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

NAME
       perlop - Perl operators and precedence

DESCRIPTION
   Operator Precedence and Associativity
       Operator precedence and associativity work in Perl more or less like
       they do in mathematics.

       Operator precedence means some operators are evaluated before others.
       For example, in "2 + 4 * 5", the multiplication has higher precedence
       so "4 * 5" is evaluated first yielding "2 + 20 == 22" and not "6 * 5 ==
       30".

       Operator associativity defines what happens if a sequence of the same
       operators is used one after another: whether the evaluator will
       evaluate the left operations first or the right.	 For example, in "8 -
       4 - 2", subtraction is left associative so Perl evaluates the
       expression left to right.  "8 - 4" is evaluated first making the
       expression "4 - 2 == 2" and not "8 - 2 == 6".

       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 overload.

   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 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, 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 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.  The parentheses
       enclose the argument list for "print" which is evaluated (printing the
       result of "$foo & 255").	 Then one is added to the return value of
       "print" (usually 1).  The result is something like this:

	   1 + 1, "\n";	   # Obviously not what you meant.

       To do what you meant properly, you must write:

	   print(($foo & 255) + 1, "\n");

       See "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 "Quote and Quote-like Operators" toward the end of this
       section, as well as "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 perlreftut and perlref.

       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 perlobj.

   Auto-increment and Auto-decrement
       "++" and "--" work as in C.  That is, if placed before a variable, they
       increment or decrement the variable by one before returning the value,
       and if placed after, increment or decrement after returning the value.

	   $i = 0;  $j = 0;
	   print $i++;	# prints 0
	   print ++$j;	# prints 1

       Note that just as in C, Perl doesn't define when the variable is
       incremented or decremented. You just know it will be done sometime
       before or after the value is returned. This also means that modifying a
       variable twice in the same statement will lead to undefined behaviour.
       Avoid statements like:

	   $i = $i ++;
	   print ++ $i + $i ++;

       Perl will not guarantee what the result of the above statements is.

       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]*\z/", 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'

       "undef" is always treated as numeric, and in particular is changed to 0
       before incrementing (so that a post-increment of an undef value will
       return 0 rather than "undef").

       The auto-decrement operator is not magical.

   Exponentiation
       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 the string "-bareword".  If, however, the string begins with a non-
       alphabetic character (excluding "+" or "-"), Perl will attempt to
       convert the string to a numeric and the arithmetic negation is
       performed. If the string cannot be cleanly converted to a numeric, Perl
       will give the warning Argument "the string" isn't numeric in negation
       (-) at ....

       Unary "~" performs bitwise negation, i.e., 1's complement.  For
       example, "0666 & ~027" is 0640.	(See also "Integer Arithmetic" and
       "Bitwise String Operators".)  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 to 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 "Terms and List
       Operators (Leftward)".)

       Unary "\" creates a reference to whatever follows it.  See perlreftut
       and perlref.  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
       "Regexp Quote-Like Operators" for details and perlretut for examples
       using these operators.

       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. Note that this means that its contents will be
       interpolated twice, so

	 '\\' =~ q'\\';

       is not ok, as the regex engine will end up trying to compile the
       pattern "\", which it will consider a syntax error.

       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 "%" is the modulo operator, which computes the division
       remainder of its first argument with respect to its second argument.
       Given integer operands $a and $b: If $b is positive, then "$a % $b" is
       $a minus the largest multiple of $b less than or equal to $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).  If the operands $a and $b are floating point values and the
       absolute value of $b (that is "abs($b)") is less than "(UV_MAX + 1)",
       only the integer portion of $a and $b will be used in the operation
       (Note: here "UV_MAX" means the maximum of the unsigned integer type).
       If the absolute value of the right operand ("abs($b)") is greater than
       or equal to "(UV_MAX + 1)", "%" computes the floating-point remainder
       $r in the equation "($r = $a - $i*$b)" where $i is a certain integer
       that makes $r have the same sign as the right operand $b (not as the
       left operand $a like C function "fmod()") and the absolute value less
       than that of $b.	 Note that when "use integer" is in scope, "%" gives
       you direct access to the modulo 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 or is a list formed by "qw/STRING/", it repeats the
       list.  If the right operand is zero or negative, it returns an empty
       string or an empty list, depending on the context.

	   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 "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 "Integer Arithmetic".)

       Note that both "<<" and ">>" in Perl are implemented directly using
       "<<" and ">>" in C.  If "use integer" (see "Integer Arithmetic") is in
       force then signed C integers are used, else unsigned C integers are
       used.  Either way, the implementation isn't going to generate results
       larger than the size of the integer type Perl was built with (32 bits
       or 64 bits).

       The result of overflowing the range of the integers is undefined
       because it is undefined also in C.  In other words, using 32-bit
       integers, "1 << 32" is undefined.  Shifting by a negative number of
       bits is also undefined.

   Named Unary Operators
       The various named unary operators are treated as functions with one
       argument, with optional parentheses.

       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.  For example, because
       named unary operators are higher precedence than ||:

	   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 named operators:

	   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)

       Regarding precedence, the filetest operators, like "-f", "-M", etc. are
       treated like named unary operators, but they don't follow this
       functional parenthesis rule.  That means, for example, that
       "-f($file).".bak"" is equivalent to "-f "$file.bak"".

       See also "Terms and List Operators (Leftward)".

   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.
       If your platform supports NaNs (not-a-numbers) as numeric values, using
       them with "<=>" returns undef.  NaN is not "<", "==", ">", "<=" or ">="
       anything (even NaN), so those 5 return false. NaN != NaN returns true,
       as does NaN != anything else. If your platform doesn't support NaNs
       then NaN is just a string with numeric value 0.

	   perl -le '$a = "NaN"; print "No NaN support here" if $a == $a'
	   perl -le '$a = "NaN"; print "NaN support here" if $a != $a'

       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.

       Binary "~~" does a smart match between its arguments. Smart matching is
       described in "Smart matching in detail" in perlsyn.

       "lt", "le", "ge", "gt" and "cmp" use the collation (sort) order
       specified by the current locale if "use locale" is in effect.  See
       perllocale.

   Bitwise And
       Binary "&" returns its operands ANDed together bit by bit.  (See also
       "Integer Arithmetic" and "Bitwise String Operators".)

       Note that "&" has lower priority than relational operators, so for
       example the brackets are essential in a test like

	       print "Even\n" if ($x & 1) == 0;

   Bitwise Or and Exclusive Or
       Binary "|" returns its operands ORed together bit by bit.  (See also
       "Integer Arithmetic" and "Bitwise String Operators".)

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

       Note that "|" and "^" have lower priority than relational operators, so
       for example the brackets are essential in a test like

	       print "false\n" if (8 | 2) != 10;

   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.

   C-style Logical Defined-Or
       Although it has no direct equivalent in C, Perl's "//" operator is
       related to its C-style or.  In fact, it's exactly the same as "||",
       except that it tests the left hand side's definedness instead of its
       truth.  Thus, "$a // $b" is similar to "defined($a) || $b" (except that
       it returns the value of $a rather than the value of "defined($a)") and
       is exactly equivalent to "defined($a) ? $a : $b".  This is very useful
       for providing default values for variables.  If you actually want to
       test if at least one of $a and $b is defined, use "defined($a // $b)".

       The "||", "//" and "&&" operators return the last value evaluated
       (unlike C's "||" and "&&", which return 0 or 1). Thus, a reasonably
       portable way to find out the home directory 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 the "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);

       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 a list
       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 list.  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
	   }

       The range operator also works on strings, using the magical auto-
       increment, see below.

       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
       ".." does.

       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 considered true if it is equal ("==") to the current input line
       number (the $. variable).

       To be pedantic, the comparison is actually "int(EXPR) == int(EXPR)",
       but that is only an issue if you use a floating point expression; when
       implicitly using $. as described in the previous paragraph, the
       comparison is "int(EXPR) == int($.)" which is only an issue when $.  is
       set to a floating point value and you are not reading from a file.
       Furthermore, "span" .. "spat" or "2.18 .. 3.14" will not do what you
       want in scalar context because each of the operands are evaluated using
       their integer representation.

