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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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$ARG

$_

The default input and pattern-searching space. The following pairs are equivalent:

while (<>) {...}    # equivalent only in while!
while (defined($_ = <>)) {...}
/^Subject:/
$_ =~ /^Subject:/
tr/a-z/A-Z/
$_ =~ tr/a-z/A-Z/
chomp
chomp($_)

Here are the places where Perl will assume $_ even if you don't use it:

As $_ is a global variable, this may lead in some cases to unwanted side-effects. As of perl 5.9.1, you can now use a lexical version of $_ by declaring it in a file or in a block with my. Moreover, declaring our $_ restores the global $_ in the current scope.

(Mnemonic: underline is understood in certain operations.)

ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition