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The reference refers to the scalar retrieved via $a[0], not the array index [0].  The reference knows nothing about the array that scalar came from.  And the scalar will exist as long as its refcount is > 0.

$ perl -MDevel::Peek -E'@a=qw(a b c); $r=\$a[0]; Dump $r; @a=(); Dump +$r' SV = IV(0xa95bc0) at 0xa95bd0 REFCNT = 1 FLAGS = (ROK) RV = 0xa77998 SV = PV(0xa75c20) at 0xa77998 REFCNT = 2 <--- FLAGS = (POK,pPOK) PV = 0xa8ee40 "a"\0 CUR = 1 LEN = 16 SV = IV(0xa95bc0) at 0xa95bd0 REFCNT = 1 FLAGS = (ROK) RV = 0xa77998 SV = PV(0xa75c20) at 0xa77998 REFCNT = 1 <--- FLAGS = (POK,pPOK) PV = 0xa8ee40 "a"\0 CUR = 1 LEN = 16

(note the refcounts)

In reply to Re^2: Update references by Eliya
in thread Update references by Anonymous Monk

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