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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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Similar to %+, this variable allows access to the named capture buffers in the last successful match in the currently active dynamic scope. To each capture buffer name found in the regular expression, it associates a reference to an array containing the list of values captured by all buffers with that name (should there be several of them), in the order where they appear.

Here's an example:

if ('1234' =~ /(?<A>1)(?<B>2)(?<A>3)(?<B>4)/) {
    foreach my $bufname (sort keys %-) {
        my $ary = $-{$bufname};
        foreach my $idx (0..$#$ary) {
            print "\$-{$bufname}[$idx] : ",
                      ? "'$ary->[$idx]'" 
                      : "undef"),

would print out:

$-{A}[0] : '1'
$-{A}[1] : '3'
$-{B}[0] : '2'
$-{B}[1] : '4'

The keys of the %- hash correspond to all buffer names found in the regular expression.

The behaviour of %- is implemented via the Tie::Hash::NamedCapture module.

Note: %- and %+ are tied views into a common internal hash associated with the last successful regular expression. Therefore mixing iterative access to them via each may have unpredictable results. Likewise, if the last successful match changes, then the results may be surprising.

ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition