Category : perl

Perl Intro

Introduction to Perl

Perl is an acronym, short for Practical Extraction and Report Language. It was designed by Larry Wall as a tool for writing programs in the UNIX environment (Perl is a stable, cross platform programming language). Perl has the power and flexibility of a high-level programming language such as C. In fact many of the features of the language are borrowed from C. Like shell script languages, Perl does not require a compiler – the Perl interpreter runs your programs. This means that Perl is ideal for producing quick solutions to small programming problems and creating prototypes to test potential solutions to larger problems.

  • Perl is a stable, cross platform programming language.
  • It is used for mission critical projects in the public and private sectors.
  • Perl is Open Source software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
  • Perl was created by Larry Wall.
  • Perl is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary

mod_perl allows the Apache web server to embed a Perl interpreter.

Perl’s DBI package makes web-database integration easy.

@INC is also printed as part of the output of
% perl -V

Example on how to read a url/web page in perl

use LWP::Simple;
my $url="";
my $webdata=get $url;
print $webdata;

Perl Signals

Perl Signals

Perl allows you to trap signals using the %SIG associative array. Using the signals you want to trap as the key, you can assign a subroutine to that signal. The %SIG array will only contain those values which the programmer defines. Therefore, you do not have to assign all signals. For example, to exit cleanly from a ^C:


    print "Caught Interrupt (^C), Aborting\n";

There are two special “routines” for signals called DEFAULT and IGNORE. DEFAULT erases the current assignment, restoring the default value of the signal. IGNORE causes the signal to be ignored. In general, you don’t need to remember these as you can emulate their functionality with standard programming features. DEFAULT can be emulated by deleting the signal from the array and IGNORE can be emulated by any undeclared subroutine.

In 5.001, the $SIG{__WARN__} and $SIG{__DIE__} handlers may be used to intercept die() and warn(). For example, here’s how you could promote unitialized variables to trigger a fatal rather merely complaining:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w 

require 5.001;

$SIG{__WARN__} = sub {
    if ($_[0] =~ /uninit/) {
        die [email protected];
    } else {
        warn [email protected];

Perl DBI

Perl DBI Example

The DBI module enables your Perl applications to access

multiple database types transparently. You can connect to

MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, Informix, Sybase, ODBC etc. without

having to know the different underlying interfaces of each.

The API defined by DBI will work on all these database types

and many more.

What is DBI and DBD::Oracle and where can one get it from?

DBI (previously called DBperl) is a database independent interface module for Perl. It defines a set of methods, variables and conventions that provide a consistent database interface independent of the actual database being used.

DBD::Oracle is the Oracle specific module for DBI. It can be downloaded from CPAN.

What DBI drivers have I got?

In DBI you can programmatically discover what DBI drivers are installed.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

require DBI;

my @drivers = DBI->available_drivers;

print join(", ", @drivers), "n";


use strict;

use DBI;

my $dbh = DBI->connect( 'dbi:Oracle:orcl',




                          RaiseError => 1,

                          AutoCommit => 0


                      ) || die "Database connection not made: $DBI::errstr";

my $sql = qq{ CREATE TABLE employees ( id INTEGER NOT NULL,

                                       name VARCHAR2(128),

                                       position VARCHAR2(128),

                                     ) };

$dbh->do( $sql );



Sybperl implements three Sybase extension modules to perl (version 5.002 or higher). Sybase::DBlib adds a subset of the Sybase DB-Library API. Sybase::CTlib adds a subset of the Sybase CT-Library (aka the Client Library) API. Sybase::Sybperl is a backwards compatibility module (implemented on top of Sybase::DBlib) to enable scripts written for sybperl 1.0xx to run with Perl 5. Using both the Sybase::Sybperl and Sybase::DBlib modules explicitly in a single script is not garanteed to work correctly.

The general usage format for both Sybase::DBlib and Sybase::CTlib is this:

use Sybase::DBlib;

# Allocate a new connection, usually refered to as a database handle

$dbh = new Sybase::DBlib username, password;

# Set an attribute for this dbh:

$dbh->{UseDateTime} = TRUE;

# Call a method with this dbh:

$dbh->dbcmd(sql code);

The DBPROCESS or CS_CONNECTION that is opened with the call to new() is automatically closed when the $dbh goes out of scope:

sub run_a_query {

my $dbh = new Sybase::CTlib $user, $passwd;

my @dat = $dbh->ct_sql("select * from sysusers");

return @dat;


# The $dbh is automatically closed when we exit the subroutine.


A generic perl script using Sybase::DBlib would look like this:

use Sybase::DBlib;

$dbh = new Sybase::DBlib 'sa', $pwd, $server, 'test_app';

$dbh->dbcmd("select * from sysprocessesn");



while(@data = $dbh->dbnextrow)


 .... do something with @data ....


$dbh = Sybase::DBlib->dbopen([$server [, $appname, [{attributes}] ]])

Open an additional connection, using the current LOGINREC information.

$status = $dbh->dbuse($database)

Executes “use database $database” for the connection $dbh.

$status = $dbh->dbcmd($sql_cmd)

Appends the string $sql_cmd to the current command buffer of this connection.

$status = $dbh->dbsqlexec

Sends the content of the current command buffer to the dataserver for execution. See the DB-library documentation for a discussion of return values.

$status = $dbh->dbresults

Retrieves result information from the dataserver after having executed dbsqlexec().

$status = $dbh->dbcancel

Cancels the current command batch.

$status = $dbh->dbcanquery

Cancels the current query within the currently executing command batch.


Free the command buffer (required only in special cases – if you don’t know what this is you probably don’t need it 🙂


Force the closing of a connection. Note that connections are automatically closed when the $dbh goes out of scope.


Returns TRUE if the DBPROCESS has been marked DEAD by DBlibrary.

$status = $dbh->DBCURCMD

Returns the number of the currently executing command in the command batch. The first command is number 1.

$status = $dbh->DBMORECMDS

Returns TRUE if there are additional commands to be executed in the current command batch.

$status = $dbh->DBCMDROW

Returns SUCCEED if the current command can return rows.

$status = $dbh->DBROWS

Returns SUCCEED if the current command did return rows

$status = $dbh->DBCOUNT

Returns the number of rows that the current command affected.

$row_num = $dbh->DBCURROW

Returns the number (counting from 1) of the currently retrieved row in the current result set.

$status = $dbh->dbhasretstat

Did the last executed stored procedure return a status value? dbhasretstats must only be called after dbresults returns NO_MORE_RESULTS, ie after all the selet, insert, update operations of he sored procedure have been processed.

$status = $dbh->dbretstatus

Retrieve the return status of a stored procedure. As with dbhasretstat, call this function after all the result sets of the stored procedure have been processed.

$status = $dbh->dbnumcols

How many columns are in the current result set.

$status = $dbh->dbcoltype($colid)

What is the column type of column $colid in the current result set.

$status = $dbh->dbcollen($colid)

What is the length (in bytes) of column $colid in the current result set.

$string = $dbh->dbcolname($colid)

What is the name of column $colid in the current result set.

@dat = $dbh->dbretdata[$doAssoc])

Retrieve the value of the parameters marked as ‘OUTPUT’ in a stored procedure. If $doAssoc is non-0, then retrieve the data as an associative array with parameter name/value pairs.

Perl OOP

Perl OOP

Why Object Oriented approach?

A major factor in the invention of Object-Oriented approach is to remove some of the flaws encountered with the procedural approach. In OOP, data is treated as a critical element and does not allow it to flow freely. It bounds data closely to the functions that operate on it and protects it from accidental modification from outside functions. OOP allows decomposition of a problem into a number of entities called objects and then builds data and functions around these objects. A major advantage of OOP is code re-usability.

Some important features of Object Oriented programming are as follows:

  • Emphasis on data rather than procedure
  • Programs are divided into Objects
  • Data is hidden and cannot be accessed by external functions
  • Objects can communicate with each other through functions
  • New data and functions can be easily added whenever necessary
  • Follows bottom-up approach

Concepts of OOP:

  • Objects
  • Classes
  • Data Abstraction and Encapsulation
  • Inheritance
  • Polymorphism

    Briefly on Concepts:


    Objects are the basic run-time entities in an object-oriented system. Programming problem is analyzed in terms of objects and nature of communication between them. When a program is executed, objects interact with each other by sending messages. Different objects can also interact with each other without knowing the details of their data or code.


    A class is a collection of objects of similar type. Once a class is defined, any number of objects can be created which belong to that class.

    Data Abstraction and Encapsulation

    Abstraction refers to the act of representing essential features without including the background details or explanations. Classes use the concept of abstraction and are defined as a list of abstract attributes.

    Storing data and functions in a single unit (class) is encapsulation. Data cannot be accessible to the outside world and only those functions which are stored in the class can access it.


    Inheritance is the process by which objects can acquire the properties of objects of other class. In OOP, inheritance provides reusability, like, adding additional features to an existing class without modifying it. This is achieved by deriving a new class from the existing one. The new class will have combined features of both the classes.


    Polymorphism means the ability to take more than one form. An operation may exhibit different behaviors in different instances. The behavior depends on the data types used in the operation. Polymorphism is extensively used in implementing Inheritance.

    Advantages of OOP

    Object-Oriented Programming has the following advantages over conventional approaches:

    • OOP provides a clear modular structure for programs which makes it good for defining abstract datatypes where implementation details are hidden and the unit has a clearly defined interface.
    • OOP makes it easy to maintain and modify existing code as new objects can be created with small differences to existing ones.
    • OOP provides a good framework for code libraries where supplied software components can be easily adapted and modified by the programmer. This is particularly useful for developing graphical user interfaces.

    Perl Package

  • To create a class in Perl, we first create a


  • A package (module) is a module of variables and

    subroutines, which can be re-used over and over again.

  • They provide a separate namespace within a Perl

    program that keeps subroutines and variables from

    conflicting with those in other packages.

    To declare a class named Person in Perl we do:

    package Person;

  • The scope of the package definition extends to the

    end of the file

  • or until another package keyword is encountered.
    Perl Methods

    A method (subroutine) is a way of accessing objects. In

    Perl, a method is just a subroutine defined within a

    particular package. So to define a method to print our

    Person object, we do:

    sub print {
        my ($self) = @_; ## creating reference
        #print Person info
        printf( "Name:%s %snn", $self->firstName, $self->lastName );

    The subroutine print is now associated with the package

    Person. To call the method print on a Person object, we

    use the Perl “arrow” notation. If the variable $mike

    contains a Person object, we would call print on that

    object by writing:


    When the object method is invoked, a reference to the

    object is passed in along with any other arguments

    (including class name). This is important since the

    method now has access to the object on which it is to


    How do we create object?
  • To create an instance of a class (an object) we need

    an object constructor.

  • This constructor is a method defined within the


  • Most programmers choose to name this object

    constructor method new, but in Perl one can use any


  • One can use any kind of Perl variable as an object

    in Perl.

  • Most Perl programmers choose either

    references to arrays or hashes.

    Let’s create our constructor for our Person class using

    a Perl hash reference;

    package Person;
    sub new {
        my $self = {
            _firstName => undef,
            _lastName  => undef,
            _ssn       => undef,
            _address   => undef,
            _salary    => undef,
            _dept      => undef
        bless $self, 'Person';
        return $self;
    sub print {
        my ($self) = @_; ## creating reference
        #print Person info
        printf( "Name:%s %snn", $self->firstName, $self->lastName );
  • We created a subroutine (method) called new

    associatedwith the package Person.

  • Other method is print (as discussed earlier).
  • The entries of the hash reference $self become the

    attributes of our object. We then use the bless function

    on the hash reference.

  • The bless function takes two arguments: a reference

    to the variable to be marked and a string containing the

    name of the class. This indicates that the variable now

    belongs to the class Person.

    To create an instance of our Person object:

    my $mike = new Person();

    We have not defined accessor methods or done any error

    checking on the input values or keys or the anonymous

    hash reference, but we have the start of a Perl Person

    OO framework. To make our constructor more flexible and

    to make our class inheritable (more on that later), we

    can define it to use the $class variable to bless the

    hash reference.

    sub new {
        my ($class) = @_;
        my $self = {
            _firstName => undef,
            _lastName  => undef,
            _ssn       => undef,
            _address   => undef,
            _salary    => undef,
            _dept      => undef
        bless $self, $class;
        return $self;

