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by merlyn (Sage)
on Oct 03, 2000 at 17:52 UTC ( #35095=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to RE: RE: Re: A Not so Simple Append
in thread A Not so Simple Append

It's pretty simple. I don't know how it's documented, since I learned it mostly by folklore (and by watching the response to bug reports on P5P {grin}).

When a variable containing undef (or a new element of an array or hash) is used in an "lvalue-context" (on the left side of an assignment, for example) as a reference, a reference to the appropriate anonymous thingy is inserted and the operation continued, rather than throwing an error for an attempt to dereference undef.

So, push @$x, 35 works even if $x is undef, because we're about to dereference $x while trying to store something.

It's really just an extension of the principle that

$last_name{"fred"} = "flintstone";
works, even though I didn't originally create the element with that key.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

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RE: Autovivification
by clemburg (Curate) on Oct 03, 2000 at 20:24 UTC

    Thanks for saving me the hours to watch the p5p list ... and for the crisp explanation!

    Christian Lemburg
    Brainbench MVP for Perl

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