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List or Scalar?

by hagen (Friar)
on Aug 27, 2003 at 07:08 UTC ( #286956=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
hagen has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Learned Monastic Denizens

I've tried everything I know, consulted perlop on Range Operators, checked Perl in a Nutshell (Camel book at home) but this has me puzzled.

I'm trying to calculate the end column of a range of cols in an Excel s/sheet. I know where the range starts, and I know how many more cols I need to `add' to the start to get to the end. Ah hah! I thought, time for the `magic strings' and eventually came up with this snippet to convince me I was on track:-

#!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings; # # test the magic strings # my $col = 'p'; my $limit = 120; for (-5..$limit) { $col++; print "$col,"; }

Success! Works as advertised and I end up with column ref `el'. So I moved the same, so I thought, approach into the real program...

#!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings; use Win32::OLE; use Win32::OLE qw(in with); use Win32::OLE::Const 'Microsoft Excel'; use Win32::OLE::Variant; use Win32::OLE::NLS qw(:LOCALE :DATE); # </readmore> # Based on `Using Win32::OLE and Excel - Tips and Tricks' # by cacharbe - Mar 22, 2002 - node_id=153486.. with thanks 8-) # <readmore> $Win32::OLE::Warn = 3; my ($ex, # this will be the ref to the Excel applicatio +n $book, # ref to the entire workbook $sheet, # a particular worksheet $sheetcount) # count of all sheets in workbook = undef; # Check that Excel is running - if not, start it eval {$ex = Win32::OLE->GetActiveObject('Excel.Application')}; die "Excel not installed" if $@; unless (defined $ex) { # if $ex is undef here, need to sta +rt Excel $ex = Win32::OLE->new('Excel.Application', sub {$_[0]->Quit; +}) or die "Oops, cannot start Excel"; } my $excelfile = "D:/murray/cut_test.xls"; # open existing workbook $book = $ex->Workbooks->Open($excelfile); $sheetcount = $book->Worksheets->Count(); # open an output file to take csv formatted results open CURR, ">", "cut_extract.csv" or die "Can't open Extract for writing $!"; # get the "one-off" key information from the top of the Total Su +mmary sheet $sheet = $book->Worksheets("Total Summary"); my $key_values = $sheet->Range("M1:M8")->{Value}; my ($project, $term, $local, $currency, $segment, $LOB, $first +_month, $owner) = @{$key_values}; for (@$key_values) { print CURR "@$_,"; # values out to .csv a +s expected. } print CURR "\n"; $sheet = $book->Worksheets("FTE"); # get focus on the FTE w +orksheet </readmore> # calculate the end column of months - month -6 starts in col P # so we need $term + 6 cols added to P. The $range for Excel is + specified # as "CR:cr" where CR is the top, left cell of the range, and cr + the bottom # right. # # Determine the right-most column = 'P' + 6 + $term my $col = 'P'; print "\$term is @{$term}\n"; # prints 120 as required for(-5..@{$term}) { # but `..' seems to be in scalar c +ontext! $col++; print "$col,"; } undef $book; undef $ex; close CURR;

But here I only end up with `W'... as if once -5 gets to zero the `..' flip-flops, then @{$term} is TRUE, and the iteration stops.

I'd appreciate some enlightenment in this branch of our theosophy... 8-)

... with humble thanks hagen

Comment on List or Scalar?
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Re: List or Scalar?
by shenme (Priest) on Aug 27, 2003 at 07:25 UTC
    Ummm, if $term has the right value in it, why did you say
    for( -5..@{$term} ) {
    Why not just
    for( -5..$term ) {
    I think you got carried away with the specialized idiom of how to force values to be interpolated within strings, such as you used in
    print "\$term is @{$term}\n";
    But even here you could have just said
    print "\$term is $term\n";

    The value @{$term} is evaluating to an undefined value, which is somehow getting converted into a value of zero. If I say

    for( -5..undef ) {
    directly I get nasty warnings "Use of uninitialized value in foreach loop entry at hagen.pl line 36." Also if I use a variable with an undef value.

    Why so?

      Thanks shenme... in the actual program the value is in a reference (as returned by the Win32::OLE module) - and is deref'ed (as I understand it) by the @{$term} syntax - it's come from a (ref to an) array of refs.

      What makes me think that this is correct is that the

       print "\$term is @{$term}\n"

      prints the value I want. However when I use the same @{$term} syntax in the range operator it doesn't seem to deref correctly - or I'm making some other sort of mistake.

Re: List or Scalar?
by antirice (Priest) on Aug 27, 2003 at 07:29 UTC

    Data::Dumper is your friend. If your print line is really printing that, then $temp should look as follows when you use print Dumper $temp;

    $VAR1 = [ 120 ];

    If that's the case, then you should be using $temp->[0] instead of @{$temp} as it returns the length of your array (which is 1) in scalar context.

    If this is entirely wrong, the reason I think $temp is an arrayref is because using @{$temp} doesn't result in strict going on how 120 isn't an arrayref at line blah. Also, the OP said he was able to print "\$temp = @{$temp}\n"; and it prints out 120 which would be expected behavior for an arrayref.

    Hope this helps.

    antirice    
    The first rule of Perl club is - use Perl
    The
    ith rule of Perl club is - follow rule i - 1 for i > 1

Re: List or Scalar?
by NetWallah (Abbot) on Aug 27, 2003 at 14:20 UTC
    I think this snippet explains your predicament.
    >perl -e "$a=[120]; for (-1..@{$a}){print qq($_\n)}; print qq( \$a=$a \@a=@{$a} value=$a->[0]);" OUTPUT: -1 0 1 $a=ARRAY(0x224f44) @a=120 value=120
    Note that $a is an array ref, and @a in a print context returns the equivalent of join (' ',@a), which is a single element of 120.

    To get your "for" right, you need to use

    for(-5..$term->[0])
Re: List or Scalar?
by hagen (Friar) on Aug 27, 2003 at 23:28 UTC

    Many thanks to antirice and NetWallah - their diagnosis is absolutely correct; and I have now a (little) better understanding of Perl's references

    Using the $term->[0] syntax is the answer and I now assume that the print command was kinda "DWIM"ing the ref for me, but in the for loop it wasn't. A bit subtle for my present level of Perlishness 8-)... but on further reflection this would be because print is in list context - and of course the (-1..@{$term}) is scalar - Insight!

    antirice... Data::Dumper printed as follows

    $term is 120 $VAR1 = [ '120' ];

    ... are the single quotes trying to tell me something?

    and NetWallah... Thanks for that very revealing code snippet... I'll keep a copy of that to remind me of the various syntactic options re references. I've just re-read MJD's perlreftut and I think I see where I misunderstood the syntax.

    cheers and thanks again... what a great resource Perl Monks is..... hagen.

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