Category Archives: 5.16

Perl v5.16 now sets proper magic on lexical $_

[Lexical $_ was removed in v5.24] Perl v5.10 introduced given and the lexical $_. That use of $_, which everyone has assumed is a global variable, turned out to be a huge mistake. The various bookkeeping on the global version didn’t happen with the lexical version, so strange things happened.

Look up Unicode properties with an inversion map

Perl comes with extracts of the Unicode character data, but it hasn’t been easy to look up all of the information Perl knows about a character. Perl v5.15.7 adds a way to created an inverted map based on the property that you want to access.

Fold cases properly

You might think that you know how to compare strings regardless of case, and you’re probably wrong. After you read this Item, you’ll be able to do it correctly and without doing any more work than you were doing before. Perl handles all the details for you.

Use __SUB__ to get a reference to the current subroutine

What if you want to write a recursive subroutine but you don’t know the name of the current subroutine? Since Perl is a dynamic language and code references are first class objects, you might not know the name of the code reference, if it even has a name. Perl 5.16 introduces __SUB__ as a special […]

Loose match Unicode character names

The charnames module can now handle loose name matching, as outlined in Unicode Standard Annex #44. This accounts for the various ways people are abusing things. Consider the character 😻, (U+1F63B SMILING CAT FACE WITH HEART-SHAPED EYES). If you want to interpolate that into a string, you have to use the exact name: use v5.16; […]

Hide low-level details behind an interface

Perl 5.16 makes the Perl special variable, $$, writeable, but with some magic. That’s the variable that holds the process ID. Why would you ever want to do that? There’s not much to write about with this new feature, but there’s plenty to write against it since it introduces more magic (see commit 9cdac2 on […]

Perl 5.16 new features

The Perl 5 Porters are currently working on Perl 5.15, the development track that will end up as Perl 5.16. By reading the perldelta515* documentation, you can get a peek at what will mostly likely be in the next maintenance version of Perl. You need to read each of the perldelta5* in a development series […]