You just made it look like the first example.
in reply to Re: Dereferencing and DBI methods
in thread Dereferencing and DBI methods
My point is that some of the aggregate functions only return refs, and don't have a counterpart that returns an actual array. selectcol_arrayref, fetchall_arrayref, fetchrow_hashref to name a few. So, you have to either dereference them when you make the call, or use an intermediate variable, or dereference them as you use them (and the first is usually most convenient for me; it makes the things I do later a lot more readable).