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Perl Language Reference Manual
by Larry Wall and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 724 pages
ISBN 9781906966027
RRP £29.95 ($39.95)

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5.4.1 Version Strings

A literal of the form v1.20.300.4000 is parsed as a string composed of characters with the specified ordinals. This form, known as v-strings, provides an alternative, more readable way to construct strings, rather than use the somewhat less readable interpolation form "\x{1}\x{14}\x{12c}\x{fa0}". This is useful for representing Unicode strings, and for comparing version "numbers" using the string comparison operators, cmp, gt, lt etc. If there are two or more dots in the literal, the leading v may be omitted.

print v9786;              # prints SMILEY, "\x{263a}"
print v102.111.111;       # prints "foo"
print 102.111.111;        # same

Such literals are accepted by both require and use for doing a version check. Note that using the v-strings for IPv4 addresses is not portable unless you also use the inet_aton()/inet_ntoa() routines of the Socket package.

Note that since Perl 5.8.1 the single-number v-strings (like v65) are not v-strings before the => operator (which is usually used to separate a hash key from a hash value), instead they are interpreted as literal strings ('v65'). They were v-strings from Perl 5.6.0 to Perl 5.8.0, but that caused more confusion and breakage than good. Multi-number v-strings like v65.66 and 65.66.67 continue to be v-strings always.

ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition