert a
                 literal `$' or `@' inside a `\Q\E' pair.  If
                 protected by `\', `$' will be quoted to became
                 `"\\\$"'; if not, it is interpreted as the start of
                 an interpolated scalar.
                 Note also that the interpolation code needs to make
                 a decision on where the interpolated scalar ends.
                 For instance, whether `"a $b -> {c}"' really means:
                   "a " . $b . " -> {c}";
                   "a " . $b -> {c};
                 Most of the time, the longest possible text that
                 does not include spaces between components and which
                 contains matching braces or brackets.  because the
                 outcome may be determined by voting based on
                 heuristic estimators, the result is not strictly
                 predictable.  Fortunately, it's usually correct for
                 ambiguous cases.
             `?RE?', `/RE/', `m/RE/', `s/RE/foo/',
                 Processing of `\Q', `\U', `\u', `\L', `\l', and
                 interpolation happens (almost) as with `qq//'
                 constructs, but the substitution of `\' followed by
                 RE-special chars (including `\') is not performed.
                 Moreover, inside `(?{BLOCK})', `(?# comment )', and
                 a `#'-comment in a `//x'-regular expression, no
                 processing is performed whatsoever.  This is the
                 first step at which the presence of the `//x'
                 modifier is relevant.
                 Interpolation has several quirks: `$|', `$(', and
                 `$)' are not interpolated, and constructs
                 `$var[SOMETHING]' are voted (by several different
                 estimators) to be either an array element or `$var'
                 followed by an RE alternative.  This is where the
                 notation `${arr[$bar]}' comes handy: `/${arr[0-9]}/'
                 is interpreted as array element `-9', not as a
                 regular expression from the variable `$arr' followed
                 by a digit, which would be the interpretation of
                 `/$arr[0-9]/'.  Since voting among different
                 estimators may occur, the result is not predictable.
                 It is at this step that `\1' is begrudgingly
                 converted to `$1' in the replacement text of `s///'
                 to correct the incorrigible sed hackers who haven't
                 picked up the saner idiom yet.  A warning is emitted
                 if the `use warnings' pragma or the -w command-line
                 flag (that is, the `$^W' variable) was set.
                 The lack of processing of `\\' creates specific
                 restrictions on the post-processed text.  If the
                 delimiter is `/', one cannot get the combination
                 `\/' into the result of this step.  `/' will finish
                 the regular expression, `\/' will be stripped to `/'
                 on the previous step, and `\\/' will be left as is.
                 Because `/' is equivalent to `\/' inside a regular
                 expression, this does not matter unless the
                 delimiter happens to be character special to the RE
                 engine, such as in `s*foo*bar*', `m[foo]', or
                 `?foo?'; or an alphanumeric char, as in:
                   m m ^ a \s* b mmx;
                 In the RE above, which is intentionally obfuscated
                 for illustration, the delimiter is `m', the modifier
                 is `mx', and after backslash-removal the RE is the
                 same as for `m/ ^ a s* b /mx').  There's more than
                 one reason you're encouraged to restrict your
                 delimiters to non-alphanumeric, non-whitespace
             This step is the last one for all constructs except
             regular expressions, which are processed further.
         Interpolation of regular expressions
             Previous steps were performed during the compilation of
             Perl code, but this one happens at run time--although it
             may be optimized to be calculated at compile time if
             appropriate.  After preprocessing described above, and
             possibly after evaluation if catenation, joining, casing
             translation, or metaquoting are involved, the resulting
             string is passed to the RE engine for compilation.
             Whatever happens in the RE engine might be better
             discussed in the perlre manpage, but for the sake of
             continuity, we shall do so here.
             This is another step where the presence of the `//x'
             modifier is relevant.  The RE engine scans the string
             from left to right and converts it to a finite
             Backslashed characters are either replaced with
             corresponding literal strings (as with `\{'), or else
             they generate special nodes in the finite automaton (as
             with `\b').  Characters special to the RE engine (such
             as `|') generate corresponding nodes or groups of nodes.
             `(?#...)' comments are ignored.  All the rest is either
             converted to literal strings to match, or else is
             ignored (as is whitespace and `#'-style comments if
             `//x' is present).
             Parsing of the bracketed character class construct,
             `[...]', is rather different than the rule used for the
             rest of the pattern.  The terminator of this construct
             is found using the same rules as for finding the
             terminator of a `{}'-delimited construct, the only
             exception being that `]' immediately following `[' is
             treated as though preceded by a backslash.  Similarly,
             the terminator of `(?{...})' is found using the same
             rules as for finding the terminator of a `{}'-delimited
             It is possible to inspect both the string given to RE
             engine and the resulting finite automaton.  See the
             arguments `debug'/`debugcolor' in the `use the re
             manpage' pragma, as well as Perl's -Dr command-line
             switch documented in the Command Switches entry in the
             perlrun manpage.
