in reply to variables not posting?

I'm sure we've all done this same silly mistake. At least I've done my share. ;-)

Your code:

foreach $item(@pairs) { my($key,$content) =split (/=/, $item, 2); $content=~tr/+/ /; $content=~s/%(..)/pack("c",hex($1))/ge; my($fields{$key})=$content; }
Here you've used my inside the scope of the foreach.
That means that as soon as you leave the scope of foreach { } the hash %fields is inaccessible. Hence the fix that was given above handles your problem.
my (%hash); foreach $item(@pairs) { my($key,$content) =split (/=/, $item, 2); $content=~tr/+/ /; $content=~s/%(..)/pack("c",hex($1))/ge; $fields{$key}=$content; }
This properly declares the %hash making it available in the foreach since that is inside the variables scope. And makes it available after the foreach since that's still in scope.

If you want to make a silly mistake that I've done on occasion try:

<code> my (%hash); foreach $item(@pairs) { my($key,$content) =split (/=/, $item, 2); $content=~tr/+/ /; $content=~s/%(..)/pack("c",hex($1))/ge; my($fields{$key})=$content; }
Here you have one variable called 'hash' outside the foreach and a different one 'hash' inside the foreach.

Fortunately if you are using use strict; and -w for warnings this error will be pointed out by the error checking. Probably with a 'fields' used only once possible typo type warning. Yet another good reason to use -w warnings.

Hope this helps you understand a little of why the fix was a fix.