Man Pages

perl56delta(1) - phpMan perl56delta(1) - phpMan

Command: man perldoc info search(apropos)  

PERL56DELTA(1)         Perl Programmers Reference Guide         PERL56DELTA(1)

       perl56delta - what's new for perl v5.6.0

       This document describes differences between the 5.005 release and the 5.6.0 release.

Core Enhancements
       Interpreter cloning, threads, and concurrency

       Perl 5.6.0 introduces the beginnings of support for running multiple interpreters concurrently in different
       threads.  In conjunction with the perl_clone() API call, which can be used to selectively duplicate the state
       of any given interpreter, it is possible to compile a piece of code once in an interpreter, clone that inter-
       preter one or more times, and run all the resulting interpreters in distinct threads.

       On the Windows platform, this feature is used to emulate fork() at the interpreter level.  See perlfork for
       details about that.

       This feature is still in evolution.  It is eventually meant to be used to selectively clone a subroutine and
       data reachable from that subroutine in a separate interpreter and run the cloned subroutine in a separate
       thread.  Since there is no shared data between the interpreters, little or no locking will be needed (unless
       parts of the symbol table are explicitly shared).  This is obviously intended to be an easy-to-use replacement
       for the existing threads support.

       Support for cloning interpreters and interpreter concurrency can be enabled using the -Dusethreads Configure
       option (see win32/Makefile for how to enable it on Windows.)  The resulting perl executable will be function-
       ally identical to one that was built with -Dmultiplicity, but the perl_clone() API call will only be available
       in the former.

       -Dusethreads enables the cpp macro USE_ITHREADS by default, which in turn enables Perl source code changes that
       provide a clear separation between the op tree and the data it operates with.  The former is immutable, and can
       therefore be shared between an interpreter and all of its clones, while the latter is considered local to each
       interpreter, and is therefore copied for each clone.

       Note that building Perl with the -Dusemultiplicity Configure option is adequate if you wish to run multiple
       independent interpreters concurrently in different threads.  -Dusethreads only provides the additional func-
       tionality of the perl_clone() API call and other support for running cloned interpreters concurrently.

           NOTE: This is an experimental feature.  Implementation details are
           subject to change.

       Lexically scoped warning categories

       You can now control the granularity of warnings emitted by perl at a finer level using the "use warnings"
       pragma.  warnings and perllexwarn have copious documentation on this feature.

       Unicode and UTF-8 support

       Perl now uses UTF-8 as its internal representation for character strings.  The "utf8" and "bytes" pragmas are
       used to control this support in the current lexical scope.  See perlunicode, utf8 and bytes for more informa-

       This feature is expected to evolve quickly to support some form of I/O disciplines that can be used to specify
       the kind of input and output data (bytes or characters).  Until that happens, additional modules from CPAN will
       be needed to complete the toolkit for dealing with Unicode.

           NOTE: This should be considered an experimental feature.  Implementation
           details are subject to change.

       Support for interpolating named characters

       The new "\N" escape interpolates named characters within strings.  For example, "Hi! \N{WHITE SMILING FACE}"
       evaluates to a string with a unicode smiley face at the end.

       "our" declarations

       An "our" declaration introduces a value that can be best understood as a lexically scoped symbolic alias to a
       global variable in the package that was current where the variable was declared.  This is mostly useful as an
       alternative to the "vars" pragma, but also provides the opportunity to introduce typing and other attributes
       for such variables.  See "our" in perlfunc.

       Support for strings represented as a vector of ordinals

       Literals of the form "v1.2.3.4" are now parsed as a string composed of characters with the specified ordinals.
       This is an alternative, more readable way to construct (possibly unicode) strings instead of interpolating
       characters, as in "\x{1}\x{2}\x{3}\x{4}".  The leading "v" may be omitted if there are more than two ordinals,
       so 1.2.3 is parsed the same as "v1.2.3".

       Strings written in this form are also useful to represent version "numbers".  It is easy to compare such ver-
       sion "numbers" (which are really just plain strings) using any of the usual string comparison operators "eq",
       "ne", "lt", "gt", etc., or perform bitwise string operations on them using "|", "&", etc.

       In conjunction with the new $^V magic variable (which contains the perl version as a string), such literals can
       be used as a readable way to check if you're running a particular version of Perl:

           # this will parse in older versions of Perl also
           if ($^V and $^V gt v5.6.0) {
               # new features supported

       "require" and "use" also have some special magic to support such literals, but this particular usage should be
       avoided because it leads to misleading error messages under versions of Perl which don't support vector
       strings.  Using a true version number will ensure correct behavior in all versions of Perl:

           require 5.006;    # run time check for v5.6
           use 5.006_001;    # compile time check for v5.6.1

       Also, "sprintf" and "printf" support the Perl-specific format flag %v to print ordinals of characters in arbi-
       trary strings:

           printf "v%vd", $^V;         # prints current version, such as "v5.5.650"
           printf "%*vX", ":", $addr;  # formats IPv6 address
           printf "%*vb", " ", $bits;  # displays bitstring

       See "Scalar value constructors" in perldata for additional information.

       Improved Perl version numbering system

       Beginning with Perl version 5.6.0, the version number convention has been changed to a "dotted integer" scheme
       that is more commonly found in open source projects.

       Maintenance versions of v5.6.0 will be released as v5.6.1, v5.6.2 etc.  The next development series following
       v5.6.0 will be numbered v5.7.x, beginning with v5.7.0, and the next major production release following v5.6.0
       will be v5.8.0.

       The English module now sets $PERL_VERSION to $^V (a string value) rather than $] (a numeric value).  (This is a
       potential incompatibility.  Send us a report via perlbug if you are affected by this.)

       The v1.2.3 syntax is also now legal in Perl.  See "Support for strings represented as a vector of ordinals" for
       more on that.

       To cope with the new versioning system's use of at least three significant digits for each version component,
       the method used for incrementing the subversion number has also changed slightly.  We assume that versions
       older than v5.6.0 have been incrementing the subversion component in multiples of 10.  Versions after v5.6.0
       will increment them by 1.  Thus, using the new notation, 5.005_03 is the "same" as v5.5.30, and the first main-
       tenance version following v5.6.0 will be v5.6.1 (which should be read as being equivalent to a floating point
       value of 5.006_001 in the older format, stored in $]).

       New syntax for declaring subroutine attributes

       Formerly, if you wanted to mark a subroutine as being a method call or as requiring an automatic lock() when it
       is entered, you had to declare that with a "use attrs" pragma in the body of the subroutine.  That can now be
       accomplished with declaration syntax, like this:

           sub mymethod : locked method;
           sub mymethod : locked method {

           sub othermethod :locked :method;
           sub othermethod :locked :method {

       (Note how only the first ":" is mandatory, and whitespace surrounding the ":" is optional.) and have been updated to keep the attributes with the stubs they provide.  See

       File and directory handles can be autovivified

       Similar to how constructs such as "$x->[0]" autovivify a reference, handle constructors (open(), opendir(),
       pipe(), socketpair(), sysopen(), socket(), and accept()) now autovivify a file or directory handle if the han-
       dle passed to them is an uninitialized scalar variable.  This allows the constructs such as "open(my $fh, ...)"
       and "open(local $fh,...)"  to be used to create filehandles that will conveniently be closed automatically when
       the scope ends, provided there are no other references to them.  This largely eliminates the need for typeglobs
       when opening filehandles that must be passed around, as in the following example:

           sub myopen {
               open my $fh, "@_"
                    or die "Can't open '@_': $!";
               return $fh;

               my $f = myopen("</etc/motd");
               print <$f>;
               # $f implicitly closed here

       open() with more than two arguments

       If open() is passed three arguments instead of two, the second argument is used as the mode and the third argu-
       ment is taken to be the file name.  This is primarily useful for protecting against unintended magic behavior
       of the traditional two-argument form.  See "open" in perlfunc.

       64-bit support

       Any platform that has 64-bit integers either

               (1) natively as longs or ints
               (2) via special compiler flags
               (3) using long long or int64_t

       is able to use "quads" (64-bit integers) as follows:

       ?   constants (decimal, hexadecimal, octal, binary) in the code

       ?   arguments to oct() and hex()

       ?   arguments to print(), printf() and sprintf() (flag prefixes ll, L, q)

       ?   printed as such

       ?   pack() and unpack() "q" and "Q" formats

       ?   in basic arithmetics: + - * / % (NOTE: operating close to the limits of the integer values may produce sur-
           prising results)

       ?   in bit arithmetics: & | ^ ~ << >> (NOTE: these used to be forced to be 32 bits wide but now operate on the
           full native width.)

       ?   vec()

       Note that unless you have the case (a) you will have to configure and compile Perl using the -Duse64bitint Con-
       figure flag.

           NOTE: The Configure flags -Duselonglong and -Duse64bits have been
           deprecated.  Use -Duse64bitint instead.

       There are actually two modes of 64-bitness: the first one is achieved using Configure -Duse64bitint and the
       second one using Configure -Duse64bitall.  The difference is that the first one is minimal and the second one
       maximal.  The first works in more places than the second.

       The "use64bitint" does only as much as is required to get 64-bit integers into Perl (this may mean, for exam-
       ple, using "long longs") while your memory may still be limited to 2 gigabytes (because your pointers could
       still be 32-bit).  Note that the name "64bitint" does not imply that your C compiler will be using 64-bit
       "int"s (it might, but it doesn't have to): the "use64bitint" means that you will be able to have 64 bits wide
       scalar values.

       The "use64bitall" goes all the way by attempting to switch also integers (if it can), longs (and pointers) to
       being 64-bit.  This may create an even more binary incompatible Perl than -Duse64bitint: the resulting exe-
       cutable may not run at all in a 32-bit box, or you may have to reboot/reconfigure/rebuild your operating system
       to be 64-bit aware.

       Natively 64-bit systems like Alpha and Cray need neither -Duse64bitint nor -Duse64bitall.

       Last but not least: note that due to Perl's habit of always using floating point numbers, the quads are still
       not true integers.  When quads overflow their limits (0...18_446_744_073_709_551_615 unsigned,
       -9_223_372_036_854_775_808...9_223_372_036_854_775_807 signed), they are silently promoted to floating point
       numbers, after which they will start losing precision (in their lower digits).

           NOTE: 64-bit support is still experimental on most platforms.
           Existing support only covers the LP64 data model.  In particular, the
           LLP64 data model is not yet supported.  64-bit libraries and system
           APIs on many platforms have not stabilized--your mileage may vary.

       Large file support

       If you have filesystems that support "large files" (files larger than 2 gigabytes), you may now also be able to
       create and access them from Perl.

           NOTE: The default action is to enable large file support, if
           available on the platform.

       If the large file support is on, and you have a Fcntl constant O_LARGEFILE, the O_LARGEFILE is automatically
       added to the flags of sysopen().

       Beware that unless your filesystem also supports "sparse files" seeking to umpteen petabytes may be inadvis-

       Note that in addition to requiring a proper file system to do large files you may also need to adjust your per-
       process (or your per-system, or per-process-group, or per-user-group) maximum filesize limits before running
       Perl scripts that try to handle large files, especially if you intend to write such files.

       Finally, in addition to your process/process group maximum filesize limits, you may have quota limits on your
       filesystems that stop you (your user id or your user group id) from using large files.

       Adjusting your process/user/group/file system/operating system limits is outside the scope of Perl core lan-
       guage.  For process limits, you may try increasing the limits using your shell's limits/limit/ulimit command
       before running Perl.  The BSD::Resource extension (not included with the standard Perl distribution) may also
       be of use, it offers the getrlimit/setrlimit interface that can be used to adjust process resource usage lim-
       its, including the maximum filesize limit.

       Long doubles

       In some systems you may be able to use long doubles to enhance the range and precision of your double precision
       floating point numbers (that is, Perl's numbers).  Use Configure -Duselongdouble to enable this support (if it
       is available).

       "more bits"

       You can "Configure -Dusemorebits" to turn on both the 64-bit support and the long double support.

       Enhanced support for sort() subroutines

       Perl subroutines with a prototype of "($$)", and XSUBs in general, can now be used as sort subroutines.  In
       either case, the two elements to be compared are passed as normal parameters in @_.  See "sort" in perlfunc.

       For unprototyped sort subroutines, the historical behavior of passing the elements to be compared as the global
       variables $a and $b remains unchanged.

       "sort $coderef @foo" allowed

       sort() did not accept a subroutine reference as the comparison function in earlier versions.  This is now per-

       File globbing implemented internally

       Perl now uses the File::Glob implementation of the glob() operator automatically.  This avoids using an exter-
       nal csh process and the problems associated with it.

           NOTE: This is currently an experimental feature.  Interfaces and
           implementation are subject to change.

       Support for CHECK blocks

       In addition to "BEGIN", "INIT", "END", "DESTROY" and "AUTOLOAD", subroutines named "CHECK" are now special.
       These are queued up during compilation and behave similar to END blocks, except they are called at the end of
       compilation rather than at the end of execution.  They cannot be called directly.

       POSIX character class syntax [: :] supported

       For example to match alphabetic characters use /[[:alpha:]]/.  See perlre for details.

       Better pseudo-random number generator

       In 5.005_0x and earlier, perl's rand() function used the C library rand(3) function.  As of 5.005_52, Configure
       tests for drand48(), random(), and rand() (in that order) and picks the first one it finds.

       These changes should result in better random numbers from rand().

       Improved "qw//" operator

       The "qw//" operator is now evaluated at compile time into a true list instead of being replaced with a run time
       call to "split()".  This removes the confusing misbehaviour of "qw//" in scalar context, which had inherited
       that behaviour from split().


           $foo = ($bar) = qw(a b c); print "$foo|$bar\n";

       now correctly prints "3|a", instead of "2|a".

       Better worst-case behavior of hashes

       Small changes in the hashing algorithm have been implemented in order to improve the distribution of lower
       order bits in the hashed value.  This is expected to yield better performance on keys that are repeated

       pack() format 'Z' supported

       The new format type 'Z' is useful for packing and unpacking null-terminated strings.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       pack() format modifier '!' supported

       The new format type modifier '!' is useful for packing and unpacking native shorts, ints, and longs.  See
       "pack" in perlfunc.

       pack() and unpack() support counted strings

       The template character '/' can be used to specify a counted string type to be packed or unpacked.  See "pack"
       in perlfunc.

       Comments in pack() templates

       The '#' character in a template introduces a comment up to end of the line.  This facilitates documentation of
       pack() templates.

       Weak references

       In previous versions of Perl, you couldn't cache objects so as to allow them to be deleted if the last refer-
       ence from outside the cache is deleted.  The reference in the cache would hold a reference count on the object
       and the objects would never be destroyed.

       Another familiar problem is with circular references.  When an object references itself, its reference count
       would never go down to zero, and it would not get destroyed until the program is about to exit.

       Weak references solve this by allowing you to "weaken" any reference, that is, make it not count towards the
       reference count.  When the last non-weak reference to an object is deleted, the object is destroyed and all the
       weak references to the object are automatically undef-ed.

       To use this feature, you need the Devel::WeakRef package from CPAN, which contains additional documentation.

           NOTE: This is an experimental feature.  Details are subject to change.

       Binary numbers supported

       Binary numbers are now supported as literals, in s?printf formats, and "oct()":

           $answer = 0b101010;
           printf "The answer is: %b\n", oct("0b101010");

       Lvalue subroutines

       Subroutines can now return modifiable lvalues.  See "Lvalue subroutines" in perlsub.

           NOTE: This is an experimental feature.  Details are subject to change.

       Some arrows may be omitted in calls through references

       Perl now allows the arrow to be omitted in many constructs involving subroutine calls through references.  For
       example, "$foo[10]->('foo')" may now be written "$foo[10]('foo')".  This is rather similar to how the arrow may
       be omitted from "$foo[10]->{'foo'}".  Note however, that the arrow is still required for "foo(10)->('bar')".

       Boolean assignment operators are legal lvalues

       Constructs such as "($a ||= 2) += 1" are now allowed.

       exists() is supported on subroutine names

       The exists() builtin now works on subroutine names.  A subroutine is considered to exist if it has been
       declared (even if implicitly).  See "exists" in perlfunc for examples.

       exists() and delete() are supported on array elements

       The exists() and delete() builtins now work on simple arrays as well.  The behavior is similar to that on hash

       exists() can be used to check whether an array element has been initialized.  This avoids autovivifying array
       elements that don't exist.  If the array is tied, the EXISTS() method in the corresponding tied package will be

       delete() may be used to remove an element from the array and return it.  The array element at that position
       returns to its uninitialized state, so that testing for the same element with exists() will return false.  If
       the element happens to be the one at the end, the size of the array also shrinks up to the highest element that
       tests true for exists(), or 0 if none such is found.  If the array is tied, the DELETE() method in the corre-
       sponding tied package will be invoked.

       See "exists" in perlfunc and "delete" in perlfunc for examples.

       Pseudo-hashes work better

       Dereferencing some types of reference values in a pseudo-hash, such as "$ph->{foo}[1]", was accidentally disal-
       lowed.  This has been corrected.

       When applied to a pseudo-hash element, exists() now reports whether the specified value exists, not merely if
       the key is valid.

       delete() now works on pseudo-hashes.  When given a pseudo-hash element or slice it deletes the values corre-
       sponding to the keys (but not the keys themselves).  See "Pseudo-hashes: Using an array as a hash" in perlref.

       Pseudo-hash slices with constant keys are now optimized to array lookups at compile-time.

       List assignments to pseudo-hash slices are now supported.

       The "fields" pragma now provides ways to create pseudo-hashes, via fields::new() and fields::phash().  See

           NOTE: The pseudo-hash data type continues to be experimental.
           Limiting oneself to the interface elements provided by the
           fields pragma will provide protection from any future changes.

       Automatic flushing of output buffers

       fork(), exec(), system(), qx//, and pipe open()s now flush buffers of all files opened for output when the
       operation was attempted.  This mostly eliminates confusing buffering mishaps suffered by users unaware of how
       Perl internally handles I/O.

       This is not supported on some platforms like Solaris where a suitably correct implementation of fflush(NULL)
       isn't available.

       Better diagnostics on meaningless filehandle operations

       Constructs such as "open(<FH>)" and "close(<FH>)" are compile time errors.  Attempting to read from filehandles
       that were opened only for writing will now produce warnings (just as writing to read-only filehandles does).

       Where possible, buffered data discarded from duped input filehandle

       "open(NEW, "<&OLD")" now attempts to discard any data that was previously read and buffered in "OLD" before
       duping the handle.  On platforms where doing this is allowed, the next read operation on "NEW" will return the
       same data as the corresponding operation on "OLD".  Formerly, it would have returned the data from the start of
       the following disk block instead.

       eof() has the same old magic as <>

       "eof()" would return true if no attempt to read from "<>" had yet been made.  "eof()" has been changed to have
       a little magic of its own, it now opens the "<>" files.

       binmode() can be used to set :crlf and :raw modes

       binmode() now accepts a second argument that specifies a discipline for the handle in question.  The two
       pseudo-disciplines ":raw" and ":crlf" are currently supported on DOS-derivative platforms.  See "binmode" in
       perlfunc and open.

       "-T" filetest recognizes UTF-8 encoded files as "text"

       The algorithm used for the "-T" filetest has been enhanced to correctly identify UTF-8 content as "text".

       system(), backticks and pipe open now reflect exec() failure

       On Unix and similar platforms, system(), qx() and open(FOO, "cmd |") etc., are implemented via fork() and
       exec().  When the underlying exec() fails, earlier versions did not report the error properly, since the exec()
       happened to be in a different process.

       The child process now communicates with the parent about the error in launching the external command, which
       allows these constructs to return with their usual error value and set $!.

       Improved diagnostics

       Line numbers are no longer suppressed (under most likely circumstances) during the global destruction phase.

       Diagnostics emitted from code running in threads other than the main thread are now accompanied by the thread

       Embedded null characters in diagnostics now actually show up.  They used to truncate the message in prior ver-

       $foo::a and $foo::b are now exempt from "possible typo" warnings only if sort() is encountered in package

       Unrecognized alphabetic escapes encountered when parsing quote constructs now generate a warning, since they
       may take on new semantics in later versions of Perl.

       Many diagnostics now report the internal operation in which the warning was provoked, like so:

           Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) at (eval 1) line 1.
           Use of uninitialized value in print at (eval 1) line 1.

       Diagnostics  that occur within eval may also report the file and line number where the eval is located, in
       addition to the eval sequence number and the line number within the evaluated text itself.  For example:

           Not enough arguments for scalar at (eval 4)[newlib/] line 2, at EOF

       Diagnostics follow STDERR

       Diagnostic output now goes to whichever file the "STDERR" handle is pointing at, instead of always going to the
       underlying C runtime library's "stderr".

       More consistent close-on-exec behavior

       On systems that support a close-on-exec flag on filehandles, the flag is now set for any handles created by
       pipe(), socketpair(), socket(), and accept(), if that is warranted by the value of $^F that may be in effect.
       Earlier versions neglected to set the flag for handles created with these operators.  See "pipe" in perlfunc,
       "socketpair" in perlfunc, "socket" in perlfunc, "accept" in perlfunc, and "$^F" in perlvar.

       syswrite() ease-of-use

       The length argument of "syswrite()" has become optional.

       Better syntax checks on parenthesized unary operators

       Expressions such as:

           print defined(&foo,&bar,&baz);
           print uc("foo","bar","baz");

       used to be accidentally allowed in earlier versions, and produced unpredictable behaviour.  Some produced
       ancillary warnings when used in this way; others silently did the wrong thing.

       The parenthesized forms of most unary operators that expect a single argument now ensure that they are not
       called with more than one argument, making the cases shown above syntax errors.  The usual behaviour of:

           print defined &foo, &bar, &baz;
           print uc "foo", "bar", "baz";
           undef $foo, &bar;

       remains unchanged.  See perlop.

       Bit operators support full native integer width

       The bit operators (& | ^ ~ << >>) now operate on the full native integral width (the exact size of which is
       available in $Config{ivsize}).  For example, if your platform is either natively 64-bit or if Perl has been
       configured to use 64-bit integers, these operations apply to 8 bytes (as opposed to 4 bytes on 32-bit plat-
       forms).  For portability, be sure to mask off the excess bits in the result of unary "~", e.g., "~$x &

       Improved security features

       More potentially unsafe operations taint their results for improved security.

       The "passwd" and "shell" fields returned by the getpwent(), getpwnam(), and getpwuid() are now tainted, because
       the user can affect their own encrypted password and login shell.

       The variable modified by shmread(), and messages returned by msgrcv() (and its object-oriented interface
       IPC::SysV::Msg::rcv) are also tainted, because other untrusted processes can modify messages and shared memory
       segments for their own nefarious purposes.

       More functional bareword prototype (*)

       Bareword prototypes have been rationalized to enable them to be used to override builtins that accept barewords
       and interpret them in a special way, such as "require" or "do".

       Arguments prototyped as "*" will now be visible within the subroutine as either a simple scalar or as a refer-
       ence to a typeglob.  See "Prototypes" in perlsub.

       "require" and "do" may be overridden

       "require" and "do 'file'" operations may be overridden locally by importing subroutines of the same name into
       the current package (or globally by importing them into the CORE::GLOBAL:: namespace).  Overriding "require"
       will also affect "use", provided the override is visible at compile-time.  See "Overriding Built-in Functions"
       in perlsub.

       $^X variables may now have names longer than one character

       Formerly, $^X was synonymous with ${"\cX"}, but $^XY was a syntax error.  Now variable names that begin with a
       control character may be arbitrarily long.  However, for compatibility reasons, these variables must be written
       with explicit braces, as "${^XY}" for example.  "${^XYZ}" is synonymous with ${"\cXYZ"}.  Variable names with
       more than one control character, such as "${^XY^Z}", are illegal.

       The old syntax has not changed.  As before, '^X' may be either a literal control-X character or the two-charac-
       ter sequence 'caret' plus 'X'.  When braces are omitted, the variable name stops after the control character.
       Thus "$^XYZ" continues to be synonymous with "$^X . "YZ"" as before.

       As before, lexical variables may not have names beginning with control characters.  As before, variables whose
       names begin with a control character are always forced to be in package 'main'.  All such variables are
       reserved for future extensions, except those that begin with "^_", which may be used by user programs and are
       guaranteed not to acquire special meaning in any future version of Perl.

       New variable $^C reflects "-c" switch

       $^C has a boolean value that reflects whether perl is being run in compile-only mode (i.e. via the "-c"
       switch).  Since BEGIN blocks are executed under such conditions, this variable enables perl code to determine
       whether actions that make sense only during normal running are warranted.  See perlvar.

       New variable $^V contains Perl version as a string

       $^V contains the Perl version number as a string composed of characters whose ordinals match the version num-
       bers, i.e. v5.6.0.  This may be used in string comparisons.