    Other object-oriented languages have the concept of

    security of data to prevent a programmer from changing

    an object data directly and so provide accessor methods

    to modify object data. Perl does not have private

    variables but we can still use the concept of accessor

    methods and ask programmers to not mess with our object


    For our Person class, we should provides accessor

    methods for our object attributes; name, address, title,


    package Person;
    use strict;
    use Address;  #Person class will contain an Address
    sub new {
        my ($class) = @_;
        my $self = {
            _firstName => undef,
            _lastName  => undef,
            _ssn       => undef,
            _address   => undef
            _salary    => undef,
            _dept      => undef
        bless $self, $class;
        return $self;
    #accessor method for Person first name
    sub firstName {
        my ( $self, $firstName ) = @_;
        $self->{_firstName} = $firstName if defined ($firstName);
        return $self->{_firstName};
    #accessor method for Person last name
    sub lastName {
        my ( $self, $lastName ) = @_;
        $self->{_lastName} = $lastName if defined($lastName);
        return $self->{_lastName};
    #accessor method for Person address
    sub address {
        my ( $self, $address ) = @_;
        $self->{_address} = $address if defined($address);
        return $self->{_address};
    #accessor method for Person social security number
    sub ssn {
        my ( $self, $ssn ) = @_;
        $self->{_ssn} = $ssn if defined($ssn);
        return $self->{_ssn};
    sub salary {
        my ( $self, $salary ) = @_;
        $self->{_salary} = $salary if defined($salary);
        return $self->{_salary};
    sub dept {
        my ( $self, $dept ) = @_;
        $self->{_dept} = $dept if defined($dept);
        return $self->{_dept};
    sub print {
        my ($self) = @_;
        #print Person info
        printf( "Name:%s %snn", $self->firstName, $self->lastName );
    Making Objects

    Object-oriented programming sometimes involves

    inheritance. Inheritance simply means allowing one class

    called the Child to inherit methods and attributes from

    another, called the Parent, so you don’t have to write

    the same code again and again. For example, we can have

    a class Employee which inherits from Person. This is

    referred to as an “isa” relationship because an employee

    is a person. Perl has a special variable, @ISA, to help

    with this.

    @ISA governs (method) inheritance. So to create a new

    Employee class that will inherit methods and attributes

    from our Person class, we simply code:

    # class Employee
    package Employee;
    use Person;
    use strict;
    our @ISA = qw(Person);    # inherits from Person

    What we have done is load the Person class and declare

    that Employee class inherits methods from it. We have

    declared no methods for Employee but an Employee object

    will behave just like a Person object. We should be able

    to write code:

    #create Employee class instance
    my $mike =  new Employee();
    #set object attributes

    without any other changes.

    Now let’s add some methods.

    # class Employee
    package Employee;
    use Person;
    use strict;
    our @ISA = qw(Person);    # inherits from Person
    sub new {
        my ($class) = @_;
        #call the constructor of the parent class, Person.
        my $self = $class->SUPER::new();
        $self->{_id}   = undef;
        $self->{_title} = undef;
        bless $self, $class;
        return $self;
    #accessor method for  id
    sub id {
        my ( $self, $id ) = @_;
        $self->{_id} = $id if defined($id);
        return ( $self->{_id} );
    #accessor method for  title
    sub title {
        my ( $self, $title ) = @_;
        $self->{_title} = $title if defined($title);
        return ( $self->{_title} );
    sub print {
        my ($self) = @_;
        # we will call the print method of the parent class

    Looking at the code, you will notice that we have a new

    method and a print method. Both the child class and its

    parent class have the same method defined. We have

    overridden the parent class’ methods with the ones from

    the child. When those methods are called on an Employee

    object, we will get the Employee class’ version of the

    method. This concept of using the methods of an existing

    object and modifying them is known as polymorphism.

    Putting it together

    So now that we have a complete set of classes, we can

    write a small program to test them.

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use diagnostics;
    use Employee;
    #create Employee class instance
    my $mike =  eval { new Employee(); }  or die ([email protected]);
    #set object attributes
    $mike->title('Perl Programmer');
    $mike->address( new Address() );
    $mike->address->street('30 Hudson court');
    $mike->address->city('Jersey City');
    #diplay Employee info

    Let’s execute our code and see the output:

    $ ./

    Name:mike Weis

    Address:30 Hudson court

    Jersey City, NJ 665030

  • Perl File Operations

    Perl File operations

    Variables which represent files are called “file handles”, and they are handled differently from other variables. They do not begin with any special character — they are just plain words. By convention, file handle variables are written in all upper case, like FILE_OUT or SOCK. The file handles are all in a global namespace, so you cannot allocate them locally like other variables. File handles can be passed from one routine to another like strings (detailed below).

    The standard file handles STDIN, STDOUT, and STDERR are automatically opened before the program runs. Surrounding a file handle with <> is an expression that returns one line from the file including the “n” character, so returns one line from standard input. The <> operator returns undef when there is no more input. The “chop” operator removes the last character from a string, so it can be used just after an input operation to remove the trailing “n”. The “chomp” operator is similar, but only removes the character if it is the end-of-line character.

    $line = ; ## read one line from the STDIN file handle 
    chomp($line); ## remove the trailing "n" if present 

    File Open and Close

    The “open” and “close” operators operate as in C to connect a file handle to a filename in the file system.

    open(F1, "filename"); ## open "filename" for reading as file handle F1 
    open(F2, ">filename"); ## open "filename" for writing as file handle F2 
    open(F3, ">>appendtome") ## open "appendtome" for appending 
    close(F1); ## close a file handle 

    Open can also be used to establish a reading or writing connection to a separate process launched by the OS. This works best on Unix.

    open(F4, "ls -l |"); ## open a pipe to read from an ls process 
    open(F5, "| mail $addr"); ## open a pipe to write to a mail process 

    Passing commands to the shell to launch an OS process in this way can be very convenient, but it’s also a famous source of security problems in CGI programs. When writing a CGI, do not pass a string from the client side as a filename in a call to open().

    Open returns undef on failure, so the following phrase is often to exit if a file can’t be opened. The die operator prints an error message and terminates the program.

    open(FILE, $fname) || die "Could not open $fnamen"; 

    In this example, the logical-or operator || essentially builds an if statement, since it only evaluates the second expression if the first if false. This construct is a little strange, but it is a common code pattern for Perl error handling.

    Input Variants

    In a scalar context the input operator reads one line at a time. In an array context, the input operator reads the entire file into memory as an array of its lines… @a = ; ## read the whole file in as an array of lines

    This syntax can be dangerous. The following statement looks like it reads just a single line, but actually the left hand side is an array context, so it reads the whole file and then discards all but the first line….

    my($line) = ;

    The behavior of also depends on the special global variable $/ which is the current the end-of-line marker (usually “n”). Setting $/ to undef causes to read the whole file into a single string.

    $/ = undef; 
    $all = ; ## read the whole file into one string 

    You can remember that $/ is the end-of-line marker because “/” is used to designate separate lines of poetry. I thought this mnemonic was silly when I first saw it, but sure enough, I now remember that $/ is the end-of-line marker.

    Print Output

    Print takes a series of things to print separated by commas. By default, print writes to the STDOUT file handle.

    print "Woo Hoon"; ## print a string to STDOUT 
    $num = 42; 
    $str = " Hoo"; 
    print "Woo", $a, " bbb $num", "n"; ## print several things 

    An optional first argument to print can specify the destination file handle. There is no comma after the file handle, but I always forget to omit it.

    print FILE "Here", " there", " everywhere!", "n";  

    File Processing Example

    As an example, here’s some code that opens each of the files listed in the @ARGV array, and reads in and prints out their contents to standard output…

    #!/usr/bin/perl -w 
    require 5.004; 
    ## Open each command line file and print its contents to standard out 
    foreach $fname (@ARGV) { 
    open(FILE, $fname) || die("Could not open $fnamen"); 
    while($line = ) { 
    print $line; 

    The above uses “die” to abort the program if one of the files cannot be opened. We could use a more flexible strategy where we print an error message for that file but continue to try to process the other files. Alternately we could use the function call exit(-1) to exit the program with an error code. Also, the following shift pattern is a common alternative way to iterate through an array…

    while($fname = shift(@ARGV)) {...


    Perl Regular Expressions

    Perl Regular Expressions

    char meaning
    ^ beginning of string $ end of string . any character except newline * match 0 or more times + match 1 or more times ? match 0 or 1 times; or: shortest match | alternative ( ) grouping; "storing" [ ] set of characters { } repetition modifier quote or special
    a*     zero or more a's 
    a+     one or more a's 
    a?     zero or one a's (i.e., optional a) 
    a{m}   exactly m a's 
    a{m,}  at least m a's 
    a{m,n} at least m but at most n a's repetition?
    t     tab 
    n     newline 
    r     return (CR) 
    xhh   character with hex. code hh 
    b     "word" boundary 
    B     not a "word" boundary 
    w     matches any single character classified as a 
           "word" character (alphanumeric or _) 
    W     matches any non-"word" character 
    s     matches any whitespace character (space, tab, newline) 
    S     matches any non-whitespace character  
    d     matches any digit character, equiv. to [0-9] 
    D     matches any non-digit character 
    [characters] matches any of the characters in the sequence  
    [x-y]        matches any of the characters from x to y 
                 (inclusively) in the ASCII code  
    [-]         matches the hyphen character - 
    [n]         matches the newline; other single character 
                 denotations with  apply normally, too  


    How do I extract everything between a the words “start” and “end”?

    $mystring = “The start text always precedes the end of the end text.”;

    if($mystring =~ m/start(.*)end/) {

    print $1;


    How do I extract a complete number, like the year?

    $mystring = “[2004/04/13] The date of this article.”;

    if($mystring =~ m/(d+)/) {

    print “The first number is $1.”;


    # find word that is bolded

    # returns: $1 = ‘text’

    $line = “This is some text with HTML and “;

    $line =~ m/(.*)/i;

    Perl Subroutine

    Perl Subroutine

    sub mysubroutine
    	print "Not a very interesting routinen";
    	print "This does the same thing every timen";

    regardless of any parameters that we may want to pass to it. All of the following will work to call this subroutine. Notice that a subroutine is called with an & character in front of the name:

    &mysubroutine;		# Call the subroutine
    &mysubroutine($_);	# Call it with a parameter
    &mysubroutine(1+2, $_);	# Call it with two parameters


    In the above case the parameters are acceptable but ignored. When the subroutine is called any parameters are passed as a list in the special @_ list array variable. This variable has absolutely nothing to do with the $_ scalar variable. The following subroutine merely prints out the list that it was called with. It is followed by a couple of examples of its use.

    sub printargs
    	print "@_n";
    &printargs("perly", "king");	# Example prints "perly king"
    &printargs("frog", "and", "toad"); # Prints "frog and toad"

    Just like any other list array the individual elements of @_ can be accessed with the square bracket notation:

    sub printfirsttwo
    	print "Your first argument was $_[0]n";
    	print "and $_[1] was your secondn";

    Again it should be stressed that the indexed scalars $_[0] and $_[1] and so on have nothing to with the scalar $_ which can also be used without fear of a clash.

    Returning values

    Result of a subroutine is always the last thing evaluated. This subroutine returns the maximum of two input parameters. An example of its use follows.

    sub maximum
    	if ($_[0] > $_[1])
    $biggest = &maximum(37, 24);	# Now $biggest is 37

    The &printfirsttwo subroutine above also returns a value, in this case 1. This is because the last thing that subroutine did was a print statement and the result of a successful print statement is always 1.

    Local variables

    The @_ variable is local to the current subroutine, and so of course are $_[0], $_[1], $_[2], and so on. Other variables can be made local too, and this is useful if we want to start altering the input parameters. The following subroutine tests to see if one string is inside another, spaces not withstanding. An example follows.

    sub inside
    	local($a, $b);                  # Make local variables
    	($a, $b) = ($_[0], $_[1]);      # Assign values
    	$a =~ s/ //g;                   # Strip spaces from
    	$b =~ s/ //g;                   # local variables
    	($a =~ /$b/ || $b =~ /$a/);     # Is $b inside $a
    					# or $a inside $b?
    &inside("lemon", "dole money");		# true

    In fact, it can even be tidied up by replacing the first two lines with

    local($a, $b) = ($_[0], $_[1]);

    Perl References

    Perl References

    I’m happiest writing Perl code that does not use references because they always give me a mild headache. Here’s the short version of how they work. The backslash operator () computes a reference to something. The reference is a scalar that points to the original thing. The ‘$’ dereferences to access the original thing. Suppose there is a string…

    $str = “hello”; ## original string

    And there is a reference that points to that string…

    $ref = $str; ## compute $ref that points to $str

    The expression to access $str is $$ref. Essentially, the alphabetic part of the variable, ‘str’, is replaced with the dereference expression ‘$ref’…

    print “$$refn”; ## prints “hello” — identical to “$strn”;

    Here’s an example of the same principle with a reference to an array…

    @a = (1, 2, 3); ## original array

    $aRef = @a; ## reference to the array

    print “a: @an”; ## prints “a: 1 2 3”

    print “a: @$aRefn”; ## exactly the same

    Curly braces { } can be added in code and in strings to help clarify the stack of @, $, …

    print “a: @{$aRef}n”; ## use { } for clarity

    Here’s how you put references to arrays in another array to make it look two dimensional…

    @a = (1, 2, 3); @b = (4, 5, 6);

    @root = (@a, @b);

    print “a: @an”; ## a: (1 2 3)

    print “a: @{$root[0]}n”; ## a: (1 2 3)

    print “b: @{$root[1]}n”; ## b: (4 5 6)

    scalar(@root) ## root len == 2

    scalar(@{$root[0]}) ## a len: == 3

    For arrays of arrays, the [ ] operations can stack together so the syntax is more C like…

    $root[1][0] ## this is 4

    Perl if else

    The if…else Statement

    This statement uses a relational expression to check the validity of a condition and execute a set of statements enclosed in braces. It returns a Boolean value, true or false, according to the validity of the condition. The syntax of the if…else statement is:

    	block of statement(s);
    	block of statement(s);

    In this syntax, condition is a relational expression. If the result of this expression is true, then the block of statements following the if statement is executed. Otherwise, the block of statements following the else statement is executed.

