in reply to = rather than =~ ?
I just wanted to say thank you for pointing something like that that is so fundamentally important. After reading your example and better understanding how $1 behaved, I went back and took a careful look over some source code. There were three distinct sections where I made that error. After I examined the code logic, there was indeed one circumstance where, if the match failed, then there was a potential for $1 to be exposed. (The other two are wrapped in if statements.)
Fortunately, I took to reading PerlMonks on a regular basis and happened to read this post before the code went, "live." There's no way I can give all of my daily allocated points to just the people in this thread, but if I could, I would.
Thanks for your patience.
Prove your knowledge @ HLPD
Edit: Fixed botched HTML :) Sorry everyone has a different markup language.