       See "Support for strings represented as a vector of ordinals" for an example.

       Optional Y2K warnings

       If Perl is built with the cpp macro "PERL_Y2KWARN" defined, it emits optional warnings when concatenating the
       number 19 with another number.

       This behavior must be specifically enabled when running Configure.  See INSTALL and README.Y2K.

       Arrays now always interpolate into double-quoted strings

       In double-quoted strings, arrays now interpolate, no matter what.  The behavior in earlier versions of perl 5
       was that arrays would interpolate into strings if the array had been mentioned before the string was compiled,
       and otherwise Perl would raise a fatal compile-time error.  In versions 5.000 through 5.003, the error was

               Literal @example now requires backslash

       In versions 5.004_01 through 5.6.0, the error was

               In string, @example now must be written as \@example

       The idea here was to get people into the habit of writing "fred\" when they wanted a literal "@"
       sign, just as they have always written "Give me back my \$5" when they wanted a literal "$" sign.

       Starting with 5.6.1, when Perl now sees an "@" sign in a double-quoted string, it always attempts to interpo-
       late an array, regardless of whether or not the array has been used or declared already.  The fatal error has
       been downgraded to an optional warning:

               Possible unintended interpolation of @example in string

       This warns you that "" is going to turn into "" if you don't backslash the "@".  See for more details about the history here.

       @- and @+ provide starting/ending offsets of regex matches

       The new magic variables @- and @+ provide the starting and ending offsets, respectively, of $&, $1, $2, etc.
       See perlvar for details.

Modules and Pragmata

           While used internally by Perl as a pragma, this module also provides a way to fetch subroutine and variable
           attributes.  See attributes.

       B   The Perl Compiler suite has been extensively reworked for this release.  More of the standard Perl test-
           suite passes when run under the Compiler, but there is still a significant way to go to achieve production
           quality compiled executables.

               NOTE: The Compiler suite remains highly experimental.  The
               generated code may not be correct, even when it manages to execute
               without errors.

           Overall, Benchmark results exhibit lower average error and better timing accuracy.

           You can now run tests for n seconds instead of guessing the right number of tests to run: e.g.,
           timethese(-5, ...) will run each code for at least 5 CPU seconds.  Zero as the "number of repetitions"
           means "for at least 3 CPU seconds".  The output format has also changed.  For example:

              use Benchmark;$x=3;timethese(-5,{a=>sub{$x*$x},b=>sub{$x**2}})

           will now output something like this:

              Benchmark: running a, b, each for at least 5 CPU seconds...
                       a:  5 wallclock secs ( 5.77 usr +  0.00 sys =  5.77 CPU) @ 200551.91/s (n=1156516)
                       b:  4 wallclock secs ( 5.00 usr +  0.02 sys =  5.02 CPU) @ 159605.18/s (n=800686)

           New features: "each for at least N CPU seconds...", "wallclock secs", and the "@ operations/CPU second

           timethese() now returns a reference to a hash of Benchmark objects containing the test results, keyed on
           the names of the tests.

           timethis() now returns the iterations field in the Benchmark result object instead of 0.

           timethese(), timethis(), and the new cmpthese() (see below) can also take a format specifier of 'none' to
           suppress output.

           A new function countit() is just like timeit() except that it takes a TIME instead of a COUNT.

           A new function cmpthese() prints a chart comparing the results of each test returned from a timethese()
           call.  For each possible pair of tests, the percentage speed difference (iters/sec or seconds/iter) is

           For other details, see Benchmark.

           The ByteLoader is a dedicated extension to generate and run Perl bytecode.  See ByteLoader.

           References can now be used.

           The new version also allows a leading underscore in constant names, but disallows a double leading under-
           score (as in "__LINE__").  Some other names are disallowed or warned against, including BEGIN, END, etc.
           Some names which were forced into main:: used to fail silently in some cases; now they're fatal (outside of
           main::) and an optional warning (inside of main::).  The ability to detect whether a constant had been set
           with a given name has been added.

           See constant.

           This pragma implements the "\N" string escape.  See charnames.

           A "Maxdepth" setting can be specified to avoid venturing too deeply into deep data structures.  See

           The XSUB implementation of Dump() is now automatically called if the "Useqq" setting is not in use.

           Dumping "qr//" objects works correctly.

       DB  "DB" is an experimental module that exposes a clean abstraction to Perl's debugging API.

           DB_File can now be built with Berkeley DB versions 1, 2 or 3.  See "ext/DB_File/Changes".

           Devel::DProf, a Perl source code profiler has been added.  See Devel::DProf and dprofpp.

           The Devel::Peek module provides access to the internal representation of Perl variables and data.  It is a
           data debugging tool for the XS programmer.

           The Dumpvalue module provides screen dumps of Perl data.

           DynaLoader now supports a dl_unload_file() function on platforms that support unloading shared objects
           using dlclose().

           Perl can also optionally arrange to unload all extension shared objects loaded by Perl.  To enable this,
           build Perl with the Configure option "-Accflags=-DDL_UNLOAD_ALL_AT_EXIT".  (This maybe useful if you are
           using Apache with mod_perl.)

           $PERL_VERSION now stands for $^V (a string value) rather than for $] (a numeric value).

       Env Env now supports accessing environment variables like PATH as array variables.

           More Fcntl constants added: F_SETLK64, F_SETLKW64, O_LARGEFILE for large file (more than 4GB) access (NOTE:
           the O_LARGEFILE is automatically added to sysopen() flags if large file support has been configured, as is
           the default), Free/Net/OpenBSD locking behaviour flags F_FLOCK, F_POSIX, Linux F_SHLCK, and O_ACCMODE: the
           combined mask of O_RDONLY, O_WRONLY, and O_RDWR.  The seek()/sysseek() constants SEEK_SET, SEEK_CUR, and
           SEEK_END are available via the ":seek" tag.  The chmod()/stat() S_IF* constants and S_IS* functions are
           available via the ":mode" tag.

           A compare_text() function has been added, which allows custom comparison functions.  See File::Compare.

           File::Find now works correctly when the wanted() function is either autoloaded or is a symbolic reference.

           A bug that caused File::Find to lose track of the working directory when pruning top-level directories has
           been fixed.