    In Perl, unlike other languages, all loops and conditional constructs require statements to be enclosed in braces, even for single statements.

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    print "Enter a value for a: ";
    $a = <>;
    print "Enter a value for b: ";
    $b  = <>;
    if ($a>$b)
       print "a is greater than bn";
       print "b is greater than an";

    In this example, the if clause checks whether $a is greater than $b. If the value of $a is greater than $b, then the result is: a is greater than b. Otherwise, the control transfers to the code following the else clause and the statement associated with the else clause is printed as a result.

    The if…elsif…else Statement

    This statement is used when there is more than one condition to be checked. The syntax of the if…elsif…else statement is:

    if (condition)
    	block of statement(s);
    elsif (condition)
    	block of statement(s);
    	block of statement(s);

    In this syntax, if the condition associated with the if clause is false, the control transfers to elsif clause that checks for the next condition. The code associated with elsif clause is executed only if the condition is true or the code associated with the else clause is executed.

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    print "Enter the score of a student: ";
    $score = <>;
      print "Excellent Performancen";
    elsif($score>=70 && $score<90)
      print "Good Performancen";
      print "Try hardn";

    Perl Loop

    The Loop Statements

    Different loop statements in perl…

    • The for Loop
    • The foreach Loop
    • The while Loop
    • The do-while Loop
    • The until Loop

    The process of executing a code block repetitively is known as

    iteration. To perform iteration in applications, use the loop

    statements, such as for and while.

    The loop statements check a condition and repetitively execute the

    enclosed statements until the condition is true. The loop

    terminates only when the condition becomes invalid.

    The for Loop

    This loop is used to execute a given set of statements for a fixed

    number of times. The syntax of the for loop is:

    	block of statement(s);

    In these statements:

    initialization: Is the code to declare and initialize the

    loop counter. Loop counter is a variable to keep a check on the

    number of iterations. Initialization happens only once before the

    beginning of the loop.

    testing: Is the code, which specifies the condition to

    control the number of iterations. The loop executes until the

    result of testing is true. When the condition becomes false, the

    control passes to the statement following the loop.

    updation: Is the code to modify the loop counter after each

    iteration. It can increment or decrement the loop counter,

    according to the program requirements. Updation occurs at the end

    of the loop.

    block of statement(s): Is the code to be executed

    iteratively. This code must be enclosed within the curly braces.

    Note The three expressions for initialization, condition, and

    updation are optional. If you leave the condition expression empty,

    the for loop will be an infinite loop.

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    print "Enter a digit to create its table: ";
    $a = <>;
    	print $a.' x '.$b.' = '. $a*$b."n";
  • $b=1 is the initialization statement, which initializes the

    loop counter $b to 1.

  • $b<=10 is the testing statement, which checks whether the value stored in $b is less than or equal to 10.
  • $b++ is the updation statement, which increments the value of

    $b by 1.

    The Nested for Loop

    A for loop contained inside another for loop is called a nested for

    loop. This is used when the data is to be stored and printed in a

    tabular format having multiple rows and columns.

    #! /usr/bin/perl
                    print "*";
            print "n";

    In this program:

    • The outer loop works until the value of $a is less than or

      equal to 9.

    • The inner loop works until the value of $b is less than or

      equal to the value of $a.

    • The newline character n is used to enter a newline after every


    Note The nested for loops are used with multidimensional arrays.

    For more information on arrays.

    The foreach Loop

    This loop operates on arrays. An array stores multiple related

    values in a row that can be accessed easily using the foreach loop.

    The syntax of the foreach loop is:

    foreach $var_name (@array_name)
    	block of statement(s);

    In this syntax:

    • @array_name is the array whose elements are accessed using the

      foreach loop.

    • $var_name is the scalar variable that stores the value of

      element of @array_name for each iteration.

    • This loop is repeated for all the elements in the array. The

      code used for the foreach loop is:

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    @names = ("George", "Jack", "Davis");
    foreach $word(@names)
    print "$wordn";

    This example, when executed, prints values of all the elements in

    the @names array one-by-one using the foreach loop. The output of

    the example is shown in Figure 4-5:

    The while Loop

    There may be situations when you do not know the number of times a

    loop is to be executed. For example, an application accepts and

    stores the scores of students in a class, and you do not know the

    number of students in a class. In this example, you can use the

    while loop.

    The while loop executes as long as the condition specified is true.

    The condition can be any valid relational expression, which returns

    true or false.

    This loop is also known as Pre-Check or Pre-Tested Looping

    Construct because the condition is checked before executing the

    statement(s) in the block.

    The syntax of the while loop is:

    while (condition)
    	block of statement(s);

    In these statements, block of statement(s) is executed only if the

    condition is true.

    Note The code block must be enclosed within curly braces.

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    $a = 1;
    while ($a <= 10)
    	print "$an";

    In this example:

    • $a, the loop counter is initialized to 1.
    • The condition checks whether $a is less than or equal to 10.
    • The value of $a is incremented by 1 in each iteration using the

      post increment operator (++).

    • The loop prints the numbers from 1 to 10 until the value of $a is less than or equal to 10. When $a is incremented to 11, the condition results in false, and the loop terminates.

    The do-while Loop

    The do-while loop is used when you want to execute a code block at

    least once unconditionally, and then iteratively on the basis of a


    In this loop, condition is tested at the end of the loop. Because

    of this, this loop is also known as Post-Check or Post Tested

    Looping Construct.

    The syntax of the do-while loop is:

    	block of statement(s);
    while (condition);

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    $a = 2;
    	print "$an";
    } while ($a<=20);

    In this example:

    • $a, the loop counter is initialized to 2.
    • The loop prints the value of $a and also increments it by 2.
    • The condition associated with while tests whether the value of

      $a is less than or equal to 20.

    • The loop prints even numbers until the value of $a is less than

      or equal to 20. When $a is equal to 22, the loop terminates.

    The until Loop

    In case of the while loop, the code that follows condition is

    executed only if the condition is true. In the case of the until

    loop, code associated with the condition is executed only if the

    condition is false. The syntax of the until loop is:

    	block of statement(s);

    In this syntax, the block of statement(s) is executed only when the

    condition returns false.

    #! /usr/bin/perl
    $a = 1;
    until(a == 11)
    	print $a."n";

    In this program:

    • $a, the loop counter is initialized to 1.
    • The condition checks whether $a is equal to 11.
    • The loop prints and increments the value of $a.
    • The condition returns false until $a is less than 11, and the

      code in the loop prints from 1 to 10. The moment $a is equal to 11,

      the condition is met and loop is terminated.

  • Perl ARGV

    @ARGV and %ENV

    The built-in array @ARGV contains the command line arguments for a Perl program. The following run of the Perl program will have the ARGV array (“-poetry”, “poem.txt”).

    unix% perl -poetry poem.txt

    %ENV contains the environment variables of the context that launched the Perl program.

    @ARGV and %ENV make the most sense in a Unix environment.

    So for example you have a script like

    use strict;
    my $column=$ARGV[0];
    my $database=$ARGV[1];
    ------run the program now---
    $./ ssn employees

    in above example we are passing two values as commandline arguments. so $column will have “ssn” and $database will have “employees”.
    Note: Pass values in quoutes if values have spaces.

    Perl Hash Maps

    Perl Hash Maps/associative arrays


  • hash tables consist of key/value pairs
  • every key is followed by a value

    values can be assigned to hash tables as

    ("California","Sacramento","Wisconsin","Madison","New York","Albany");

    We can also use => operator to identify the

    key to the left, and the value to the right; if the => operator

    encounters bare words in key positions, they will be automatically

    quoted (note “New York”, however, which consists of two words

    and MUST be quoted

    (California=>"Sacramento",Wisconsin=>"Madison","New York"=>"Albany");

    In above example California is key and Sacromento is value.

    Similarily Wisconsin is key and Madison is value.


    print "Capital of California is " . $states{"California"} . "nn";

    printing all values(using for loop):

    (California=>"Sacramento",Wisconsin=>"Madison","New York"=>"Albany");
    foreach my $keys(keys %states)
      print "KEY:$keys VALUE:$states{$keys}n";
    KEY:Wisconsin VALUE:Madison
    KEY:New York VALUE:Albany
    KEY:California VALUE:Sacramento
  • Perl Arrays

    Arrays @

    Array constants are specified using parenthesis ( ) and the elements are separated with

    commas. Perl arrays are like lists or collections in other languages since they can grow

    and shrink, but in Perl they are just called “arrays”. Array variable names begin with the

    at-sign (@). Unlike C, the assignment operator (=) works for arrays — an independent copy

    of the array and its elements is made. Arrays may not contain other arrays as elements.

    Perl has sort of a “1-deep” mentality. Actually, it’s possible to get around the 1-deep

    constraint using “references”, but it’s no fun. Arrays work best if they just contain

    scalars (strings and numbers). The elements in an array do not all need to be the same


    @array = (1, 2, "hello");  ## a 3 element array 
    @empty = (); ## the array with 0 elements
    $x = 1; $y = 2; @nums = ($x + $y, $x - $y); ## @nums is now (3, -1)

    Just as in C, square brackets [ ] are used to refer to elements, so $a[6] is the element

    at index 6 in the array @a. As in C, array indexes start at 0. Notice that the syntax to

    access an element begins with ‘$’ not ‘@’ — use ‘@’ only when referring to the whole

    array (remember: all scalar expressions begin with $).

    @array = (1, 2, "hello", "there"); 
    $array[0] = $array[0] + $array[1];## $array[0] is now 3 

    Perl arrays are not bounds checked. If code attempts to read an element outside the array

    size, undef is returned. If code writes outside the array size, the array grows

    automatically to be big enough. Well written code probably should not rely on either of

    those features.

    @array = (1, 2, "hello", "there"); 
    $sum = $array[0] + $array[27];  
    ## $sum is now 1, since $array[27] returned undef 
    $array[99] = "the end";
    ## array grows to be size 100 

    When used in a scalar context, an array evaluates to its length. The “scalar” operator

    will force the evaluation of something in a scalar context, so you can use scalar() to get

    the length of an array. As an alternative to using scalar, the expression $#array is the

    index of the last element of the array which is always one less than the length.

    @array = (1, 2, "hello", "there"); 
    $len = @array;                
    ## $len is now 4 (the length of @array) 
    $len = scalar(@array);
    ## same as above, since $len represented a scalar 
    ## context anyway, but this is more explicit 
    @letters = ("a", "b", "c"); 
    $i = $#letters;## $i is now 2 

    That scalar(@array) is the way to refer to the length of an array is not a great moment in

    the history of readable code. At least I haven’t showed you the even more vulgar forms

    such as (0 + @a).

    The sort operator (sort @a) returns a copy of the array sorted in ascending alphabetic

    order. Note that sort does not change the original array. Here are some common ways to sort…

    (sort @array)
    ## sort alphabetically, with uppercase first 
    (sort {$a <=> $b} @array)            
    ## sort numerically 
    (sort {$b cmp $a} @array)            
    ## sort reverse alphabetically 
    (sort {lc($a) cmp lc($b)} @array)    
    ## sort alphabetically, ignoring case (somewhat inefficient) 

    The sort expression above pass a comparator function {…} to the sort operator, where the

    special variables $a and $b are the two elements to compare — cmp is the built-in string

    compare, and <=> is the built-in numeric compare.

    There’s a variant of array assignment that is used sometimes to assign several variables

    at once. If an array on the left hand side of an assignment operation contains the names

    of variables, the variables are assigned the corresponding values from the right hand


    ($x, $y, $z) = (1, 2, “hello”, 4);

    ## assigns $x=1, $y=2, $z=”hello”, and the 4 is discarded

    This type of assignment only works with scalars. If one of the values is an array, the

    wrong thing happens (see “flattening” below).

    Array Add/Remove/Splice Functions

    These handy operators will add or remove an element from an array. These operators change

    the array they operate on…

    Operating at the “front” ($array[0]) end of the array…

    returns the frontmost element and removes it from the array. Can be used

    in a loop to gradually remove and examine all the elements in an array left to right. The

    foreach operator, below, is another way to examine all the elements.

    unshift(array, elem)
    inserts an element at the front of the array. Opposite of shift.

    Operating at the “back” ($array[$len-1]) end of the array…

    returns the endmost element (right hand side) and removes it from the


    push(array, elem)
    adds a single element to the end of the array. Opposite of pop.

    splice(array, index, length, array2)
    removes the section of the array defined by index

    and length, and replaces that section with the elements from array2. If array2 is omitted,

    simply deletes. For example, to delete the element at index $i from an array, use

    splice(@array, $i, 1).

    Perl Operators

    Perl Operators

    In Perl, the comparison operators are divided into two classes:

    • Comparison operators that work with numbers
    • Comparison operators that work with strings

    Integer-Comparison Operators

    Operator Description  
    <        Less than
    >        Greater than
    ==       Equal to
    <=       Less than or equal to
    >=       Greater than or equal to
    !=       Not equal to
    <=> Comparison returning 1, 0, or -1

    Each of these operators yields one of two values:

    • True, or nonzero
    • False, or zero

    The <=> operator is a special case. Unlike the other integer comparison operators, <=> returns one of three values:

    • 0, if the two values being compared are equal
    • 1, if the first value is greater
    • -1, if the second value is greater

    String-Comparison Operators

    For every numeric-comparison operator, Perl defines an equivalent string-comparison operator.

    String operator Comparison operation 
    lt              Less than
    gt              Greater than
    eq              Equal to
    le              Less than or equal to
    ge              Greater than or equal to
    ne              Not equal to !=
    cmp             Compare, returning 1, 0, or -1


    if($a eq $b)
    print "Both are same";
    print "Both are different";

    Perl List


    A list is a sequence of scalar values enclosed in parentheses. The following is a simple example of a list:

    (1, 5.3, “hello”, 2)

    This list contains four elements, each of which is a scalar value: the numbers 1 and 5.3, the string hello, and the number 2.

    Lists can be as long as needed, and they can contain any scalar value. A list can have no elements at all, as follows:


    This list also is called an empty list.


    A list with one element and a scalar value are different entities. For example, the list


    and the scalar value


    are not the same thing. This is not a limitation because one can be converted to or assigned to the other.

    Perl Scalars

    Perl Scalars

    The most basic kind of variable in Perl is the scalar variable.

    Scalar variables hold both strings and numbers, and are remarkable in

    that strings and numbers are completely interchangable. For example,

    the statement

    $priority =10;

    sets the scalar variable $priority to 10, but you can also assign a string

    to exactly the same variable:

    $priority = ‘high’;

    Perl also accepts numbers as strings, like this:

    $priority = ’10’;

    $default = ‘0010’;

    and can still cope with arithmetic and other operations quite happily.

    In general variable names consists of numbers, letters and underscores, but

    they should not start with a number and the variable $_ is

    special, as we’ll see later. Also, Perl is case sensitive, so

    $a and $A are different.

    Operations and Assignment

    Perl uses all the usual C arithmetic operators:

    $a = 1 + 2; # Add 1 and 2 and store in $a
    $a = 3 – 4; # Subtract 4 from 3 and store in $a
    $a = 5 * 6; # Multiply 5 and 6
    $a = 7 / 8; # Divide 7 by 8 to give 0.875
    $a = 9 ** 10; # Nine to the power of 10
    $a = 5 % 2; # Remainder of 5 divided by 2
    ++$a; # Increment $a and then return it
    $a++; # Return $a and then increment it
    –$a; # Decrement $a and then return it
    $a–; # Return $a and then decrement it

    and for strings Perl has the following among others:

    $a = $b . $c; # Concatenate $b and


    $a = $b x $c; # $b repeated $c times

    To assign values Perl includes

    $a = $b; # Assign $b to $a
    $a += $b; # Add $b to $a
    $a -= $b; # Subtract $b from $a
    $a .= $b; # Append $b onto $a

    Note that when Perl assigns a value with $a = $b it makes

    a copy of $b and then assigns that to $a. Therefore the next time you change

    $b it will not alter $a.


    The following code prints apples and pears using concatenation:

    $a = ‘apples’;

    $b = ‘pears’;

    print $a.’ and ‘.$b;

    It would be nicer to include only one string in the final print statement,

    but the line

    print ‘$a and $b’;

    prints literally $a and $b which isn’t very helpful. Instead we

    can use the double quotes in place of the single quotes:

    print “$a and $b”;

    The double quotes force interpolation of any codes, including

    interpreting variables. This is a much nicer than our original statement.

    Other codes that are interpolated include special characters such as

    newline and tab. The code n is a newline and

    t is a tab.

    Read File To Var


    You want to read a file into a Perl variable.


    Following on from the Simple PHP demo of opening and reading contents of files, here is the Perl version.

    Following script takes filename as a parameter, then opens it read-only and reads contents in data variable. Then it echoes a header and footer line, with the data in the middle.




    open($FH,") { $data.=$_; }


    print "################# beginning of $filename ################\n";
    print "$data";
    print "\n################# end of $filename ################\n";



    Here is a run through:

    $ perl rhyme.txt
    ################# beginning of rhyme.txt ################
    Mary had a little lamb,
    It was always bleating.

    ################# end of rhyme.txt ################


    [tags], Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Date Function Calcualate Last Sunday


    Showing the date last Sunday, using Perl.


    Perl has some powerful functions, to perform date manipulation. Such as strftime, localtime and mktime.



    use POSIX qw(strftime);

    $epoch=$^T; # you get a control T by holding down ctrl key and pressing v key, then T key.

    $day=strftime "%a", localtime($epoch); # this captures the day of the week for today (Wed).
    $myDate=strftime "%Y-%m-%d", localtime($epoch); # this captures the year, month and day for today

    print("myDate: $myDatenday: $dayn"); # this just displays date today and day of week today, first 2 lines of output below

    until($day =~ /Sun/) { # We then spin around until the day equals Sun

    $epoch-=(60*60*24); # take 24 hours off our epoch
    $day=strftime "%a", localtime($epoch); # calculate the day of the week for the new epoch

    $myDate=strftime "%Y-%m-%d", localtime($epoch); # recalculate date for that epoch
    print("day: $daynday: $daynmyDate: $myDaten"); # display, second 2 lines of output below


    [tags]POSIX, strftime, localtime, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Converting String Scalar Number


    Converting a string scalar into a number.


    To convert a string scalar to a number, just add zero.

    Sometimes Perl calculations get a bit screwed, when Perl decides it is dealing with a string – not a number.


    Here is the code to fix it up:

    print $scalar + 0;


    [tags]Scalars, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Convert String Array


    Converting a string into an array


    To convert a string to an array, use split.


    Here we have a string, comprising of fields separated by commas.

    So we just split on the comma, but this could also be spaces, etc.

    @rr=split ',', $str;
    print $#rr."n"; # outputs 2


    [tags], Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Convert String Hash


    Need to convert a string to a hash in Perl.


    Split can also be used to generate a hash, from a string.

    In this instance split looks at two things, the key to value separator (in this case an equals sign) and the comma to separate groups.


    %ash=split /,|=/, $str;

    while(($k,$v)=each(%ash)) {
    print $k."=>".$v."n";




    [tags]Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Word Counting


    You want to count the words in a file, using Perl.


    Obviously wc -w can be used for this under UNIX.

    But fairly decent demo on the power of split and push! 🙂


    while(<>) { push @words, split; }

    print "found ".scalar(@words)." words in filen";

    Works nicely, even over multiple lines:

    [[email protected]]/var/log/httpd% echo "test 1 23 4 n a b c" | perl -e 'while() {
    push @words, split;
    print "found ".scalar(@words)." words in filen";
    found 7 words in file


    [tags]Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Number Output Lines


    You want to number each line of output.


    Again other ways to do this with UNIX, such as grep -vn XXXX filename.

    But sure there are times you want the line number, of standard input.


    echo "testingntestingn123" | perl -e 'while(<>) {
    print($..": ".$_."n");

    1: testing
    2: testing
    3: 123

    Or all on one line

    echo "testingntestingn123" | perl -ane 'chomp();print($..": ".$_."n");'
    1: testing
    2: testing
    3: 123


    [tags]Automatic Numbering, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Perl Doc Usage


    You need help on a specific Perl function or module. Or just a general question.


    Perl installation comes with its own documentation system.

    In this post, I’ll just cover how to invoke the various perl documentation.

    Going forward I’ll add posts describing how to create the different types of Perl doco.


    See different Perl areas under the documentation system
    perldoc perl

    Lookup function name
    perldoc -f func name

    Display source of module
    perldoc -m mod name

    Search perl FAQ
    perldoc -q pattern

    Search entire Perl installation
    perldoc -r pattern


    [tags]Perl, Tutorials, Help, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Importing AWK SED


    You have some way cool awk or sed scripts, but you want to use Perl.


    Easy. Perl comes with some excellent binaries, which will convert AWK or SED scripts to Perl. Excellent tool for learning Perl too!! 🙂


    To convert from AWK to Perl:

    a2p awkscript

    To convert from Sed to Perl:

    s2p awkscript

    $ date | awk ' { print $(NF-1) } '

    $ cat > awkscript
    { print $(NF-1) }

    $ date | awk -f awkscript

    $ a2p awkscript
    eval 'exec /usr/bin/perl -S $0 ${1+"[email protected]"}'
    if $running_under_some_shell;
    # this emulates #! processing on NIH machines.
    # (remove #! line above if indigestible)

    eval '$'.$1.'$2;' while $ARGV[0] =~ /^([A-Za-z_0-9]+=)(.*)/ && shift;
    # process any FOO=bar switches

    $[ = 1; # set array base to 1
    $, = ' '; # set output field separator
    $ = "n"; # set output record separator

    while () {
    chomp; # strip record separator
    @Fld = split(' ', $_, 9999);
    print $Fld[$#Fld - 1];

    $ a2p awkscript > perlscript

    $ date | ./perlscript


    [tags]Perl, awk, sed, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    mysql API socket connection


    Sometimes you need to connect to mysql server with a UNIX socket, rather than a Port.

    Generally this is when running multiple versions, on a box when you do not want to
    or cannot connect to multiple ports.


    If you want to connect to the mysql server from the command line, you can use -S.

    Or within Perl – append mysql_socket to the dsn


    mysql -uUSER -pPASSWORD -S /tmp/mysql.sock


    Where your socket is /tmp/mysql.sock


    [tags]MySQL, Socket, UNIX, Perl, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    File handling – UNIX stat


    You want to view seconds since last change or use Perl to process a number of files.

    Or maybe you just want a programmatic way to deal with file details, using something similar to the UNIX stat C routine.


    Run stat against a file and display inode change time since epoch. See my other tip on converting to local time.


    Excellent for showing the exact time in seconds, since the last change.

    Rather than the normal hours and minutes from ls.

    Replace /tmp/js with filename.

    $ perl -e '$ctime=(stat("/tmp/js"))[10];print("$ctimen");'


    [tags]Perl file handling, Perl stat, UNIX stat, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Check specific number arguments


    You want to check a specific number of arguments, have been supplied to your Perl script.


    This snippet at the example tab, demonstrates how to check that 2 args, were postfixed to the Perl script.

    If you only want to check one, then use ARGV!=0, for three 2, etc.


    Arguments are supplied via the ARGV array.

    if($#ARGV!=1) { die("Usage: $0 ...n"); }


    [tags]Perl argument handling, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Debugging Perl


    You have an error in your Perl script and want to debug it.


    Debugging in Perl is very extensive, this demo is very basic! 🙂 Check the reference for further instruction.

    You can manipulate PERLDB_OPTS variable, to force some debugging – then just pass through a -d option to your perl script.

    Also system debugging is at the reference tab.


    export PERLDB_OPTS="NonStop frame=1 AutoTrace"

    perl -d -pi'.bak' -e 's/unix/UNIX/g' *htm*


    Package -e.
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    1: s/unix/UNIX/g
    0: BEGIN { require '' };LINE: while () {
    entering Config::DESTROY
    entering IO::Handle::DESTROY
    entering IO::Handle::DESTROY


    [tags]Debugging Perl, Perl Coding School[/tags]

    Perl in file pattern substitution


    You want to substitute a pattern in a number of files, making backups and modifying in place on the fly.

    And you can do this in Perl – with a one liner! 🙂


    An amazing bit of Perl and so quick!

    This one liner will replace all occurrences of a pattern, with your replace and even create backups of files edited.


    You can even pass in a wildcard.

    perl -pi'.bak' -e's/pattern/replace/g' filename
    Here is a demo of replacing all occurrences of unix with UNIX, in all html files.

    perl -pi'.bak' -e 's/unix/UNIX/g' *htm*


    [tags]Perl infile pattern substitution, Perl Coding School[/tags]