=comment Beginning of file pod/perlvar.pod

=begin pod

=head X<NAME;manpages/perlvar;perlvar>

perlvar - Perl predefined variables


=head X<Predefined Names>

The following names have special meaning to Perl. Most of the 
punctuational names have reasonable mnemonics, or analogues in one of the 
shells. Nevertheless, if you wish to use the long variable names, you just 
need to say

	use English;

at the top of your program. This will alias all the short names to the 
long names in the current package. Some of them even have medium names, 
generally borrowed from B<awk>.

To go a step further, those variables that depend on the currently 
selected filehandle may instead be set by calling an object method on the 
FileHandle object. (Summary lines below for this contain the word HANDLE.) 
First you must say

	use FileHandle;

after which you may use either




Each of the methods returns the old value of the FileHandle attribute. The 
methods each take an optional EXPR, which if supplied specifies the new 
value for the FileHandle attribute in question. If not supplied, most of 
the methods do nothing to the current value, except for I<R<autoflush()>>, 
which will assume a 1 for you, just to be different.

A few of these variables are considered "read-only". This means that if 
you try to assign to this variable, either directly or indirectly through 
a reference, you'll raise a run-time exception.

=begin list 

=item X<$ARG>

=item X<$_>

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

	while (<>) {...}    # only equivalent in while!
	while ($_ = <>) {...}

	$_ =~ /^Subject:/

	$_ =~ tr/a-z/A-Z/


Here are the places where Perl will assume C<R<$_>> even if you don't use 

=begin list 

=item * 

Various unary functions, including functions like I<R<ord()>> and I<R<int()>>, 
as well as the all file tests (C<-f>, C<-d>) except for C<-t>, which 
defaults to STDIN.

=item * 

Various list functions like I<R<print()>> and I<R<unlink()>>.

=item * 

The pattern matching operations C<m//>, C<s///>, and C<tr///> when used 
without an C<=~> operator.

=item * 

The default iterator variable in a C<foreach> loop if no other variable is 

=item * 

The implicit iterator variable in the I<R<grep()>> and I<R<map()>> 

=item * 

The default place to put an input record when a C<E<lt>FHE<gt>> 
operation's result is tested by itself as the sole criterion of a C<while> 
test. Note that outside of a C<while> test, this will not happen.

=end list

(Mnemonic: underline is understood in certain operations.)

=item X<$E<lt>I<digit>;$<digit>E<gt>

Contains the subpattern from the corresponding set of parentheses in the 
last pattern matched, not counting patterns matched in nested blocks that 
have been exited already. (Mnemonic: like \digit.) These variables are all 

=item X<$MATCH>

=item X<$&>

The string matched by the last successful pattern match (not counting any 
matches hidden within a BLOCK or I<R<eval()>> enclosed by the current 
BLOCK). (Mnemonic: like & in some editors.) This variable is read-only.

=item X<$PREMATCH>

=item X<$`>

The string preceding whatever was matched by the last successful pattern 
match (not counting any matches hidden within a BLOCK or eval enclosed by 
the current BLOCK). (Mnemonic: ` often precedes a quoted string.) This 
variable is read-only.


=item X<$'>

The string following whatever was matched by the last successful pattern 
match (not counting any matches hidden within a BLOCK or I<R<eval()>> 
enclosed by the current BLOCK). (Mnemonic: ' often follows a quoted 
string.) Example:

	$_ = 'abcdefghi';
	print "$`:$&:$'\n";         # prints abc:def:ghi

This variable is read-only.


=item X<$+>

The last bracket matched by the last search pattern. This is useful if you 
don't know which of a set of alternative patterns matched. For example:

	/Version: (.*)|Revision: (.*)/ && ($rev = $+);

(Mnemonic: be positive and forward looking.) This variable is read-only.


=item X<$*>

Set to 1 to do multiline matching within a string, 0 to tell Perl that it 
can assume that strings contain a single line, for the purpose of 
optimizing pattern matches. Pattern matches on strings containing multiple 
newlines can produce confusing results when C<$*> is 0. Default is 0. 
(Mnemonic: * matches multiple things.) Note that this variable only 
influences the interpretation of C<^> and C<$>. A literal newline can be 
searched for even when C<$* == 0>.

Use of C<$*> is deprecated in Perl 5.

=item X<input_line_number> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$NR>

=item X<$.>

The current input line number of the last filehandle that was read. An 
explicit close on the filehandle resets the line number. Since C<E<lt>E<gt>> 
never does an explicit close, line numbers increase across ARGV files (but 
see examples under I<R<eof()>>). Localizing C<$.> has the effect of also 
localizing Perl's notion of "the last read filehandle". (Mnemonic: many 
programs use "." to mean the current line number.)

=item X<input_record_separator> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$RS>

=item X<$/>

The input record separator, newline by default. Works like B<awk>'s RS 
variable, including treating blank lines as delimiters if set to the null 
string. You may set it to a multicharacter string to match a 
multi-character delimiter. Note that setting it to C<"\n\n"> means 
something slightly different than setting it to C<"">, if the file 
contains consecutive blank lines. Setting it to C<""> will treat two or 
more consecutive blank lines as a single blank line. Setting it to C<"\n\n"> 
will blindly assume that the next input character belongs to the next 
paragraph, even if it's a newline. (Mnemonic: / is used to delimit line 
boundaries when quoting poetry.)

	undef $/;
	$_ = <FH>;          # whole file now here
	s/\n[ \t]+/ /g;

=item X<autoflush> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$|>

If set to nonzero, forces a flush after every write or print on the 
currently selected output channel. Default is 0. Note that STDOUT will 
typically be line buffered if output is to the terminal and block buffered 
otherwise. Setting this variable is useful primarily when you are 
outputting to a pipe, such as when you are running a Perl script under rsh 
and want to see the output as it's happening. This has no effect on input 
buffering. (Mnemonic: when you want your pipes to be piping hot.)

=item X<output_field_separator> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$OFS>

=item X<$,>

The output field separator for the print operator. Ordinarily the print 
operator simply prints out the comma separated fields you specify. In 
order to get behavior more like B<awk>, set this variable as you would set 
B<awk>'s OFS variable to specify what is printed between fields. 
(Mnemonic: what is printed when there is a , in your print statement.)

=item X<output_record_separator> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$ORS>

=item X<$\>

The output record separator for the print operator. Ordinarily the print 
operator simply prints out the comma separated fields you specify, with no 
trailing newline or record separator assumed. In order to get behavior 
more like B<awk>, set this variable as you would set B<awk>'s ORS variable 
to specify what is printed at the end of the print. (Mnemonic: you set C<$\> 
instead of adding \n at the end of the print. Also, it's just like /, but 
it's what you get "back" from Perl.)


=item X<$">

This is like C<$,> except that it applies to array values interpolated 
into a double-quoted string (or similar interpreted string). Default is a 
space. (Mnemonic: obvious, I think.)


=item X<$SUBSEP>

=item X<$;>

The subscript separator for multi-dimensional array emulation. If you 
refer to a hash element as


it really means

	$foo{join($;, $a, $b, $c)}

But don't put

	@foo{$a,$b,$c}      # a slice--note the @

which means


Default is "\034", the same as SUBSEP in B<awk>. Note that if your keys 
contain binary data there might not be any safe value for C<$;>. 
(Mnemonic: comma (the syntactic subscript separator) is a semi-semicolon. 
Yeah, I know, it's pretty lame, but C<$,> is already taken for something 
more important.)

Consider using "real" multi-dimensional arrays in Perl 5.

=item X<$OFMT>

=item X<$#>

The output format for printed numbers. This variable is a half-hearted 
attempt to emulate B<awk>'s OFMT variable. There are times, however, when 
B<awk> and Perl have differing notions of what is in fact numeric. Also, 
the initial value is %.20g rather than %.6g, so you need to set C<$#> 
explicitly to get B<awk>'s value. (Mnemonic: # is the number sign.)

Use of C<$#> is deprecated in Perl 5.

=item X<format_page_number> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$%>

The current page number of the currently selected output channel. 
(Mnemonic: % is page number in B<nroff>.)

=item X<format_lines_per_page> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$=>

The current page length (printable lines) of the currently selected output 
channel. Default is 60. (Mnemonic: = has horizontal lines.)

=item X<format_lines_left> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$->

The number of lines left on the page of the currently selected output 
channel. (Mnemonic: lines_on_page - lines_printed.)

=item X<format_name> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$~>

The name of the current report format for the currently selected output 
channel. Default is name of the filehandle. (Mnemonic: brother to C<$^>.)

=item X<format_top_name> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$^>

The name of the current top-of-page format for the currently selected 
output channel. Default is name of the filehandle with _TOP appended. 
(Mnemonic: points to top of page.)

=item X<format_line_break_characters> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$:>

The current set of characters after which a string may be broken to fill 
continuation fields (starting with ^) in a format. Default is S<" \n-">, 
to break on whitespace or hyphens. (Mnemonic: a "colon" in poetry is a 
part of a line.)

=item X<format_formfeed> HANDLE EXPR


=item X<$^L>

What formats output to perform a formfeed. Default is \f.


=item X<$^A>

The current value of the I<R<write()>> accumulator for I<R<format()>> 
lines. A format contains I<R<formline()>> commands that put their result 
into C<$^A>. After calling its format, I<R<write()>> prints out the 
contents of C<$^A> and empties. So you never actually see the contents of 
C<$^A> unless you call I<R<formline()>> yourself and then look at it. See 
L<ARRAY(0xd73c0)<>> and L<ARRAY(0xd7054)<>>.


=item X<$?>

The status returned by the last pipe close, backtick (C<``>) command, or I<R<system()>> 
operator. Note that this is the status word returned by the I<R<wait()>> 
system call, so the exit value of the subprocess is actually (C<$? E<gt>E<gt> 
8>). Thus on many systems, C<$? & 255> gives which signal, if any, the 
process died from, and whether there was a core dump. (Mnemonic: similar 
to B<sh> and B<ksh>.)

=item X<$OS_ERROR>

=item X<$ERRNO>

=item X<$!>

If used in a numeric context, yields the current value of errno, with all 
the usual caveats. (This means that you shouldn't depend on the value of C<$!> 
to be anything in particular unless you've gotten a specific error return 
indicating a system error.) If used in a string context, yields the 
corresponding system error string. You can assign to C<$!> in order to set 
I<errno> if, for instance, you want C<$!> to return the string for error I<n>, 
or you want to set the exit value for the I<R<die()>> operator. (Mnemonic: 
What just went bang?)

=item X<$EVAL_ERROR>

=item X<$@>

The Perl syntax error message from the last I<R<eval()>> command. If null, 
the last I<R<eval()>> parsed and executed correctly (although the 
operations you invoked may have failed in the normal fashion). (Mnemonic: 
Where was the syntax error "at"?)

Note that warning messages are not collected in this variable. You can, 
however, set up a routine to process warnings by setting C<R<$SIG>>{__WARN__} 

=item X<$PROCESS_ID>

=item X<$PID>

=item X<$$>

The process number of the Perl running this script. (Mnemonic: same as 

=item X<$REAL_USER_ID>

=item X<$UID>

=item X<$E<lt>;$<>

The real uid of this process. (Mnemonic: it's the uid you came I<FROM>, if 
you're running setuid.)


=item X<$EUID>

=item X<$>E<gt>

The effective uid of this process. Example:

	$< = $>;       # set real to effective uid
	($<,$>) = ($>,$<);  # swap real and effective uid

(Mnemonic: it's the uid you went I<TO>, if you're running setuid.) Note: C<$E<lt>> 
and C<$E<gt>> can only be swapped on machines supporting I<R<setreuid()>>.


