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Perl Special Variables Quick Reference

by davido (Archbishop)
on May 14, 2004 at 03:20 UTC ( #353259=perltutorial: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Special Vars Quick Reference

$_The default or implicit variable.
@_Subroutine parameters.
$a
$b
sort comparison routine variables.
@ARGVThe command-line args.
Regular Expressions
$<digit>Regexp parenthetical capture holders.
$&Last successful match (degrades performance).
${^MATCH}Similar to $& without performance penalty. Requires /p modifier.
$`Prematch for last successful match string (degrades performance).
${^PREMATCH}Similar to $` without performance penalty. Requires /p modifier.
$'Postmatch for last successful match string (degrades performance).
${^POSTMATCH}Similar to $' without performance penalty. Requires /p modifier.
$+Last paren match.
$^NLast closed paren match (last submatch).
@+Offsets of ends of successful submatches in scope.
@-Offsets of starts of successful submatches in scope.
%+Like @+, but for named submatches.
%-Like @-, but for named submatches.
$^RLast regexp (?{code}) result.
${^RE_DEBUG_FLAGS}Current value of regexp debugging flags. See use re 'debug';
${^RE_TRIE_MAXBUF}Control memory allocations for RE optimizations for large alternations.
Encoding
${^ENCODING}The object reference to the Encode object, used to convert the source code to Unicode.
${^OPEN}Internal use: \0 separated Input / Output layer information.
${^UNICODE}Read-only Unicode settings.
${^UTF8CACHE}State of the internal UTF-8 offset caching code.
${^UTF8LOCALE}Indicates whether UTF8 locale was detected at startup.
IO and Separators
$.Current line number (or record number) of most recent filehandle.
$/Input record separator.
$|Output autoflush. 1=autoflush, 0=default. Applies to currently selected handle.
$,Output field separator (lists)
$\Output record separator.
$"Output list separator. (interpolated lists)
$;Subscript separator. (Use a real multidimensional array instead.)
Formats
$%Page number for currently selected output channel.
$=Current page length.
$-Number of lines left on page.
$~Format name.
$^Name of top-of-page format.
$:Format line break characters
$^LForm feed (default "\f").
$^AFormat Accumulator
Status Reporting
$?Child error. Status code of most recent system call or pipe.
$!Operating System Error. (What just went 'bang'?)
%!Error number hash
$^EExtended Operating System Error (Extra error explanation).
$@Eval error.
${^CHILD_ERROR_NATIVE}Native status returned by the last pipe close, backtick (`` ) command, successful call to wait() or waitpid(), or from the system() operator.
ID's and Process Information
$$Process ID
$<Real user id of process.
$>Effective user id of process.
$(Real group id of process.
$)Effective group id of process.
$0Program name.
$^OOperating System name.
Perl Status Info
$]Old: Version and patch number of perl interpreter. Deprecated.
$^CCurrent value of flag associated with -c switch.
$^DCurrent value of debugging flags
$^FMaximum system file descriptor.
$^IValue of the -i (inplace edit) switch.
$^MEmergency Memory pool.
$^PInternal variable for debugging support.
$^RLast regexp (?{code}) result.
$^SExceptions being caught. (eval)
$^TBase time of program start.
$^VPerl version.
$^WStatus of -w switch
${^WARNING_BITS}Current set of warning checks enabled by use warnings;
$^XPerl executable name.
${^GLOBAL_PHASE}Current phase of the Perl interpreter.
$^HInternal use only: Hook into Lexical Scoping.
%^HInternaluse only: Useful to implement scoped pragmas.
${^TAINT}Taint mode read-only flag.
${^WIN32_SLOPPY_STAT}If true on Windows stat() won't try to open the file.
Command Line Args
ARGVFilehandle iterates over files from command line (see also <>).
$ARGVName of current file when reading <>
@ARGVList of command line args.
ARGVOUTOutput filehandle for -i switch
Miscellaneous
@FAutosplit (-a mode) recipient.
@INCList of library paths.
%INCKeys are filenames, values are paths to modules included via use, require, or do.
%ENVHash containing current environment variables
%SIGSignal handlers.
$[Array and substr first element (Deprecated!).

See perlvar for detailed descriptions of each of these (and a few more) special variables.

When modifiying special variables, it is often a good practice to localize the effects of the change. ie,

my @array = ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ); print "@array\n"; { local $" = "\t"; print "@array\n"; } print "@array\n";

And the output.....

1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

The purpose of this node is to provide a super-concise categorized quick crossreference to Perl's special variables. perlvar provides a list in asciibetical order but doesn't really put the variables into easy to find categories.

Comment on Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
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Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by ysth (Canon) on May 14, 2004 at 03:48 UTC
    For extra credit, document which ones are newer than 5.005_03, and when they were added :)

      @+, @- somewhere near 5.6. Are there more?

      Update: maybe $0 too.

Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by Anonymous Monk on May 14, 2004 at 05:06 UTC

    While I realize that this is a 'quick reference', you can get a lot more -- and also quick info -- by typing 'perldoc perlvar' at the command line. For example, while $^V does indeed hold the perl version, to get the string representation of it, you need to use sprintf('%vd, $^V);. So yes, this is useful, but perlvar really isn't that difficult to pull up and it holds a little more info.

      I understand what you're saying, and I do believe that the POD is the authority on most things Perlish.

      The problem with perlvar is that it is not all that friendly when the goal is to refresh ones memory on which special var it is that does XXX. It's just not categorized very well ...or if it is, I just didn't see it. True, it is not a terribly long document, but by way of example, there are special variables that deal with regexps scattered in at least three different places in the doc. The primary reason I put this node together was simply to provide a quick, categorized crossreference.

      Frankly, I'm not sure which is more valuable; this parent node (the Perl Special Variables Quick Reference), or the refresher course I got by putting it together. Maybe the node itself fills a need that isn't really there, but it did give me an excuse for diving back into the docs again.

      While on the topic of the POD, I wanted to speculate for a moment what it is that causes so many to avoid it in the first place. I myself read all of the Llama book and most of the Camel book before finally getting comfortable with the idea of using the perldocs. And from the looks of many of the questions that get asked in Seekers of Perl Wisdom, I'm not alone in having had an early-on aversion to the POD.

      For me, discovering it and getting comfortable with it was a significant step toward gaining a more comprehensive understanding of Perl. I feel that others will have that lightbulb flick on in their minds if they too get comfortable with reading Perl's POD.

      That is the other reason I created this parent node. I thought that perhaps it could whet someones' apetite for more, and that by linking to perlvar at the end of the list someone might follow the link and take the first step into Perl's POD.

      Cheers!


      Dave

Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by itub (Priest) on May 14, 2004 at 13:37 UTC

    Thanks, I like it. While it is true that the POD is the definitive reference for the details of the meaning of each variable, this is better for refreshing your memory when you already know the variables but don't remember their symbols.

Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by pmonk4ever (Friar) on Dec 17, 2008 at 21:38 UTC
    Thanks for the Quick Reference, I have copied it to a text file and stuck it into a clear page protector sitting in my document holder right next to my monitor!

    Great Job! :)

    ki6jux

    "No trees were harmed in the creation of this node. However, a rather large number of electrons were somewhat inconvenienced."

Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by wazoox (Prior) on Dec 18, 2008 at 17:43 UTC
Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by planetscape (Canon) on Apr 01, 2009 at 18:32 UTC
Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by Argel (Prior) on Nov 04, 2009 at 02:23 UTC
    The hashes used to store named captures in Perl 5.10+ should probably be added to the regex list.

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

Re: Perl Special Variables Quick Reference
by ysthzilla (Initiate) on Aug 04, 2011 at 03:09 UTC
    Could use updating...

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