This is one of those times when there is a difference between a list and an array in Perl. It seems hard to produce a concise definition of the difference, but to a first approximation an array is a list with a name (such as @a in your examples). So qw(a b c d e) is a list which you have assigned to @a.
What you have exposed is that in scalar context, a array and list (both containing the same data) have different values. The value, in scalar context, of an array, is the number of elements. The value, in scalar context, of a list, is the last item in that list.
Update. See perlfaq4
Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!
Read Where should I post X? if you're not absolutely sure you're posting in the right place.
Please read these before you post! —
Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags:
Outside of code tags, you may need to use entities for some characters:
- a, abbr, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, col, colgroup, dd, del, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, ins, li, ol, p, pre, readmore, small, span, spoiler, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, wbr
Link using PerlMonks shortcuts! What shortcuts can I use for linking?
See Writeup Formatting Tips and other pages linked from there for more info.
| & || & |
| < || < |
| > || > |
| [ || [ |
| ] || ] ||