       Examples:

       As a scalar operator:

	   if (101 .. 200) { print; } # print 2nd hundred lines, short for
				      #	  if ($. == 101 .. $. == 200) { print; }

	   next LINE if (1 .. /^$/);  # skip header lines, short for
				      #	  next LINE if ($. == 1 .. /^$/);
				      # (typically in a loop labeled LINE)

	   s/^/> / if (/^$/ .. eof());	# quote body

	   # parse mail messages
	   while (<>) {
	       $in_header =   1	 .. /^$/;
	       $in_body	  = /^$/ .. eof;
	       if ($in_header) {
		   # do something
	       } else { # in body
		   # do something else
	       }
	   } continue {
	       close ARGV if eof;	      # reset $. each file
	   }

       Here's a simple example to illustrate the difference between the two
       range operators:

	   @lines = ("	 - Foo",
		     "01 - Bar",
		     "1	 - Baz",
		     "	 - Quux");

	   foreach (@lines) {
	       if (/0/ .. /1/) {
		   print "$_\n";
	       }
	   }

       This program will print only the line containing "Bar". If the range
       operator is changed to "...", it will also print the "Baz" line.

       And now some examples 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 English 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.

       If the initial value specified isn't part of a magical increment
       sequence (that is, a non-empty string matching "/^[a-zA-Z]*[0-9]*\z/"),
       only the initial value will be returned.	 So the following will only
       return an alpha:

	   use charnames 'greek';
	   my @greek_small =  ("\N{alpha}" .. "\N{omega}");

       To get lower-case greek letters, use this instead:

	   my @greek_small =  map { chr } ( ord("\N{alpha}") .. ord("\N{omega}") );

       Because each operand is evaluated in integer form, "2.18 .. 3.14" will
       return two elements in list context.

	   @list = (2.18 .. 3.14); # same as @list = (2 .. 3);

   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 them):

	   ($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:

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

       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 this:

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

       Likewise,

	   ($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.  These arguments are also evaluated
       from left to right.

       The "=>" operator is a synonym for the comma except that it causes its
       left operand to be interpreted as a string if it begins with a letter
       or underscore and is composed only of letters, digits and underscores.
       This includes operands that might otherwise be interpreted as
       operators, constants, single number v-strings or function calls. If in
       doubt about this behaviour, the left operand can be quoted explicitly.

       Otherwise, the "=>" operator behaves exactly as the comma operator or
       list argument separator, according to context.

       For example:

	   use constant FOO => "something";

	   my %h = ( FOO => 23 );

       is equivalent to:

	   my %h = ("FOO", 23);

       It is NOT:

	   my %h = ("something", 23);

       The "=>" operator is helpful in documenting the correspondence between
       keys and values in hashes, and other paired elements in lists.

	       %hash = ( $key => $value );
	       login( $username => $password );

   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 "Terms and List Operators
       (Leftward)".

   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, Defined 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 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.

   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*
		       qw{}	    Word list		 no
	       //	m{}	  Pattern match		 yes*
		       qr{}	     Pattern		 yes*
			s{}{}	   Substitution		 yes*
		       tr{}{}	 Transliteration	 no (but see below)
	       <<EOF		     here-doc		 yes*

	       * unless the delimiter is ''.

       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

	       q{foo{bar}baz}

       is the same as

	       'foo{bar}baz'

       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 (from CPAN, and starting
       from Perl 5.8 part of the standard distribution) 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.

       The following escape sequences are available in constructs that
       interpolate and in transliterations.

	   \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      (example: ESC)
	   \x1b	       hex char	       (example: ESC)
	   \x{263a}    wide hex char   (example: SMILEY)
	   \c[	       control char    (example: ESC)
	   \N{name}    named Unicode character

       The character following "\c" is mapped to some other character by
       converting letters to upper case and then (on ASCII systems) by
       inverting the 7th bit (0x40). The most interesting range is from '@' to
       '_' (0x40 through 0x5F), resulting in a control character from 0x00
       through 0x1F. A '?' maps to the DEL character. On EBCDIC systems only
       '@', the letters, '[', '\', ']', '^', '_' and '?' will work, resulting
       in 0x00 through 0x1F and 0x7F.

       NOTE: Unlike C and other languages, Perl has no \v escape sequence for
       the vertical tab (VT - ASCII 11), but you may use "\ck" or "\x0b".

       The following escape sequences are available in constructs that
       interpolate but not in transliterations.

	   \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 perllocale.	If Unicode
       (for example, "\N{}" or wide hex characters of 0x100 or beyond) is
       being used, the case map used by "\l", "\L", "\u" and "\U" is as
       defined by Unicode.  For documentation of "\N{name}", see charnames.

       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 ("\015\012" or "\cM\cJ") 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.

       For constructs that do interpolate, variables beginning with ""$"" or
       ""@"" are interpolated.	Subscripted variables such as $a[3] or
       "$href->{key}[0]" are also interpolated, as are array and hash slices.
       But method calls such as "$obj->meth" are not.

       Interpolating an array or slice interpolates the elements in order,
       separated by the value of $", so is equivalent to interpolating "join
       $", @array".    "Punctuation" arrays such as "@*" are only interpolated
       if the name is enclosed in braces "@{*}", but special arrays @_, "@+",
       and "@-" are interpolated, even without braces.

       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.

       qr/STRING/msixpo
	       This operator quotes (and possibly 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/msixpo" expression. The
	       returned value is a normalized version of the original pattern.
	       It magically differs from a string containing the same
	       characters: "ref(qr/x/)" returns "Regexp", even though
	       dereferencing the result returns undef.

	       For example,

		   $rex = qr/my.STRING/is;
		   print $rex;		       # prints (?si-xm:my.STRING)
		   s/$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.  (Perl has many other
	       internal optimizations, but none would be triggered in the
	       above example if we did not use qr() operator.)

	       Options are:

		   m   Treat string as multiple lines.
		   s   Treat string as single line. (Make . match a newline)
		   i   Do case-insensitive pattern matching.
		   x   Use extended regular expressions.
		   p   When matching preserve a copy of the matched string so
		       that ${^PREMATCH}, ${^MATCH}, ${^POSTMATCH} will be defined.
		   o   Compile pattern only once.

	       If a precompiled pattern is embedded in a larger pattern then
	       the effect of 'msixp' will be propagated appropriately.	The
	       effect of the 'o' modifier has is not propagated, being
	       restricted to those patterns explicitly using it.

	       See perlre for additional information on valid syntax for
	       STRING, and for a detailed look at the semantics of regular
	       expressions.

       m/PATTERN/msixpogc
       /PATTERN/msixpogc
	       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 perlre.  See
	       perllocale for discussion of additional considerations that
	       apply when "use locale" is in effect.

	       Options are as described in "qr//"; in addition, the following
	       match process modifiers are available:

		   g   Match globally, i.e., find all occurrences.
		   c   Do not reset search position on a failed match when /g is in effect.

	       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 $| are not 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 "STRING/msixpo""
	       in "qr.

       The empty pattern //
	       If the PATTERN evaluates to the empty string, the last
	       successfully matched regular expression is used instead. In
	       this case, only the "g" and "c" flags on the empty pattern is
	       honoured - the other flags are taken from the original pattern.
	       If no match has previously succeeded, this will (silently) act
	       instead as a genuine empty pattern (which will always match).

	       Note that it's possible to confuse Perl into thinking "//" (the
	       empty regex) is really "//" (the defined-or operator).  Perl is
	       usually pretty good about this, but some pathological cases
	       might trigger this, such as "$a///" (is that "($a) / (//)" or
	       "$a // /"?) and "print $fh //" ("print $fh(//" or "print($fh
	       //"?).  In all of these examples, Perl will assume you meant
	       defined-or.  If you meant the empty regex, just use parentheses
	       or spaces to disambiguate, or even prefix the empty regex with
	       an "m" (so "//" becomes "m//").

       Matching in list context
	       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.

	       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 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 "pos" in perlfunc.	 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.

       \G assertion
	       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.  Without the "/g"
	       modifier, the "\G" assertion still anchors at pos(), but the
	       match is of course only attempted once.	Using "\G" without
	       "/g" on a target string that has not previously had a "/g"
	       match applied to it is the same as using the "\A" assertion to
	       match the beginning of the string.  Note also that, currently,
	       "\G" is only properly supported when anchored at the very
	       beginning of the pattern.

	       Examples:

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

		   # scalar context
		   $/ = "";
		   while (defined($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";
		   }
		   print "Final: '$1', pos=",pos,"\n" if /\G(.)/;

	       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
		   Final: 'q', pos=8

	       Notice that the final match matched "q" instead of "p", which a
	       match without the "\G" anchor would have done. Also note that
	       the final match did not update "pos" -- "pos" is only updated
	       on a "/g" match. If the final match did indeed match "p", it's
	       a good bet that you're running an older (pre-5.6.0) Perl.

	       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 = URI::URL->new( "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!

       ?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, which means it just might
	       possibly be removed in some distant future version of Perl,
	       perhaps somewhere around the year 2168.

       s/PATTERN/REPLACEMENT/msixpogce
	       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
	       perlre for further explanation on these.	 See perllocale for
	       discussion of additional considerations that apply when "use
	       locale" is in effect.

	       Options are as with m// with the addition of the following
	       replacement specific options:

		   e   Evaluate the right side as an expression.
		   ee  Evaluate the right side as a string then eval the result

	       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.

	       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;

		   # 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
		   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 whitespace in $_, expensively

		   for ($variable) {	       # trim whitespace 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
	       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;

   Quote-Like Operators
       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 /\b(tcl|java|python)\b/i;	     # :-)
	       $baz = "\n";		   # a one-character string

       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, or undef if the command failed.  In list context,
	   returns a list of lines (however you've defined lines with $/ or
	   $INPUT_RECORD_SEPARATOR), or an empty list if the command failed.

	   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 to redirect them separately to files, and then read from
	   those files when the program is done:

	       system("program args 1>program.stdout 2>program.stderr");

	   The STDIN filehandle used by the command is inherited from Perl's
	   STDIN.  For example:

	       open BLAM, "blam" || die "Can't open: $!";
	       open STDIN, "<&BLAM";
	       print `sort`;

	   will print the sorted contents of the file "blam".

	   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 perlsec 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 perlport).	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 "I/O Operators" for more discussion.

       qw/STRING/
	   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 differences being that it generates a real list at compile
	   time, and in scalar context it returns the last element in the
	   list.  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.

       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 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 that "tr" does not do regular expression character classes
	   such as "\d" or "[:lower:]".	 The "tr" operator is not equivalent
	   to the tr(1) utility.  If you want to map strings between
	   lower/upper cases, see "lc" in perlfunc and "uc" in perlfunc, and
	   in general consider using the "s" operator if you need regular
	   expressions.

	   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
	   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.

	   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.

	   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 $@;

       <<EOF
	   A line-oriented form of quoting is based on the shell "here-
	   document" syntax.  Following a "<<" you specify a string to
	   terminate the quoted material, and all lines following the current
	   line down to the terminating string are the value of the item.

	   The terminating string may be either an identifier (a word), or
	   some quoted text.  An unquoted identifier works like double quotes.
	   There may not be a space between the "<<" and the identifier,
	   unless the identifier is explicitly quoted.	(If you put a space it
	   will be treated as a null identifier, which is valid, and matches
	   the first empty line.)  The terminating string must appear by
	   itself (unquoted and with no surrounding whitespace) on the
	   terminating line.

	   If the terminating string is quoted, the type of quotes used
	   determine the treatment of the text.

	   Double Quotes
	       Double quotes indicate that the text will be interpolated using
	       exactly the same rules as normal double quoted strings.

		      print <<EOF;
		   The price is $Price.
		   EOF

		      print << "EOF"; # same as above
		   The price is $Price.
		   EOF

	   Single Quotes
	       Single quotes indicate the text is to be treated literally with
	       no interpolation of its content. This is similar to single
	       quoted strings except that backslashes have no special meaning,
	       with "\\" being treated as two backslashes and not one as they
	       would in every other quoting construct.

	       This is the only form of quoting in perl where there is no need
	       to worry about escaping content, something that code generators
	       can and do make good use of.

	   Backticks
	       The content of the here doc is treated just as it would be if
	       the string were embedded in backticks. Thus the content is
	       interpolated as though it were double quoted and then executed
	       via the shell, with the results of the execution returned.

		      print << `EOC`; # execute command and get results
		   echo hi there
		   EOC

	   It is possible to stack multiple here-docs in a row:

		  print <<"foo", <<"bar"; # you can stack them
	       I said foo.
	       foo
	       I said bar.
	       bar

		  myfunc(<< "THIS", 23, <<'THAT');
	       Here's a line
	       or two.
	       THIS
	       and here's another.
	       THAT

	   Just don't forget that you have to put a semicolon on the end to
	   finish the statement, as Perl doesn't know you're not going to try
	   to do this:

		  print <<ABC
	       179231
	       ABC
		  + 20;

	   If you want to remove the line terminator from your here-docs, use
	   "chomp()".

	       chomp($string = <<'END');
	       This is a string.
	       END

	   If you want your here-docs to be indented with the rest of the
	   code, you'll need to remove leading whitespace from each line
	   manually:

	       ($quote = <<'FINIS') =~ s/^\s+//gm;
		  The Road goes ever on and on,
		  down from the door where it began.
	       FINIS

	   If you use a here-doc within a delimited construct, such as in
	   "s///eg", the quoted material must come on the lines following the
	   final delimiter.  So instead of

	       s/this/<<E . 'that'
	       the other
	       E
		. 'more '/eg;

	   you have to write

	       s/this/<<E . 'that'
		. 'more '/eg;
	       the other
	       E

	   If the terminating identifier is on the last line of the program,
	   you must be sure there is a newline after it; otherwise, Perl will
	   give the warning Can't find string terminator "END" anywhere before
	   EOF....

	   Additionally, the quoting rules for the end of string identifier
	   are not related to Perl's quoting rules -- "q()", "qq()", and the
	   like are not supported in place of '' and "", and the only
	   interpolation is for backslashing the quoting character:

	       print << "abc\"def";
	       testing...
	       abc"def

	   Finally, quoted strings cannot span multiple lines.	The general
	   rule is that the identifier must be a string literal.  Stick with
	   that, and you should be safe.

   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 four, but these passes are always performed in the
       same order.

       Finding the end
	   The first pass is finding the end of the quoted construct, where
	   the information about the delimiters is used in parsing.  During
	   this search, text between the starting and ending delimiters is
	   copied to a safe location. The text copied gets delimiter-
	   independent.

	   If the construct is a here-doc, the ending delimiter is a line that
	   has a terminating string as the content. Therefore "<<EOF" is
	   terminated by "EOF" immediately followed by "\n" and starting from
	   the first column of the terminating line.  When searching for the
	   terminating line of a here-doc, nothing is skipped. In other words,
	   lines after the here-doc syntax are compared with the terminating
	   string line by line.

	   For the constructs except here-docs, single characters are used as
	   starting and ending delimiters. If the starting delimiter is an
	   opening punctuation (that is "(", "[", "{", or "<"), the ending
	   delimiter is the corresponding closing punctuation (that is ")",
	   "]", "}", or ">").  If the starting delimiter is an unpaired
	   character like "/" or a closing punctuation, the ending delimiter
	   is same as the starting delimiter.  Therefore a "/" terminates a
	   "qq//" construct, while a "]" terminates "qq[]" and "qq]]"
	   constructs.

	   When searching for single-character delimiters, escaped delimiters
	   and "\\" are skipped. For example, while searching for terminating
	   "/", combinations of "\\" and "\/" are skipped.  If the delimiters
	   are bracketing, nested pairs are also skipped.  For example, while
	   searching for closing "]" paired with the opening "[", combinations
	   of "\\", "\]", and "\[" are all skipped, and nested "[" and "]" are
	   skipped as well.  However, when backslashes are used as the
	   delimiters (like "qq\\" and "tr\\\"), nothing is skipped.  During
	   the search for the end, backslashes that escape delimiters are
	   removed (exactly speaking, they are not copied to the safe
	   location).

	   For constructs with three-part delimiters ("s///", "y///", and
	   "tr///"), the search is repeated once more.	If the first delimiter
	   is not an opening punctuation, three delimiters must be same such
	   as "s!!!" and "tr)))", in which case the second delimiter
	   terminates the left part and starts the right part at once.	If the
	   left part is delimited by bracketing punctuations (that is "()",
	   "[]", "{}", or "<>"), the right part needs another pair of
	   delimiters such as "s(){}" and "tr[]//".  In these cases,
	   whitespaces and comments are allowed between both parts, though the
	   comment must follow at least one whitespace; otherwise a character
	   expected as the start of the comment may be regarded as the
	   starting delimiter of the right part.

	   During this search no attention is paid to the semantics 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.
	   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 "#".

	   Also no attention is paid to "\c\" (multichar control char syntax)
	   during this search. Thus the second "\" in "qq/\c\/" is interpreted
	   as a part of "\/", and the following "/" is not recognized as a
	   delimiter.  Instead, use "\034" or "\x1c" at the end of quoted
	   constructs.

       Interpolation
	   The next step is interpolation in the text obtained, which is now
	   delimiter-independent.  There are multiple cases.

	   "<<'EOF'"
	       No interpolation is performed.  Note that the combination "\\"
	       is left intact, since escaped delimiters are not available for
	       here-docs.

	   "m''", the pattern of "s'''"
	       No interpolation is performed at this stage.  Any backslashed
	       sequences including "\\" are treated at the stage to "parsing
	       regular expressions".

	   '', "q//", "tr'''", "y'''", the replacement of "s'''"
	       The only interpolation is removal of "\" from pairs of "\\".
	       Therefore "-" in "tr'''" and "y'''" is treated literally as a
	       hyphen and no character range is available.  "\1" in the
	       replacement of "s'''" does not work as $1.

	   "tr///", "y///"
	       No variable interpolation occurs.  String modifying
	       combinations for case and quoting such as "\Q", "\U", and "\E"
	       are not recognized.  The other escape sequences such as "\200"
	       and "\t" and backslashed characters such as "\\" and "\-" are
	       converted to appropriate literals.  The character "-" is
	       treated specially and therefore "\-" is treated as a literal
	       "-".

	   "", "``", "qq//", "qx//", "<file*glob>", "<<"EOF""
	       "\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 escape sequences such as "\200"
	       and "\t" and backslashed characters such as "\\" and "\-" are
	       replaced with appropriate expansions.

	       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 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 converted internally to the
	       "join" and "." catenation 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}";

	       or:

		 "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.

	   the replacement of "s///"
	       Processing of "\Q", "\U", "\u", "\L", "\l", and interpolation
	       happens as with "qq//" constructs.

	       It is at this step that "\1" is begrudgingly converted to $1 in
	       the replacement text of "s///", in order 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.

	   "RE" in "?RE?", "/RE/", "m/RE/", "s/RE/foo/",
	       Processing of "\Q", "\U", "\u", "\L", "\l", "\E", and
	       interpolation happens (almost) as with "qq//" constructs.

	       However any other combinations of "\" followed by a character
	       are not substituted but only skipped, in order to parse them as
	       regular expressions at the following step.  As "\c" is skipped
	       at this step, "@" of "\c@" in RE is possibly treated as an
	       array symbol (for example @foo), even though the same text in
	       "qq//" gives interpolation of "\c@".

	       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 in patterns 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.

	       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 delimiter-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
	       choices.

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

       parsing 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 concatenation,
	   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
	   perlre, 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 automaton.

	   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 construct.

	   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 re" pragma, as well as Perl's -Dr
	   command-line switch documented in "Command Switches" in perlrun.

       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 backtick string,
       like in a shell.	 In scalar context, a single 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
       perlvar 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 perlsec 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
       $_ variable 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 perlopentut and "open" in perlfunc 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
       "readline" in perlfunc.

       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.)

       Since the null filehandle uses the two argument form of "open" in
       perlfunc it interprets special characters, so if you have a script like
       this:

	   while (<>) {
	       print;
	   }

       and call it with "perl dangerous.pl 'rm -rfv *|'", it actually opens a
       pipe, executes the "rm" command and reads "rm"'s output from that pipe.
       If you want all items in @ARGV to be interpreted as file names, you can
       use the module "ARGV::readonly" from CPAN.

       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 "eof" in perlfunc 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 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 read input from STDIN.

       If what the 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 $hash{key} is not--it's a
       hash element.  Even "<$x >" (note the extra space) is treated as
       "glob("$x ")", not "readline($x)".

       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>) {
	       chomp;
	       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 "undef" when the list has 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*>;

       than

	   $file = <blurch*>;

       because the latter will alternate between returning a filename and
       returning false.

       If 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.

   No-ops
       Perl doesn't officially have a no-op operator, but the bare constants 0
       and 1 are special-cased to not produce a warning in a void context, so
       you can for example safely do

	   1 while foo();

   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 "vec" in perlfunc 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 saying

	   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 "Bitwise String
       Operators".)  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 two's-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
       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 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 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
       yourself.

   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

       There are several modules that let you calculate with (bound only by
       memory and cpu-time) unlimited or fixed precision. There are also some
       non-standard modules that provide faster implementations via external C
       libraries.

       Here is a short, but incomplete summary:

	       Math::Fraction	       big, unlimited fractions like 9973 / 12967
	       Math::String	       treat string sequences like numbers
	       Math::FixedPrecision    calculate with a fixed precision
	       Math::Currency	       for currency calculations
	       Bit::Vector	       manipulate bit vectors fast (uses C)
	       Math::BigIntFast	       Bit::Vector wrapper for big numbers
	       Math::Pari	       provides access to the Pari C library
	       Math::BigInteger	       uses an external C library
	       Math::Cephes	       uses external Cephes C library (no big numbers)
	       Math::Cephes::Fraction  fractions via the Cephes library
	       Math::GMP	       another one using an external C library

       Choose wisely.

perl v5.10.1			  2009-08-11			     PERLOP(1)
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