PERLOP(1)        Perl Programmers Reference Guide       PERLOP(1)

NNAAMMEE
       perlop - Perl operators and precedence

SSYYNNOOPPSSIISS
       Perl operators have the following associativity and
       precedence, listed from highest precedence to lowest.
       Note that all 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.

DDEESSCCRRIIPPTTIIOONN
       TTeerrmmss aanndd LLiisstt OOppeerraattoorrss ((LLeeffttwwaarrdd))

       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
       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.

       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, in

           @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 the
       arguments that follow them, and then act like a simple
       TERM with regard to the preceding expression.  Note that
       you have to 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 section on Named Unary Operators 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 section on Quote and Quote-like Operators
       toward the end of this section, as well as the section on
       I/O Operators.

       TThhee AArrrrooww OOppeerraattoorr

       Just as in C and C++, "->" is an infix dereference
       operator.  If the right side is either a [...] or {...}
       subscript, then the left side must be either a hard or
       symbolic reference to an array or hash (or a location
       capable of holding a hard reference, if it's an lvalue
       (assignable)).  See the perlref manpage.

       Otherwise, the right side is a method name or a simple
       scalar variable containing the method name, and the left
       side must either be an object (a blessed reference) or a
       class name (that is, a package name).  See the perlobj
       manpage.

       AAuuttoo--iinnccrreemmeenntt aanndd AAuuttoo--ddeeccrreemmeenntt

       "++" 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.

       EExxppoonneennttiiaattiioonn

       Binary "**" is the exponentiation operator.  Note that 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.)

       SSyymmbboolliicc UUnnaarryy OOppeerraattoorrss

       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 section
       on Integer Arithmetic and the section on Bitwise String
       Operators.)

       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 section on Terms and List
       Operators (Leftward).)

       Unary "\" creates a reference to whatever follows it.  See
       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 interpretation.

       BBiinnddiinngg OOppeerraattoorrss

       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 $_.  The return
       value indicates the success of the operation.  (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
       is 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.

       MMuullttiipplliiccaattiivvee OOppeerraattoorrss

       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,
       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 a list
       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

       AAddddiittiivvee OOppeerraattoorrss

       Binary "+" returns the sum of two numbers.

       Binary "-" returns the difference of two numbers.

       Binary "." concatenates two strings.

       SShhiifftt OOppeerraattoorrss

       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
       section on Integer Arithmetic.)

       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
       section on Integer Arithmetic.)

       NNaammeedd UUnnaarryy OOppeerraattoorrss

       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
       (Leftward).

       RReellaattiioonnaall OOppeerraattoorrss

       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.

       EEqquuaalliittyy OOppeerraattoorrss

       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.

       BBiittwwiissee AAnndd

       Binary "&" returns its operators ANDed together bit by
       bit.  (See also the section on Integer Arithmetic and the
       section on Bitwise String Operators.)

       BBiittwwiissee OOrr aanndd EExxcclluussiivvee OOrr

       Binary "|" returns its operators ORed together bit by bit.
       (See also the section on Integer Arithmetic and the
       section on Bitwise String Operators.)

       Binary "^" returns its operators XORed together bit by
       bit.  (See also the section on Integer Arithmetic and the
       section on Bitwise String Operators.)

       CC--ssttyyllee LLooggiiccaall AAnndd

       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.

       CC--ssttyyllee LLooggiiccaall OOrr

       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 this:

           unlink("alpha", "beta", "gamma")
                   || (gripe(), next LINE);

       Use "or" for assignment is unlikely to do what you want;
       see below.

       RRaannggee OOppeerraattoorrss

       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 (by ones)
       from the left value to the right value.  This 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 sseedd, aawwkk, 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 aawwkk), but it still
       returns true once.  If you don't want it to test the right
       operand till the next evaluation (as in sseedd), use three
       dots ("...") instead of two.)  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 the 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.

       CCoonnddiittiioonnaall OOppeerraattoorr

       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 them):

           ($a_or_b ? $a : $b) = $c;

       This is not necessarily guaranteed to contribute to the
       readability of your program.

       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)

       AAssssiiggnnmmeenntt OOppeerraattoorrss

       "=" 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:

           **=    +=    *=    &=    <<=    &&=
                  -=    /=    |=    >>=    ||=
                  .=    %=    ^=
                        x=

       Note that while these are grouped by family, they all have
       the precedence of assignment.

       Unlike in C, the 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 this:

           ($tmp = $global) =~ tr [A-Z] [a-z];

       Likewise,

           ($a += 2) *= 3;

       is equivalent to

           $a += 2;
           $a *= 3;

       CCoommmmaa OOppeerraattoorr

       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.

