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Count replaces in search and replace

by VinsWorldcom (Parson)
on Mar 11, 2009 at 17:02 UTC ( #749952=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
VinsWorldcom has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Using the line:

$_ =~ s/$replace/$map{$replace}/gi

to find $replace and replace it with the hash value of $map{$replace} case insensitive and all occurances on the given line works a treat.

However, I'd like to know 'how many' replacements were done on each line. Is there an easy way to get this value that I can increment in a counter to spit out at the end of the program that would say something like "Found and replaced X items"?

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Re: Count replaces in search and replace
by kennethk (Abbot) on Mar 11, 2009 at 17:07 UTC

    In scalar context, substitution returns the number of replacements, i.e.

    $number = $_ =~ s/$replace/$map{$replace}/gi;

    See the documentation on substitution.
Re: Count replaces in search and replace
by ikegami (Pope) on Mar 11, 2009 at 17:56 UTC
    That kind of code is very susceptible to performance problems. Make sure you're not compiling $replace over and over again.
Re: Count replaces in search and replace
by VinsWorldcom (Parson) on Mar 12, 2009 at 14:30 UTC

    Thanks, the final solution I went with is:

    my $YESMapping = 0; foreach my $replace (keys(%map)) { $YESMapping = $YESMapping + ($_ =~ s/$replace/$map{$replace}/gi) } print "Replaced $YESMapping entries.\n"

    I did some reading on regex compiling and I'm looking at how to maybe apply that to the $replace variable which is obviously my loop index.

      One final comment - perhaps you should consider the += operator? As well, since you are visiting each key-value pair once, each might be appropriate. And, as long as you are using $_, you may way well use its shorthand.

      my $YESMapping = 0; while (my ($key, $value) = each %map) { $YESMapping += s/$key/$value/gi; } print "Replaced $YESMapping entries.\n"

        Yeah, I realized the += mistake (as in I should have used that) after I had posted it and saw it in front of me. I went back and changed my actual code.

        The "each" recommendation is new to me. I'm certainly not a Perl expert (yet), so I rely on the faithful "foreach" when I want to do something "for each" member of a group. Thanks for the tip, I'll read up on that and try it out.

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