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How do I select a random element from an array?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:20 UTC ( #617=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:

Use the rand() function (see rand):

    # at the top of the program:
    srand;                      # not needed for 5.004 and later

    # then later on
    $index   = rand @array;
    $element = $array[$index];

Make sure you only call srand once per program, if then. If you are calling it more than once (such as before each call to rand), you're almost certainly doing something wrong.

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