=item X<$GID>

=item X<$(>

The real gid of this process. If you are on a machine that supports 
membership in multiple groups simultaneously, gives a space separated list 
of groups you are in. The first number is the one returned by I<R<getgid()>>, 
and the subsequent ones by I<R<getgroups()>>, one of which may be the same 
as the first number. (Mnemonic: parentheses are used to I<GROUP> things. 
The real gid is the group you I<LEFT>, if you're running setgid.)


=item X<$EGID>

=item X<$)>

The effective gid of this process. If you are on a machine that supports 
membership in multiple groups simultaneously, gives a space separated list 
of groups you are in. The first number is the one returned by I<R<getegid()>>, 
and the subsequent ones by I<R<getgroups()>>, one of which may be the same 
as the first number. (Mnemonic: parentheses are used to I<GROUP> things. 
The effective gid is the group that's I<RIGHT> for you, if you're running 

Note: C<$E<lt>>, C<$E<gt>>, C<$(> and C<$)> can only be set on machines 
that support the corresponding I<set[re][ug]I<R<id()>>> routine. C<$(> and 
C<$)> can only be swapped on machines supporting I<R<setregid()>>. Because 
Perl doesn't currently use I<R<initgroups()>>, you can't set your group 
vector to multiple groups.


=item X<$0>

Contains the name of the file containing the Perl script being executed. 
Assigning to C<$0> modifies the argument area that the I<R<ps(1)>> program 
sees. This is more useful as a way of indicating the current program state 
than it is for hiding the program you're running. (Mnemonic: same as B<sh> 
and B<ksh>.)

=item X<$[>

The index of the first element in an array, and of the first character in 
a substring. Default is 0, but you could set it to 1 to make Perl behave 
more like B<awk> (or Fortran) when subscripting and when evaluating the I<R<index()>> 
and I<R<substr()>> functions. (Mnemonic: [ begins subscripts.)

As of Perl 5, assignment to C<$[> is treated as a compiler directive, and 
cannot influence the behavior of any other file. Its use is discouraged.


=item X<$]>

The string printed out when you say C<perl -v>. (This is currently I<BROKEN>). 
It can be used to determine at the beginning of a script whether the perl 
interpreter executing the script is in the right range of versions. If 
used in a numeric context, returns the version + patchlevel / 1000. 

	# see if getc is available
	($version,$patchlevel) =
	         $] =~ /(\d+\.\d+).*\nPatch level: (\d+)/;
	print STDERR "(No filename completion available.)\n"
	         if $version * 1000 + $patchlevel < 2016;

or, used numerically,

	warn "No checksumming!\n" if $] < 3.019;

(Mnemonic: Is this version of perl in the right bracket?)


=item X<$^D>

The current value of the debugging flags. (Mnemonic: value of S<R<-D;switches/-D;-D>> 


=item X<$^F>

The maximum system file descriptor, ordinarily 2. System file descriptors 
are passed to I<R<exec()>>ed processes, while higher file descriptors are 
not. Also, during an I<R<open()>>, system file descriptors are preserved 
even if the I<R<open()>> fails. (Ordinary file descriptors are closed 
before the I<R<open()>> is attempted.) Note that the close-on-exec status 
of a file descriptor will be decided according to the value of C<$^F> at 
the time of the open, not the time of the exec.


=item X<$^I>

The current value of the inplace-edit extension. Use C<undef> to disable 
inplace editing. (Mnemonic: value of S<R<-i;switches/-i;-i>> switch.)

=item X<$PERLDB>

=item X<$^P>

The internal flag that the debugger clears so that it doesn't debug 
itself. You could conceivable disable debugging yourself by clearing it.

=item X<$BASETIME>

=item X<$^T>

The time at which the script began running, in seconds since the epoch 
(beginning of 1970). The values returned by the S<R<-M;switches/-M;-M>>, S<R<-A;switches/-A;-A>> 
and S<R<-C;switches/-C;-C>> filetests are based on this value.

