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Hex, Localtime and strings

by theneil (Novice)
on Sep 26, 2012 at 17:11 UTC ( #995829=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
theneil has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Trying to print the time from a substring (time is in Hex):

Why does this work?

print MYFILE scalar(localtime(0x506143ca)); # #Prints: Tue Sep 25 00:40:26 2012 #

But not this:

my $daTime = "0x506143ca"; print MYFILE scalar(localtime($daTime)); # #Prints: The default date - something like Jan1 1969 #
Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Hex, Localtime and strings
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Sep 26, 2012 at 17:18 UTC

    Because the former is a numeric literal where the 0x prefix means something; the later is a string treated as a number which presumes base10 (which means it gives up when it sees a non-digit "x" and is numerically 0). You need to use oct to get the string value treated like it would be as a numeric literal.

    The cake is a lie.
    The cake is a lie.
    The cake is a lie.

Re: Hex, Localtime and strings
by davido (Archbishop) on Sep 26, 2012 at 17:18 UTC

    Because the first example uses a hex representation of an integer, and the second example uses a string of characters that happen to include a 0x and some stuff that looks (to a human) hex-ish (but not to Perl). Perl converts that string to a number following Perl's numerification of a string rules, which in this case results in a '0'.

    use strict; use warnings; use diagnostics; my $daTime = "0x506143ca"; print scalar localtime $daTime, "\n";

    ...the output...

    Argument "0x506143ca" isn't numeric in localtime at line 10 +(#1) (W numeric) The indicated string was fed as an argument to an oper +ator that expected a numeric value instead. If you're fortunate the me +ssage will identify which operator was so unfortunate. Wed Dec 31 16:00:00 1969

    As for the "Wed Dec 31 16:00:00 1969": perl -E 'say localtime 0' will yield the same result.


      Thank you guys! Worked like a charm! I'm slowly learning :)

        I know this is late, but I'll share what worked for me!

        $hexval = hex '51C07405'; print scalar(localtime($hexval));
Re: Hex, Localtime and strings
by toolic (Bishop) on Sep 26, 2012 at 17:31 UTC
    You can also use hex:
    print scalar(localtime(hex($daTime)));
Re: Hex, Localtime and strings
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Sep 26, 2012 at 18:09 UTC

    Now might also be a good time to look at, for example, Date::Calc::Object, and the many other date/time routines available on CPAN.

    I particularly like this one because, as the name implies, it introduces the notion of a “date/time object.”   Which just turns out to be an extremely useful notion to have.   A date value, regardless of how you introduced it to the system, becomes “a thing” that you can query and manipulate and “do things with” in a very natural way.

    Every kind of date/time manipulation can be found somewhere in CPAN ... even for archaic calendars.   (It’s great fun to go poking around in there to see what you find.)

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