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Variable scope headaches

by nikmit (Sexton)
on Jul 26, 2012 at 15:36 UTC ( #983857=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
nikmit has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hey guys,

I am attempting to assign values to variables like this:

foreach (@tagvalue) { if ($_ =~ /([\w,_]+):([0-9]+)/) { ${$1} = $2; } else { die "Failed to assign value to $1\n"; } }
The result is that within the foreach loop all is good, but outside of it the variables are empty... I tried to use
our ${$1} = $2;
but get an error on execution: 'Can't declare scalar dereference in "our"'.


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Variable scope headaches
by jdporter (Canon) on Jul 26, 2012 at 16:29 UTC

    Trying to use a variable as a variable name (i.e. "symbolic references") is generally considered a bad idea.

    There is an item in the perlfaq about this: How can I use a variable as a variable name?. I highly suggest you read this.

    It is considered critical enough that it is explicitly detected and forbidden by use strict; - the inclusion of which is universally considered good practice.

    Instead, use a hash variable:

    my %tag_value; foreach ( @tagvalue ) { if ( /([\w,_]+):([0-9]+)/ ) { $tag_value{$1} = $2; } else { die "Failed to assign value to $1\n"; } }

    By the way I think your die statement is going to have a problem, in that $1 will not be set (at least not to what you think) if it ever gets executed. If the pattern match (regex) fails to match, then none of the positional variables ($1, etc.) get set. Instead, you might say something like:

    die "Failed to match tag/value in '$_'\n";
    I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
      Thanks jdporter

      I actually had read that perlfaq item, obviously it didn't quite sink in :) Works now, and code looks better.

      Thanks for pointing out the 'die' statement error too. I have removed that block of code now but clearly its one to watch out for.


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