=item X<$WARNING>

=item X<$^W>

The current value of the warning switch, either TRUE or FALSE. (Mnemonic: 
related to the S<R<-w;switches/-w;-w>> switch.)


=item X<$^X>

The name that the Perl binary itself was executed as, from C's C<argv[0]>.

=item X<$ARGV>

contains the name of the current file when reading from E<lt>E<gt>.

=item X<@ARGV>

The array C<R<@ARGV>> contains the command line arguments intended for the 
script. Note that C<$#ARGV> is the generally number of arguments minus 
one, since C<$ARGV[0]> is the first argument, I<NOT> the command name. See 
C<$0> for the command name.

=item X<@INC>

The array C<R<@INC>> contains the list of places to look for Perl scripts 
to be evaluated by the C<do EXPR>, C<require>, or C<use> constructs. It 
initially consists of the arguments to any S<R<-I;switches/-I;-I>> command 
line switches, followed by the default Perl library, probably 
"/usr/local/lib/perl", followed by ".", to represent the current 
directory. If you need to modify this at runtime, you should use the C<use 
lib> pragma in order to also get the machine-dependent library properly 

	  use lib '/mypath/libdir/';
	  use SomeMod;

=item X<%INC>

The hash C<R<%INC>> contains entries for each filename that has been 
included via C<do> or C<require>. The key is the filename you specified, 
and the value is the location of the file actually found. The C<require> 
command uses this array to determine whether a given file has already been 

=item X<$ENV{expr}>

The hash C<R<%ENV>> contains your current environment. Setting a value in 
C<ENV> changes the environment for child processes.

=item X<$SIG{expr}>

The hash C<R<%SIG>> is used to set signal handlers for various signals. 

	sub handler {       # 1st argument is signal name
	    local($sig) = @_;
	    print "Caught a SIG$sig--shutting down\n";

	$SIG{'INT'} = 'handler';
	$SIG{'QUIT'} = 'handler';
	$SIG{'INT'} = 'DEFAULT';    # restore default action
	$SIG{'QUIT'} = 'IGNORE';    # ignore SIGQUIT

The C<R<%SIG>> array only contains values for the signals actually set 
within the Perl script. Here are some other examples:

	$SIG{PIPE} = Plumber;       # SCARY!!
	$SIG{"PIPE"} = "Plumber";   # just fine, assumes main::Plumber
	$SIG{"PIPE"} = \&Plumber;   # just fine; assume current Plumber
	$SIG{"PIPE"} = Plumber();   # oops, what did Plumber() return??

The one marked scary is problematic because it's a bareword, which means 
sometimes it's a string representing the function, and sometimes it's 
going to call the subroutine call right then and there! Best to be sure 
and quote it or take a reference to it. *Plumber works too. See L<ARRAY(0xd7228)<>>.

Certain internal hooks can be also set using the C<R<%SIG>> hash. The 
routine indicated by C<R<$SIG>>{__WARN__} is called when a warning message 
is about to be printed. The warning message is passed as the first 
argument. The presence of a __WARN__ hook causes the ordinary printing of 
warnings to STDERR to be suppressed. You can use this to save warnings in 
a variable, or turn warnings into fatal errors, like this:

	local $SIG{__WARN__} = sub { die $_[0] };
	eval $proggie;

The routine indicated by C<R<$SIG>>{__DIE__} is called when a fatal 
exception is about to be thrown. The error message is passed as the first 
argument. When a __DIE__ hook routine returns, the exception processing 
continues as it would have in the absence of the hook, unless the hook 
routine itself exits via a C<goto>, a loop exit, or a I<R<die()>>. The 
__DIE__ handler is explicitly disabled during the call, so that you can 
die from a __DIE__ handler. Similarly for __WARN__.

=end list

=end pod

=comment End of file pod/perlvar.pod