[This feature stabilizes in Perl v5.32]
Perl v5.28 adds more-readable, alternate spelled-out forms for some of its regular expression extended patterns. Then, to make those slightly less readable, there are very short initialisms for those. Although these might seem superfluous now, the ability to define new syntax without relying on the limited number of ASCII symbols.
Continue reading “Use alpha assertions for more understandable regexes”
Perl v5.28 updates to Unicode 10. There are 8,518 new characters, 7,473 which are in the CJK extension. There are 56 new emojis. And, the Bitcoin symbol, ₿. It adds a T. rex, 🦖, but we’re still waiting for a raptor. To Perl they are just characters like any other so you don’t need anything new to deal with them.
Continue reading “Use Unicode 10 in Perl v5.28”
Perl v5.20 introduced key-value slices that worked on hashes and arrays. You could extract values by their keys or indices as well as assigning to those.
The key-value slice delete is way to extract the keys and values you want and delete them at the same time. You can destructively
Continue reading “Perl v5.28 can delete key-value slices”
Perl v5.28 allows you to initialize array and hash variables that you declare with
state. This is a feature a long time coming and that I’m quite happy as finally arrived.
Since v5.10 and up to v5.26 you could only initialize a
state variable if it was a scalar. You could declare a hash or array variable but you couldn’t give it an initial value at the same time. You could do this:
Continue reading “Initialize array and hash variables with state”
Continuing its quest to clean up long deprecated features, v5.28 takes care of another feature deprecated since v5.0. You can no longer neglect to specify a heredoc separator. This was a warning in v5.26 and is now fatal. You probably weren’t doing this anyway (I’ve never seen it in the wild), but it’s nice to know the edge cases are disappearing.
Continue reading “Unquoted empty heredoc terminators are now fatal”
In-place editing is getting much safer in v5.28. Before that, in rare circumstances it could lose data. You may have never noticed the problem and even with all the times I’ve explained it in a Perl class I haven’t really thought about it. This was first reported as early as December 2002 and after we get v5.28 it won’t be a problem anymore. Continue reading “In-place editing gets safer in v5.28”
[Although I haven’t seen an official notice besides a git commit that reverts the changes, by popular outcry these changes won’t be in v5.28. It’s not that they won’t happen but they won’t be in v5.28. People who depend on Perl should stay vigilant. My advice in the first paragraph stands—change is coming and we don’t know what it is yet.]
Perl v5.28 might do away with
when—v5.27.7 already has. Don’t upgrade to v5.28 until you know you won’t be affected by this! This change doesn’t follow the normal Perl deprecation or experimental feature policy. If you are using
given-when, stop doing that. If you aren’t using it, don’t start. And everyone should consider if a major change like this on such short notice is comfortable for them. It’s not a democracy but you can still let the core developers know which way you want your favorite language to go.
Continue reading “Beware of the removal of when in Perl v5.28”
Perl v5.28 has a few new features and several removals of old features that you shouldn’t have been using anyway (so I’m not going to mention them). Continue reading “Perl v5.28 new features”
[This feature is no longer experimental, starting in v5.28. Declaring
use 5.28 automatically enables them.]
Most Perl operators force their context on the values. For example, the numeric addition operator,
+, forces its values to be numbers. To “add” strings, you use a separate operator, the string concatenation operator,
. (which looks odd at the end of a sentence).
The bitwise operators, however, look at the value to determine their context. With a lefthand value that has a numeric component, the bitwise operators do numeric things. With a lefthand value that’s a string, the bit operators become string operators. That’s certainly one of Perl’s warts, which I’ll fix at the end of this article with a new feature from v5.22. Continue reading “Make bitwise operators always use numeric context”