         Optimization of regular expressions
             This step is listed for completeness only.  Since it
             does not change semantics, details of this step are not
             documented and are subject to change without notice.
             This step is performed over the finite automaton that
             was generated during the previous pass.
             It is at this stage that `split()' silently optimizes
             `/^/' to mean `/^/m'.
         I/O Operators
         There are several I/O operators you should know about.
         A string enclosed by backticks (grave accents) first
         undergoes double-quote interpolation.  It is then
         interpreted as an external command, and the output of that
         command is the value of the pseudo-literal, j string
         consisting of all output is returned.  In list context, a
         list of values is returned, one per line of output.  (You
         can set `$/' to use a different line terminator.)  The
         command is executed each time the pseudo-literal is
         evaluated.  The status value of the command is returned in
         `$?' (see the perlvar manpage for the interpretation of
         `$?').  Unlike in csh, no translation is done on the return
         data--newlines remain newlines.  Unlike in any of the
         shells, single quotes do not hide variable names in the
         command from interpretation.  To pass a literal dollar-sign
         through to the shell you need to hide it with a backslash.
         The generalized form of backticks is `qx//'.  (Because
         backticks always undergo shell expansion as well, see the
         perlsec manpage for security concerns.)
         In scalar context, evaluating a filehandle in angle brackets
         yields the next line from that file (the newline, if any,
         included), or `undef' at end-of-file or on error.  When `$/'
         is set to `undef' (sometimes known as file-slurp mode) and
         the file is empty, it returns `''' the first time, followed
         by `undef' subsequently.
         Ordinarily you must assign the returned value to a variable,
         but there is one situation where an automatic assignment
         happens.  If and only if the input symbol is the only thing
         inside the conditional of a `while' statement (even if
         disguised as a `for(;;)' loop), the value is automatically
         assigned to the global variable $_, destroying whatever was
         there previously.  (This may seem like an odd thing to you,
         but you'll use the construct in almost every Perl script you
         write.)  The $_ variables is not implicitly localized.
         You'll have to put a `local $_;' before the loop if you want
         that to happen.
         The following lines are equivalent:
             while (defined($_ = <STDIN>)) { print; }
             while ($_ = <STDIN>) { print; }
             while (<STDIN>) { print; }
             for (;<STDIN>;) { print; }
             print while defined($_ = <STDIN>);
             print while ($_ = <STDIN>);
             print while <STDIN>;
         This also behaves similarly, but avoids $_ :
             while (my $line = <STDIN>) { print $line }
         In these loop constructs, the assigned value (whether
         assignment is automatic or explicit) is then tested to see
         whether it is defined.  The defined test avoids problems
         where line has a string value that would be treated as false
         by Perl, for example a "" or a "0" with no trailing newline.
         If you really mean for such values to terminate the loop,
         they should be tested for explicitly:
             while (($_ = <STDIN>) ne '0') { ... }
             while (<STDIN>) { last unless $_; ... }
         In other boolean contexts, `<filehandle>' without an
         explicit `defined' test or comparison elicit a warning if
         the `use warnings' pragma or the -w command-line switch (the
         `$^W' variable) is in effect.
         The filehandles STDIN, STDOUT, and STDERR are predefined.
         (The filehandles `stdin', `stdout', and `stderr' will also
         work except in packages, where they would be interpreted as
         local identifiers rather than global.)  Additional
         filehandles may be created with the open() function, amongst
         others.  See the perlopentut manpage and the open entry in
         the perlfunc manpage for details on this.
         If a <FILEHANDLE> is used in a context that is looking for a
         list, a list comprising all input lines is returned, one
         line per list element.  It's easy to grow to a rather large
         data space this way, so use with care.
         <FILEHANDLE> may also be spelled `readline(*FILEHANDLE)'.
         See the readline entry in the perlfunc manpage.
         The null filehandle <> is special: it can be used to emulate
         the behavior of sed and awk.  Input from <> comes either
         from standard input, or from each file listed on the command
         line.  Here's how it works: the first time <> is evaluated,
         the @ARGV array is checked, and if it is empty, `$ARGV[0]'
         is set to "-", which when opened gives you standard input.
         The @ARGV array is then processed as a list of filenames.
         The loop
             while (<>) {
                 ...                     # code for each line
         is equivalent to the following Perl-like pseudo code:
             unshift(@ARGV, '-') unless @ARGV;
             while ($ARGV = shift) {
                 open(ARGV, $ARGV);
                 while (<ARGV>) {
                     ...         # code for each line
         except that it isn't so cumbersome to say, and will actually
         work.  It really does shift the @ARGV array and put the
         current filename into the $ARGV variable.  It also uses
         filehandle ARGV internally--<> is just a synonym for <ARGV>,
         which is magical.  (The pseudo code above doesn't work
         because it treats <ARGV> as non-magical.)
         You can modify @ARGV before the first <> as long as the
         array ends up containing the list of filenames you really
         want.  Line numbers (`$.')  continue as though the input
         were one big happy file.  See the example in the eof entry
         in the perlfunc manpage for how to reset line numbers on
         each file.
         If you want to set @ARGV to your own list of files, go right
         ahead. This sets @ARGV to all plain text files if no @ARGV
         was given:
             @ARGV = grep { -f && -T } glob('*') unless @ARGV;
         You can even set them to pipe commands.  For example, this
         automatically filters compressed arguments through gzip:
             @ARGV = map { /\.(gz|Z)$/ ? "gzip -dc < $_ |" : $_ } @ARGV;
         If you want to pass switches into your script, you can use
         one of the Getopts modules or put a loop on the front like
             while ($_ = $ARGV[0], /^-/) {
                 last if /^--$/;
                 if (/^-D(.*)/) { $debug = $1 }
                 if (/^-v/)     { $verbose++  }
                 # ...           # other switches
             while (<>) {
                 # ...           # code for each line
         The <> symbol will return `undef' for end-of-file only once.
         If you call it again after this, it will assume you are
         processing another @ARGV list, and if you haven't set @ARGV,
         will read input from STDIN.
         If angle brackets contain is a simple scalar variable (e.g.,
         <$foo>), then that variable contains the name of the
         filehandle to input from, or its typeglob, or a reference to
         the same.  For example:
             $fh = \*STDIN;
             $line = <$fh>;
         If what's within the angle brackets is neither a filehandle
         nor a simple scalar variable containing a filehandle name,
         typeglob, or typeglob reference, it is interpreted as a
         filename pattern to be globbed, and either a list of
         filenames or the next filename in the list is returned,
         depending on context.  This distinction is determined on
         syntactic grounds alone.  That means `<$x>' is always a
         readline() from an indirect handle, but `<$hash{key}>' is
         always a glob().  That's because $x is a simple scalar
         variable, but `$hash{key}' is not--it's a hash element.
         One level of double-quote interpretation is done first, but
         you can't say `<$foo>' because that's an indirect filehandle
         as explained in the previous paragraph.  (In older versions
         of Perl, programmers would insert curly brackets to force
         interpretation as a filename glob:  `<${foo}>'.  These days,
         it's considered cleaner to call the internal function
         directly as `glob($foo)', which is probably the right way to
         have done it in the first place.)  For example:
             while (<*.c>) {
                 chmod 0644, $_;
         is roughly equivalent to:
             open(FOO, "echo *.c | tr -s ' \t\r\f' '\\012\\012\\012\\012'|");
             while (<FOO>) {
                 chmod 0644, $_;
         except that the globbing is actually done internally using
         the standard `File::Glob' extension.  Of course, the
         shortest way to do the above is:
             chmod 0644, <*.c>;
         A (file)glob evaluates its (embedded) argument only when it
         is starting a new list.  All values must be read before it
         will start over.  In list context, this isn't important
         because you automatically get them all anyway.  However, in
         scalar context the operator returns the next value each time
         it's called, or C run out.  As with filehandle reads, an
         automatic `defined' is generated when the glob occurs in the
         test part of a `while', because legal glob returns (e.g. a
         file called 0) would otherwise terminate the loop.  Again,
         `undef' is returned only once.  So if you're expecting a
         single value from a glob, it is much better to say
             ($file) = <blurch*>;
             $file = <blurch*>;
         because the latter will alternate between returning a
         filename and returning false.
         It you're trying to do variable interpolation, it's
         definitely better to use the glob() function, because the
         older notation can cause people to become confused with the
         indirect filehandle notation.
             @files = glob("$dir/*.[ch]");
             @files = glob($files[$i]);
         Constant Folding
         Like C, Perl does a certain amount of expression evaluation
         at compile time whenever it determines that all arguments to
         an operator are static and have no side effects.  In
         particular, string concatenation happens at compile time
         between literals that don't do variable substitution.
         Backslash interpolation also happens at compile time.  You
         can say
             'Now is the time for all' . "\n" .
                 'good men to come to.'
         and this all reduces to one string internally.  Likewise, if
         you say
             foreach $file (@filenames) {
                 if (-s $file > 5 + 100 * 2**16) {  }
         the compiler will precompute the number which that
         expression represents so that the interpreter won't have to.