       LLiisstt OOppeerraattoorrss ((RRiigghhttwwaarrdd))

       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 section on
       Terms and List Operators (Leftward).

       LLooggiiccaall NNoott

       Unary "not" returns the logical negation of the expression
       to its right.  It's the equivalent of "!" except for the
       very low precedence.

       LLooggiiccaall AAnndd

       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.

       LLooggiiccaall oorr aanndd EExxcclluussiivvee OOrr

       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
       flow

           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.

       CC OOppeerraattoorrss MMiissssiinngg FFrroomm PPeerrll

       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.

       QQuuoottee aanndd QQuuoottee--lliikkee OOppeerraattoorrss

       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.  Non-
       bracketing delimiters use the same character fore and aft,
       but the 4 sorts of brackets (round, angle, square, curly)
       will all nest.

           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)

       Note that 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 being 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 interpolation, variables beginning
       with "$" or "@" are interpolated, as are the following
       sequences. Within a transliteration, the first ten 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)
           \c[         control 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.

       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 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 above, there are no 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.

       RReeggeexxpp QQuuoottee--LLiikkee OOppeerraattoorrss

       Here are the quote-like operators that apply to pattern
       matching and related activities.

       Most of this section is related to use of regular
       expressions from Perl.  Such a use may be considered from
       two points of view: Perl handles a a string and a
       "pattern" to RE (regular expression) engine to match, RE
       engine finds (or does not find) the match, and Perl uses
       the findings of RE engine for its operation, possibly
       asking the engine for other matches.

       RE engine has no idea what Perl is going to do with what
       it finds, similarly, the rest of Perl has no idea what a
       particular regular expression means to RE engine.  This
       creates a clean separation, and in this section we discuss
       matching from Perl point of view only.  The other point of
       view may be found in the perlre manpage.

       ?PATTERN?
               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 deprecated, and may be
               removed in some future version of Perl.

       m/PATTERN/cgimosx

       /PATTERN/cgimosx
               Searches a string for a pattern match, and in
               scalar context returns true (1) or false ('').  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 Unix 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
               variable 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.

               If the PATTERN evaluates to the empty string, the
               last successfully matched regular expression is
               used instead.

               If the /g option is not used, m// in a 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.

               Examples:

                   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 all the substrings matched by
               all the 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.

               Examples:

                   # list context
                   ($one,$five,$fifteen) = (`uptime` =~ /(\d+\.\d+)/g);

                   # scalar context
                   {
                       local $/ = "";
                       while (defined($paragraph = <>)) {
                           while ($paragraph =~ /[a-z]['")]*[.!?]+['")]*\s/g) {
                               $sentences++;
                           }
                       }
                   }
                   print "$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";
                EOL
                LOOP:
                   {
                     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!

       q/STRING/

       'STRING'
               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

       qq/STRING/

       """"STRING""""
               A double-quoted, interpolated string.

                   $_ .= qq
                    (*** The previous line contains the naughty word "$1".\n)
                               if /(tcl|rexx|python)/;      # :-)
                   $baz = "\n";                # a one-character string

       qr/PATTERN/imosx
               Quote-as-a-regular-expression operator.  STRING is
               interpolated the same way as PATTERN in
               m/PATTERN/.  If "'" is used as the delimiter, no
               variable interpolation is done.  Returns a Perl
               value which may be used instead of the
               corresponding /STRING/imosx expression.

               For example,

                   $rex = qr/my.STRING/is;
                   s/$rex/foo/;

               is equivalent to

                   s/my.STRING/foo/is;

               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/;
                           }
                           $success;
                       } @_;
                   }

               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.  (Note that 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.

       qx/STRING/

       `STRING`
               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
               $INPUT_RECORD_SEPARATOR).

               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
               STDERR:

                   $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 $$';            # that's the new shell's $$

               Note that how the 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).

               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
               discussion.

       qw/STRING/
               Returns a list of the words extracted out of
               STRING, using embedded whitespace as the word
               delimiters.  It is exactly equivalent to

                   split(' ', q/STRING/);

               This equivalency means that if used in scalar
               context, you'll get split's (unfortunate) scalar
               context behavior, complete with mysterious
               warnings.  However do not rely on this as in a
               future release it could be changed to be exactly
               equivalent to the list

                   ('foo', 'bar', 'baz')

               Which in a scalar context would result in '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 -w switch produce
               warnings if the STRING contains the "," or the "#"
               character.

       s/PATTERN/REPLACEMENT/egimosx
               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
               variable 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
               interpreted as a full-fledged Perl expression and
               eval()ed right then and there.  It is, however,
               syntax checked at compile-time.

               Examples:

                   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 $_, but dynamics only, using
                   # symbolic dereferencing
                   s/\$(\w+)/${$1}/g;

                   # /e's can even nest;  this will expand
                   # any embedded scalar variable (including lexicals) in $_
                   s/(\$\w+)/$1/eeg;

                   # 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 $variable, cheap
                       s/^\s+//;
                       s/\s+$//;
                   }

                   s/([^ ]*) *([^ ]*)/$2 $1/;  # reverse 1st two fields

               Note the use of $ instead of \ in the last
               example.  Unlike sseedd, 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.  Here are two common cases:

                   # put commas in the right places in an integer
                   1 while s/(.*\d)(\d\d\d)/$1,$2/g;      # perl4
                   1 while s/(\d)(\d\d\d)(?!\d)/$1,$2/g;  # perl5

                   # expand tabs to 8-column spacing
                   1 while s/\t+/' ' x (length($&)*8 - length($`)%8)/e;

       tr/SEARCHLIST/REPLACEMENTLIST/cds

       y/SEARCHLIST/REPLACEMENTLIST/cds
               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 sseedd 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.

               Options:

                   c   Complement the SEARCHLIST.
                   d   Delete found but unreplaced characters.
                   s   Squash duplicate replaced characters.

               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 ttrr 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.

               Examples:

                   $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

               If multiple transliterations are given for a
               character, only the first one is used:

                   tr/AAA/XYZ/

               will transliterate any A to X.

               Note that 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 $@;

       GGoorryy ddeettaaiillss ooff ppaarrssiinngg qquuootteedd ccoonnssttrruuccttss

       When presented with something which may have several
       different interpretations, Perl uses the principle DDWWIIMM
       (expanded to Do What I Mean - not what I wrote) to pick up
       the most probable interpretation of the source.  This
       strategy is so successful that Perl users usually do not
       suspect ambivalence of what they write.  However, time to
       time Perl's ideas differ from what the author meant.

       The target of this section is to clarify the Perl's way of
       interpreting quoted constructs.  The most frequent reason
       one may have to want to know the details discussed in this
       section is hairy regular expressions.  However, the first
       steps of parsing are the same for all Perl quoting
       operators, so here they are discussed together.

       The most important detail of Perl parsing rules is the
       first one discussed below; when processing a quoted
       construct, Perl first finds the end of the construct, then
       it interprets the contents of the construct.  If you
       understand this rule, you may skip the rest of this
       section on the first reading.  The other rules would
       contradict user's expectations much less frequently than
       the first one.

       Some of the passes discussed below are performed
       concurrently, but as far as results are the same, we
       consider them one-by-one.  For different quoting
       constructs Perl performs different number of passes, from
       one to five, but they are always performed in the same
       order.

       Finding the end
            First pass is finding the end of the quoted
            construct, be it a multichar delimiter "\nEOF\n" of
            <<EOF construct, / which terminates qq/ construct, ]
            which terminates qq[ construct, or > which terminates
            a fileglob started with <.

            When searching for one-char non-matching delimiter,
            such as /, combinations \\ and \/ are skipped.  When
            searching for one-char matching delimiter, such as ],
            combinations \\, \] and \[ are skipped, and nested [,
            ] are skipped as well.  When searching for multichar
            delimiter no skipping is performed.

            For constructs with 3-part delimiters (s/// etc.) the
            search is repeated once more.

            During this search no attention is paid to the
            semantic of the construct, thus:

                "$hash{"$foo/$bar"}"

            or:

                m/
                  bar       # NOT a comment, this slash / terminated m//!
                 /x

            do not form legal quoted expressions, the quoted part
            ends on the first " and /, and the rest happens to be
            a syntax error.  Note that since the slash which
            terminated m// was followed by a SPACE, the above is
            not m//x, but rather m// with no 'x' switch.  So the
            embedded # is interpreted as a literal #.

       Removal of backslashes before delimiters
            During the second pass the text between the starting
            delimiter and the ending delimiter is copied to a
            safe location, and the \ is removed from combinations
            consisting of \ and delimiter(s) (both starting and
            ending delimiter if they differ).

            The removal does not happen for multi-char
            delimiters.

            Note that the combination \\ is left as it was!

            Starting from this step no information about the
            delimiter(s) is used in the parsing.

       Interpolation
            Next step is interpolation in the obtained delimiter-
            independent text.  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));

                 Other combinations of \ with following chars are
                 substituted with appropriate expansions.

                 Let it be stressed that whatever is between \Q
                 and \E is interpolated in the usual way.  Say,
                 "\Q\\E" has no \E inside: it has \Q, \\, and E,
                 thus the result is the same as for "\\\\E".
                 Generally speaking, having 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
                 alphanumerical).  Note also that:

                   $str = '\t';
                   return "\Q$str";

                 may be closer to the conjectural intention of
                 the writer of "\Q\t\E".

                 Interpolated scalars and arrays are internally
                 converted to the join and . Perl operations,
                 thus "$foo >> '@arr'"> becomes:

                   $foo . " >>> '" . (join $", @arr) . "'";

                 All the operations in the above are performed
                 simultaneously left-to-right.

                 Since the result of "\Q STRING \E" has all the
                 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 starting an
                 interpolated scalar.

                 Note also that the interpolating code needs to
                 make a decision on where the interpolated scalar
                 ends. For instance, whether "a $b -> {c}" means:

                   "a " . $b . " -> {c}";

                 or:

                   "a " . $b -> {c};

                 Most of the time the decision is to take the
                 longest possible text which does not include
                 spaces between components and contains matching
                 braces/brackets.  Since the outcome may be
                 determined by voting based on heuristic
                 estimators, the result is not strictly
                 predictable, but is usually correct for the
                 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 #-comment of //x-regular
                 expressions no processing is performed at all.
                 This is the first step where presence of the //x
                 switch is relevant.

                 Interpolation has several quirks: $|, $( and $)
                 are not interpolated, and constructs
                 $var[SOMETHING] are voted (by several different
                 estimators) to be an array element or $var
                 followed by a RE alternative.  This is the place
                 where the notation ${arr[$bar]} comes handy:
                 /${arr[0-9]}/ is interpreted as an array element
                 -9, not as a regular expression from variable
                 $arr followed by a digit, which is the
                 interpretation of /$arr[0-9]/.  Since voting
                 among different estimators may be performed, the
                 result is not predictable.

                 It is on this step that \1 is converted to $1 in
                 the replacement text of s///.

                 Note that absence 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.  Since / is equivalent to \/
                 inside a regular expression, this does not
                 matter unless the delimiter is a special
                 character for the RE engine, as in s*foo*bar*,
                 m[foo], or ?foo?, or an alphanumeric char, as
                 in:

                   m m ^ a \s* b mmx;

                 In the above RE, 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).

                 This step is the last one for all the constructs
                 except regular expressions, which are processed
                 further.

       Interpolation of regular expressions
            All the previous steps were performed during the
            compilation of Perl code, this one happens in run
            time (though it may be optimized to be calculated at
            compile time if appropriate).  After all the
            preprocessing performed above (and possibly after
            evaluation if catenation, joining, up/down-casing and
            quotemeta()ing are involved) the resulting string is
            passed to RE engine for compilation.

            Whatever happens in the RE engine is better be
            discussed in the perlre manpage, but for the sake of
            continuity let us do it here.

            This is another step where presence of the //x switch
            is relevant.  The RE engine scans the string left-to-
            right, and converts it to a finite automaton.

            Backslashed chars are either substituted by
            corresponding literal strings (as with \{), or
            generate special nodes of the finite automaton (as
            with \b).  Characters which are 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 is ignored (as is whitespace and #-style
            comments if //x is present).

            Note that the parsing of the construct [...] is
            performed using rather different rules than for the
            rest of the regular expression.  The terminator of
            this construct is found using the same rules as for
            finding a terminator of a {}-delimited construct, the
            only exception being that ] immediately following [
            is considered as if preceded by a backslash.
            Similarly, the terminator of (?{...}) is found using
            the same rules as for finding a terminator of a
            {}-delimited construct.

            It is possible to inspect both the string given to RE
            engine, and the resulting finite automaton.  See
            arguments debug/debugcolor of use the re manpage
            directive, and/or --DDrr option of Perl in the 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.  This step
            is performed over the finite automaton generated
            during the previous pass.

            However, in older versions of Perl the split manpage
            used to silently optimize /^/ to mean /^/m.  This
            behaviour, though present in current versions of
            Perl, may be deprecated in future.

       II//OO OOppeerraattoorrss

       There are several I/O operators you should know about.

