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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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ref EXPR

ref

Returns a non-empty string if EXPR is a reference, the empty string otherwise. If EXPR is not specified, $_ will be used. The value returned depends on the type of thing the reference is a reference to. Builtin types include:

SCALAR
ARRAY
HASH
CODE
REF
GLOB
LVALUE
FORMAT
IO
VSTRING
Regexp

If the referenced object has been blessed into a package, then that package name is returned instead. You can think of ref as a typeof operator.

if (ref($r) eq "HASH") {
    print "r is a reference to a hash.\n";
}
unless (ref($r)) {
    print "r is not a reference at all.\n";
}

The return value LVALUE indicates a reference to an lvalue that is not a variable. You get this from taking the reference of function calls like pos() or substr(). VSTRING is returned if the reference points to a version string ( 5.4.1).

The result Regexp indicates that the argument is a regular expression resulting from qr//.

See also 15.

ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition