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Why isn't my octal data interpreted correctly?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:20 UTC ( #578=perlfaq nodetype: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

Perl only understands octal and hex numbers as such when they occur as literals in your program. If they are read in from somewhere and assigned, no automatic conversion takes place. You must explicitly use oct() or hex() if you want the values converted. oct() interprets both hex (``0x350'') numbers and octal ones (``0350'' or even without the leading ``0'', like ``377''), while hex() only converts hexadecimal ones, with or without a leading ``0x'', like ``0x255'', ``3A'', ``ff'', or ``deadbeef''.

This problem shows up most often when people try using chmod(), mkdir(), umask(), or sysopen(), which all want permissions in octal.

    chmod(644,  $file); # WRONG -- perl -w catches this
    chmod(0644, $file); # right

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