       A string enclosed by backticks (grave accents) first
       undergoes variable substitution just like a double quoted
       string.  It is then interpreted as a command, and the
       output of that command is the value of the pseudo-literal,
       like in a shell.  In scalar context, a single string
       consisting of all the output is returned.  In list
       context, a list of values is returned, one for each 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 ccsshh, 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 $
       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 a scalar context, evaluating a filehandle in angle
       brackets yields the next line from that file (newline, if
       any, included), or undef at end-of-file.  When $/ is set
       to undef (i.e. 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 or
       for(;;) loop, the value is automatically assigned to the
       variable $_.  In these loop constructs, the assigned value
       (whether assignment is automatic or explicit) is then
       tested to see if it is defined.  The defined test avoids
       problems where line has a string value that would be
       treated as false by perl e.g. "" or "0" with no trailing
       newline. (This may seem like an odd thing to you, but
       you'll use the construct in almost every Perl script you
       write.) Anyway, the following lines are equivalent to each
       other:

           while (defined($_ = <STDIN>)) { print; }
           while ($_ = <STDIN>) { print; }
           while (<STDIN>) { print; }
           for (;<STDIN>;) { print; }
           print while defined($_ = <STDIN>);
           print while ($_ = <STDIN>);
           print while <STDIN>;

       and this also behaves similarly, but avoids the use of $_
       :

           while (my $line = <STDIN>) { print $line }

       If you really mean 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 explicit
       defined test or comparison will solicit a warning if -w 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.  See
       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 consisting of all the input lines is
       returned, one line per list element.  It's easy to make a
       LARGE data space this way, so use with care.

       <FILEHANDLE> may also be spelt readline(FILEHANDLE).  See
       the readline entry in the perlfunc manpage.

       The null filehandle <> is special and can be used to
       emulate the behavior of sseedd and aawwkk.  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 array @ARGV and put
       the current filename into variable $ARGV.  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 if the input were
       one big happy file.  (But see example under eof 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 ggzziipp:

           @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
       this:

           while ($_ = $ARGV[0], /^-/) {
               shift;
               last if /^--$/;
               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 input from STDIN.

       If the string inside the angle brackets is a reference to
       a 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.)  Example:

           while (<*.c>) {
               chmod 0644, $_;
           }

       is equivalent to

           open(FOO, "echo *.c | tr -s ' \t\r\f' '\\012\\012\\012\\012'|");
           while (<FOO>) {
               chop;
               chmod 0644, $_;
           }

       In fact, it's currently implemented that way.  (Which
       means it will not work on filenames with spaces in them
       unless you have csh(1) on your machine.)  Of course, the
       shortest way to do the above is:

           chmod 0644, <*.c>;

       Because globbing invokes a shell, it's often faster to
       call readdir() yourself and do your own grep() on the
       filenames.  Furthermore, due to its current implementation
       of using a shell, the glob() routine may get "Arg list too
       long" errors (unless you've installed tcsh(1L) as
       /bin/csh).

       A glob evaluates its (embedded) argument only when it is
       starting a new list.  All values must be read before it
       will start over.  In a list context this isn't important,
       because you automatically get them all anyway.  In scalar
       context, however, the operator returns the next value each
       time it is called, or a undef value if you've just run
       out. As for filehandles an automatic defined is generated
       when the glob occurs in the test part of a while or for -
       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*>;

       than

           $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]);

       CCoonnssttaanntt FFoollddiinngg

       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 interpretation 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 that expression
       represents so that the interpreter won't have to.

       BBiittwwiissee SSttrriinngg OOppeerraattoorrss

       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 will act as if the shorter
       operand had additional zero bits on the right, while the &<b>&
       op will act as if the longer operand were truncated to the
       length of the shorter.  Note that 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, you should
       be certain that you're supplying bitstrings: If an operand
       is a number, that will imply a nnuummeerriicc 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.

       IInntteeggeerr AArriitthhmmeettiicc

       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 from here to the end of the enclosing BLOCK.
       An inner BLOCK may countermand this by saying

           no integer;

       which lasts until the end of that BLOCK.

       The bitwise operators ("&", "|", "^", "~", "<<", and ">>")
       always produce integral results.  (But see also the
       section on Bitwise String Operators.)  However, use
       integer still has meaning for them.  By default, their
       results are interpreted as unsigned integers.  However, 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.

       FFllooaattiinngg--ppooiinntt AArriitthhmmeettiicc

       While use integer provides integer-only arithmetic, there
       is no similar ways to provide rounding or truncation at a
       certain number of decimal places.  For rounding to a
       certain number of digits, sprintf() or printf() is usually
       the easiest route.

       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 example:

           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 topic.

           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 a number of other
       mathematical and trigonometric functions.  The
       Math::Complex module (part of the standard perl
       distribution) defines a number of mathematical functions
       that can also work on real 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
       yourself.

       BBiiggggeerr NNuummbbeerrss

       The standard Math::BigInt and Math::BigFloat modules
       provide variable precision arithmetic and overloaded
       operators.  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

27/Mar/1999            perl 5.005, patch 03                     1