         Bitwise String Operators
         Bitstrings of any size may be manipulated by the bitwise
         operators (`~ | & ^').
         If the operands to a binary bitwise op are strings of
         different sizes, | and ^ ops act as though the shorter
         operand had additional zero bits on the right, while the &
         op acts as though the longer operand were truncated to the
         length of the shorter.  The granularity for such extension
         or truncation is one or more bytes.
             # ASCII-based examples
             print "j p \n" ^ " a h";            # prints "JAPH\n"
             print "JA" | "  ph\n";              # prints "japh\n"
             print "japh\nJunk" & '_____';       # prints "JAPH\n";
             print 'p N$' ^ " E<H\n";            # prints "Perl\n";
         If you are intending to manipulate bitstrings, be certain
         that you're supplying bitstrings: If an operand is a number,
         that will imply a numeric bitwise operation.  You may
         explicitly show which type of operation you intend by using
         `""' or `0+', as in the examples below.
             $foo =  150  |  105 ;       # yields 255  (0x96 | 0x69 is 0xFF)
             $foo = '150' |  105 ;       # yields 255
             $foo =  150  | '105';       # yields 255
             $foo = '150' | '105';       # yields string '155' (under ASCII)
             $baz = 0+$foo & 0+$bar;     # both ops explicitly numeric
             $biz = "$foo" ^ "$bar";     # both ops explicitly stringy
         See the vec entry in the perlfunc manpage for information on
         how to manipulate individual bits in a bit vector.
         Integer Arithmetic
         By default, Perl assumes that it must do most of its
         arithmetic in floating point.  But by saying
             use integer;
         you may tell the compiler that it's okay to use integer
         operations (if it feels like it) from here to the end of the
         enclosing BLOCK.  An inner BLOCK may countermand this by
             no integer;
         which lasts until the end of that BLOCK.  Note that this
         doesn't mean everything is only an integer, merely that Perl
         may use integer operations if it is so inclined.  For
         example, even under `use integer', if you take the
         `sqrt(2)', you'll still get `1.4142135623731' or so.
         Used on numbers, the bitwise operators ("&", "|", "^", "~",
         "<<", and ">>") always produce integral results.  (But see
         also the Bitwise String Operators entry elsewhere in this
         document.)  However, `use integer' still has meaning for
         them.  By default, their results are interpreted as unsigned
         integers, but if `use integer' is in effect, their results
         are interpreted as signed integers.  For example, `~0'
         usually evaluates to a large integral value.  However, `use
         integer; ~0' is `-1' on twos-complement machines.
         Floating-point Arithmetic
         While `use integer' provides integer-only arithmetic, there
         is no analogous mechanism to provide automatic rounding or
         truncation to a certain number of decimal places.  For
         rounding to a certain number of digits, sprintf() or
         printf() is usually the easiest route.  See the perlfaq4
         Floating-point numbers are only approximations to what a
         mathematician would call real numbers.  There are infinitely
         more reals than floats, so some corners must be cut.  For
             printf "%.20g\n", 123456789123456789;
             #        produces 123456789123456784
         Testing for exact equality of floating-point equality or
         inequality is not a good idea.  Here's a (relatively
         expensive) work-around to compare whether two floating-point
         numbers are equal to a particular number of decimal places.
         See Knuth, volume II, for a more robust treatment of this
             sub fp_equal {
                 my ($X, $Y, $POINTS) = @_;
                 my ($tX, $tY);
                 $tX = sprintf("%.${POINTS}g", $X);
                 $tY = sprintf("%.${POINTS}g", $Y);
                 return $tX eq $tY;
         The POSIX module (part of the standard perl distribution)
         implements ceil(), floor(), and other mathematical and
         trigonometric functions.  The Math::Complex module (part of
         the standard perl distribution) defines mathematical
         functions that work on both the reals and the imaginary
         numbers.  Math::Complex not as efficient as POSIX, but POSIX
         can't work with complex numbers.
         Rounding in financial applications can have serious
         implications, and the rounding method used should be
         specified precisely.  In these cases, it probably pays not
         to trust whichever system rounding is being used by Perl,
         but to instead implement the rounding function you need
         Bigger Numbers
         The standard Math::BigInt and Math::BigFloat modules provide
         variable-precision arithmetic and overloaded operators,
         although they're currently pretty slow.  At the cost of some
         space and considerable speed, they avoid the normal pitfalls
         associated with limited-precision representations.
             use Math::BigInt;
             $x = Math::BigInt->new('123456789123456789');
             print $x * $x;
             # prints +15241578780673678515622620750190521
         The non-standard modules SSLeay::BN and Math::Pari provide
         equivalent functionality (and much more) with a substantial
         performance savings.

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