           File::Find now also supports several other options to control its behavior.  It can follow symbolic links
           if the "follow" option is specified.  Enabling the "no_chdir" option will make File::Find skip changing the
           current directory when walking directories.  The "untaint" flag can be useful when running with taint
           checks enabled.

           See File::Find.

           This extension implements BSD-style file globbing.  By default, it will also be used for the internal
           implementation of the glob() operator.  See File::Glob.

           New methods have been added to the File::Spec module: devnull() returns the name of the null device
           (/dev/null on Unix) and tmpdir() the name of the temp directory (normally /tmp on Unix).  There are now
           also methods to convert between absolute and relative filenames: abs2rel() and rel2abs().  For compatibil-
           ity with operating systems that specify volume names in file paths, the splitpath(), splitdir(), and cat-
           dir() methods have been added.

           The new File::Spec::Functions modules provides a function interface to the File::Spec module.  Allows

               $fullname = catfile($dir1, $dir2, $file);

           instead of

               $fullname = File::Spec->catfile($dir1, $dir2, $file);

           Getopt::Long licensing has changed to allow the Perl Artistic License as well as the GPL. It used to be GPL
           only, which got in the way of non-GPL applications that wanted to use Getopt::Long.

           Getopt::Long encourages the use of Pod::Usage to produce help messages. For example:

               use Getopt::Long;
               use Pod::Usage;
               my $man = 0;
               my $help = 0;
               GetOptions('help|?' => \$help, man => \$man) or pod2usage(2);
               pod2usage(1) if $help;
               pod2usage(-exitstatus => 0, -verbose => 2) if $man;


               =head1 NAME

               sample - Using Getopt::Long and Pod::Usage

               =head1 SYNOPSIS

               sample [options] [file ...]

                  -help            brief help message
                  -man             full documentation

               =head1 OPTIONS

               =over 8

               =item B<-help>

               Print a brief help message and exits.

               =item B<-man>

               Prints the manual page and exits.


               =head1 DESCRIPTION

               B<This program> will read the given input file(s) and do something
               useful with the contents thereof.


           See Pod::Usage for details.

           A bug that prevented the non-option call-back <> from being specified as the first argument has been fixed.

           To specify the characters < and > as option starters, use ><. Note, however, that changing option starters
           is strongly deprecated.

       IO  write() and syswrite() will now accept a single-argument form of the call, for consistency with Perl's

           You can now create a TCP-based IO::Socket::INET without forcing a connect attempt.  This allows you to con-
           figure its options (like making it non-blocking) and then call connect() manually.

           A bug that prevented the IO::Socket::protocol() accessor from ever returning the correct value has been

           IO::Socket::connect now uses non-blocking IO instead of alarm() to do connect timeouts.

           IO::Socket::accept now uses select() instead of alarm() for doing timeouts.

           IO::Socket::INET->new now sets $! correctly on failure. $@ is still set for backwards compatibility.

       JPL Java Perl Lingo is now distributed with Perl.  See jpl/README for more information.

       lib "use lib" now weeds out any trailing duplicate entries.  "no lib" removes all named entries.

           The bitwise operations "<<", ">>", "&", "|", and "~" are now supported on bigints.

           The accessor methods Re, Im, arg, abs, rho, and theta can now also act as mutators (accessor $z->Re(),
           mutator $z->Re(3)).

           The class method "display_format" and the corresponding object method "display_format", in addition to
           accepting just one argument, now can also accept a parameter hash.  Recognized keys of a parameter hash are
           "style", which corresponds to the old one parameter case, and two new parameters: "format", which is a
           printf()-style format string (defaults usually to "%.15g", you can revert to the default by setting the
           format string to "undef") used for both parts of a complex number, and "polar_pretty_print" (defaults to
           true), which controls whether an attempt is made to try to recognize small multiples and rationals of pi
           (2pi, pi/2) at the argument (angle) of a polar complex number.

           The potentially disruptive change is that in list context both methods now return the parameter hash,
           instead of only the value of the "style" parameter.

           A little bit of radial trigonometry (cylindrical and spherical), radial coordinate conversions, and the
           great circle distance were added.

       Pod::Parser, Pod::InputObjects
           Pod::Parser is a base class for parsing and selecting sections of pod documentation from an input stream.
           This module takes care of identifying pod paragraphs and commands in the input and hands off the parsed
           paragraphs and commands to user-defined methods which are free to interpret or translate them as they see

           Pod::InputObjects defines some input objects needed by Pod::Parser, and for advanced users of Pod::Parser
           that need more about a command besides its name and text.

           As of release 5.6.0 of Perl, Pod::Parser is now the officially sanctioned "base parser code" recommended
           for use by all pod2xxx translators.  Pod::Text (pod2text) and Pod::Man (pod2man) have already been con-
           verted to use Pod::Parser and efforts to convert Pod::HTML (pod2html) are already underway.  For any ques-
           tions or comments about pod parsing and translating issues and utilities, please use the pod-peo-
  mailing list.

           For further information, please see Pod::Parser and Pod::InputObjects.

       Pod::Checker, podchecker
           This utility checks pod files for correct syntax, according to perlpod.  Obvious errors are flagged as
           such, while warnings are printed for mistakes that can be handled gracefully.  The checklist is not com-
           plete yet.  See Pod::Checker.

       Pod::ParseUtils, Pod::Find
           These modules provide a set of gizmos that are useful mainly for pod translators.  Pod::Find traverses
           directory structures and returns found pod files, along with their canonical names (like
           "File::Spec::Unix").  Pod::ParseUtils contains Pod::List (useful for storing pod list information),
           Pod::Hyperlink (for parsing the contents of "L<>" sequences) and Pod::Cache (for caching information about
           pod files, e.g., link nodes).

       Pod::Select, podselect
           Pod::Select is a subclass of Pod::Parser which provides a function named "podselect()" to filter out user-
           specified sections of raw pod documentation from an input stream. podselect is a script that provides
           access to Pod::Select from other scripts to be used as a filter.  See Pod::Select.

       Pod::Usage, pod2usage
           Pod::Usage provides the function "pod2usage()" to print usage messages for a Perl script based on its
           embedded pod documentation.  The pod2usage() function is generally useful to all script authors since it
           lets them write and maintain a single source (the pods) for documentation, thus removing the need to create
           and maintain redundant usage message text consisting of information already in the pods.

           There is also a pod2usage script which can be used from other kinds of scripts to print usage messages from
           pods (even for non-Perl scripts with pods embedded in comments).

