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hex (3272)

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Perl, RDF and wiki hacker, London, UK. This is my former Perl blog; I now write at Earle's Notebook [].

Journal of hex (3272)

Thursday April 17, 2008
07:35 AM

A Perl Variable I'd Like

[ #36170 ]
I often find myself doing things with arrays like this:

for (0 .. $#foo) {
  if ($foo[$_] =~ /corge/) {
    $bar{$_} = $foo[$_];

Simple enough. But consider that if you're reading through a filehandle, you can use $. (or $INPUT_LINE_NUMBER) to tell you how many lines you've read. It'd be very handy to have another special variable - let's call it because there are hardly any symbols left - that, if you're in a loop, gives you the number of times it has run. That way you could replace the code above with:

foreach (@foo) {
  if (/corge/) {
    $bar{$¬} = $_;

This immediately strikes me as Perlish.

Addendum: Well, it would, if use.perl's code formatter didn't buggily replace ¬ with ¬ in the code snippet above. I hope you can still see what I mean.

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  • 5.12 will support each on arrays. So that would be:

    while (my ($num, $line) = each @foo) {
      if ($line =~ /corge/) {
        $bar{$num} = $line;

    You can have this right now with Aaron Crane's Array::Each::Override [].

    • Lovely! And not even another hard-to-remember symbol, so even better. I'll look forward to having it around in the core.
    • ...and really, that's much better, because otherwise you'd have to constantly copy $ into a lexical for nested loop. Too much vertical space taken!