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How do I handle binary data correctly?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:20 UTC ( #637=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 is binary clean, so this shouldn't be a problem. For example, this works fine (assuming the files are found):

    if (`cat /vmunix` =~ /gzip/) {
        print "Your kernel is GNU-zip enabled!\n";
    }

On some systems, however, you have to play tedious games with ``text'' versus ``binary'' files. See binmode.

If you're concerned about 8-bit ASCII data, then see the perllocale manpage.

If you want to deal with multibyte characters, however, there are some gotchas. See the section on Regular Expressions.

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