           For details and examples, please see Pod::Usage.

       Pod::Text and Pod::Man
           Pod::Text has been rewritten to use Pod::Parser.  While pod2text() is still available for backwards compat-
           ibility, the module now has a new preferred interface.  See Pod::Text for the details.  The new Pod::Text
           module is easily subclassed for tweaks to the output, and two such subclasses (Pod::Text::Termcap for man-
           page-style bold and underlining using termcap information, and Pod::Text::Color for markup with ANSI color
           sequences) are now standard.

           pod2man has been turned into a module, Pod::Man, which also uses Pod::Parser.  In the process, several out-
           standing bugs related to quotes in section headers, quoting of code escapes, and nested lists have been
           fixed.  pod2man is now a wrapper script around this module.

           An EXISTS method has been added to this module (and sdbm_exists() has been added to the underlying sdbm
           library), so one can now call exists on an SDBM_File tied hash and get the correct result, rather than a
           runtime error.

           A bug that may have caused data loss when more than one disk block happens to be read from the database in
           a single FETCH() has been fixed.

           Sys::Syslog now uses XSUBs to access facilities from syslog.h so it no longer requires to exist.

           Sys::Hostname now uses XSUBs to call the C library's gethostname() or uname() if they exist.

           Term::ANSIColor is a very simple module to provide easy and readable access to the ANSI color and high-
           lighting escape sequences, supported by most ANSI terminal emulators.  It is now included standard.

           The timelocal() and timegm() functions used to silently return bogus results when the date fell outside the
           machine's integer range.  They now consistently croak() if the date falls in an unsupported range.

           The error return value in list context has been changed for all functions that return a list of values.
           Previously these functions returned a list with a single element "undef" if an error occurred.  Now these
           functions return the empty list in these situations.  This applies to the following functions:


           The remaining functions are unchanged and continue to return "undef" on error even in list context.

           The Win32::SetLastError(ERROR) function has been added as a complement to the Win32::GetLastError() func-

           The new Win32::GetFullPathName(FILENAME) returns the full absolute pathname for FILENAME in scalar context.
           In list context it returns a two-element list containing the fully qualified directory name and the file-
           name.  See Win32.

           The XSLoader extension is a simpler alternative to DynaLoader.  See XSLoader.

       DBM Filters
           A new feature called "DBM Filters" has been added to all the DBM modules--DB_File, GDBM_File, NDBM_File,
           ODBM_File, and SDBM_File.  DBM Filters add four new methods to each DBM module:


           These can be used to filter key-value pairs before the pairs are written to the database or just after they
           are read from the database.  See perldbmfilter for further information.


       "use attrs" is now obsolete, and is only provided for backward-compatibility.  It's been replaced by the "sub :
       attributes" syntax.  See "Subroutine Attributes" in perlsub and attributes.

       Lexical warnings pragma, "use warnings;", to control optional warnings.  See perllexwarn.

       "use filetest" to control the behaviour of filetests ("-r" "-w" ...).  Currently only one subpragma imple-
       mented, "use filetest 'access';", that uses access(2) or equivalent to check permissions instead of using
       stat(2) as usual.  This matters in filesystems where there are ACLs (access control lists): the stat(2) might
       lie, but access(2) knows better.

       The "open" pragma can be used to specify default disciplines for handle constructors (e.g. open()) and for
       qx//.  The two pseudo-disciplines ":raw" and ":crlf" are currently supported on DOS-derivative platforms (i.e.
       where binmode is not a no-op).  See also "binmode() can be used to set :crlf and :raw modes".

Utility Changes

       "dprofpp" is used to display profile data generated using "Devel::DProf".  See dprofpp.


       The "find2perl" utility now uses the enhanced features of the File::Find module.  The -depth and -follow
       options are supported.  Pod documentation is also included in the script.


       The "h2xs" tool can now work in conjunction with "C::Scan" (available from CPAN) to automatically parse real-
       life header files.  The "-M", "-a", "-k", and "-o" options are new.


       "perlcc" now supports the C and Bytecode backends.  By default, it generates output from the simple C backend
       rather than the optimized C backend.

       Support for non-Unix platforms has been improved.


       "perldoc" has been reworked to avoid possible security holes.  It will not by default let itself be run as the
       superuser, but you may still use the -U switch to try to make it drop privileges first.

       The Perl Debugger

       Many bug fixes and enhancements were added to, the Perl debugger.  The help documentation was rear-
       ranged.  New commands include "< ?", "> ?", and "{ ?" to list out current actions, "man docpage" to run your
       doc viewer on some perl docset, and support for quoted options.  The help information was rearranged, and
       should be viewable once again if you're using less as your pager.  A serious security hole was plugged--you
       should immediately remove all older versions of the Perl debugger as installed in previous releases, all the
       way back to perl3, from your system to avoid being bitten by this.

Improved Documentation
       Many of the platform-specific README files are now part of the perl installation.  See perl for the complete

           The official list of public Perl API functions.

           A tutorial for beginners on object-oriented Perl.

           An introduction to using the Perl Compiler suite.

           A howto document on using the DBM filter facility.

           All material unrelated to running the Perl debugger, plus all low-level guts-like details that risked
           crushing the casual user of the debugger, have been relocated from the old manpage to the next entry below.

           This new manpage contains excessively low-level material not related to the Perl debugger, but slightly
           related to debugging Perl itself.  It also contains some arcane internal details of how the debugging pro-
           cess works that may only be of interest to developers of Perl debuggers.

           Notes on the fork() emulation currently available for the Windows platform.

           An introduction to writing Perl source filters.

           Some guidelines for hacking the Perl source code.

           A list of internal functions in the Perl source code.  (List is currently empty.)

           Introduction and reference information about lexically scoped warning categories.

           Detailed information about numbers as they are represented in Perl.

           A tutorial on using open() effectively.

           A tutorial that introduces the essentials of references.

           A tutorial on managing class data for object modules.

           Discussion of the most often wanted features that may someday be supported in Perl.

           An introduction to Unicode support features in Perl.

Performance enhancements
       Simple sort() using { $a <=> $b } and the like are optimized

       Many common sort() operations using a simple inlined block are now optimized for faster performance.

       Optimized assignments to lexical variables

       Certain operations in the RHS of assignment statements have been optimized to directly set the lexical variable
       on the LHS, eliminating redundant copying overheads.

