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There aren't a lot of use cases for storing an octal "number" in a scalar. There are some, but they're all to do with formatting output, not actual use as a number.

If your goal is to use this for chmod, you have to realise that it won't work. If you do this:

$mode = sprintf "%o", 420; # $mode = 644 chmod $mode, $file;
you'll actually be doing the same thing as this:
chmod 01204, $file; # 01204 octal == 644 decimal
Definitely not what you wanted. Leave the number as-is if you plan on using it in chmod. Note that the following lines are equivalent:
# 1. octal number chmod 0644, $file; # 2. decimal number chmod 420, $file; # 3. number in a scalar $mode = 0644; chmod $mode, $file; # 4. number in a scalar (from decimal) $mode = 420; chmod $mode, $file; # 5. number with bitmasks $mode = 0666 & ~022; # like umask chmod $mode, $file; # 6. decimal with bitmasks $mode = 438 & ~022; # 438 == 0666 chmod $mode, $file;
So, to answer your question, the number is already in the scalar. You don't actually need to do anything about it.

And, if you use $mode = sprintf "%o", $mode;, remember what you just did: you took a number, you printf'd it into a string, and put that back in $mode. So $mode no longer carries a number but a string. Perl will try to force it back to a number if that's what you try to do, but it won't be the number you started with.


In reply to Re^3: state and file perms confusion by Tanktalus
in thread state and file perms confusion by neilwatson

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