       Faster subroutine calls

       Minor changes in how subroutine calls are handled internally provide marginal improvements in performance.

       delete(), each(), values() and hash iteration are faster

       The hash values returned by delete(), each(), values() and hashes in a list context are the actual values in
       the hash, instead of copies.  This results in significantly better performance, because it eliminates needless
       copying in most situations.

Installation and Configuration Improvements
       -Dusethreads means something different

       The -Dusethreads flag now enables the experimental interpreter-based thread support by default.  To get the
       flavor of experimental threads that was in 5.005 instead, you need to run Configure with "-Dusethreads

       As of v5.6.0, interpreter-threads support is still lacking a way to create new threads from Perl (i.e., "use
       Thread;" will not work with interpreter threads).  "use Thread;" continues to be available when you specify the
       -Duse5005threads option to Configure, bugs and all.

           NOTE: Support for threads continues to be an experimental feature.
           Interfaces and implementation are subject to sudden and drastic changes.

       New Configure flags

       The following new flags may be enabled on the Configure command line by running Configure with "-Dflag".

           usethreads useithreads      (new interpreter threads: no Perl API yet)
           usethreads use5005threads   (threads as they were in 5.005)

           use64bitint                 (equal to now deprecated 'use64bits')

           usesocks                    (only SOCKS v5 supported)

       Threadedness and 64-bitness now more daring

       The Configure options enabling the use of threads and the use of 64-bitness are now more daring in the sense
       that they no more have an explicit list of operating systems of known threads/64-bit capabilities.  In other
       words: if your operating system has the necessary APIs and datatypes, you should be able just to go ahead and
       use them, for threads by Configure -Dusethreads, and for 64 bits either explicitly by Configure -Duse64bitint
       or implicitly if your system has 64-bit wide datatypes.  See also "64-bit support".

       Long Doubles

       Some platforms have "long doubles", floating point numbers of even larger range than ordinary "doubles".  To
       enable using long doubles for Perl's scalars, use -Duselongdouble.


       You can enable both -Duse64bitint and -Duselongdouble with -Dusemorebits.  See also "64-bit support".


       Some platforms support system APIs that are capable of handling large files (typically, files larger than two
       gigabytes).  Perl will try to use these APIs if you ask for -Duselargefiles.

       See "Large file support" for more information.


       You can use "Configure -Uinstallusrbinperl" which causes installperl to skip installing perl also as
       /usr/bin/perl.  This is useful if you prefer not to modify /usr/bin for some reason or another but harmful
       because many scripts assume to find Perl in /usr/bin/perl.

       SOCKS support

       You can use "Configure -Dusesocks" which causes Perl to probe for the SOCKS proxy protocol library (v5, not
       v4).  For more information on SOCKS, see:


       "-A" flag

       You can "post-edit" the Configure variables using the Configure "-A" switch.  The editing happens immediately
       after the platform specific hints files have been processed but before the actual configuration process starts.
       Run "Configure -h" to find out the full "-A" syntax.

       Enhanced Installation Directories

       The installation structure has been enriched to improve the support for maintaining multiple versions of perl,
       to provide locations for vendor-supplied modules, scripts, and manpages, and to ease maintenance of locally-
       added modules, scripts, and manpages.  See the section on Installation Directories in the INSTALL file for com-
       plete details.  For most users building and installing from source, the defaults should be fine.

       If you previously used "Configure -Dsitelib" or "-Dsitearch" to set special values for library directories, you
       might wish to consider using the new "-Dsiteprefix" setting instead.  Also, if you wish to re-use a
       file from an earlier version of perl, you should be sure to check that Configure makes sensible choices for the
       new directories.  See INSTALL for complete details.

Platform specific changes
       Supported platforms

       ?   The Mach CThreads (NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP) are now supported by the Thread extension.

       ?   GNU/Hurd is now supported.

       ?   Rhapsody/Darwin is now supported.

       ?   EPOC is now supported (on Psion 5).

       ?   The cygwin port (formerly cygwin32) has been greatly improved.


       ?   Perl now works with djgpp 2.02 (and 2.03 alpha).

       ?   Environment variable names are not converted to uppercase any more.

       ?   Incorrect exit codes from backticks have been fixed.

       ?   This port continues to use its own builtin globbing (not File::Glob).

       OS390 (OpenEdition MVS)

       Support for this EBCDIC platform has not been renewed in this release.  There are difficulties in reconciling
       Perl's standardization on UTF-8 as its internal representation for characters with the EBCDIC character set,
       because the two are incompatible.

       It is unclear whether future versions will renew support for this platform, but the possibility exists.


       Numerous revisions and extensions to configuration, build, testing, and installation process to accommodate
       core changes and VMS-specific options.

       Expand %ENV-handling code to allow runtime mapping to logical names, CLI symbols, and CRTL environ array.

       Extension of subprocess invocation code to accept filespecs as command "verbs".

       Add to Perl command line processing the ability to use default file types and to recognize Unix-style "2>&1".

       Expansion of File::Spec::VMS routines, and integration into ExtUtils::MM_VMS.

       Extension of ExtUtils::MM_VMS to handle complex extensions more flexibly.

       Barewords at start of Unix-syntax paths may be treated as text rather than only as logical names.

       Optional secure translation of several logical names used internally by Perl.

       Miscellaneous bugfixing and porting of new core code to VMS.

       Thanks are gladly extended to the many people who have contributed VMS patches, testing, and ideas.


       Perl can now emulate fork() internally, using multiple interpreters running in different concurrent threads.
       This support must be enabled at build time.  See perlfork for detailed information.

       When given a pathname that consists only of a drivename, such as "A:", opendir() and stat() now use the current
       working directory for the drive rather than the drive root.

       The builtin XSUB functions in the Win32:: namespace are documented.  See Win32.

       $^X now contains the full path name of the running executable.

       A Win32::GetLongPathName() function is provided to complement Win32::GetFullPathName() and Win32::GetShortPath-
       Name().  See Win32.

       POSIX::uname() is supported.

       system(1,...) now returns true process IDs rather than process handles.  kill() accepts any real process id,
       rather than strictly return values from system(1,...).

       For better compatibility with Unix, "kill(0, $pid)" can now be used to test whether a process exists.

       The "Shell" module is supported.

       Better support for building Perl under in Windows 95 has been added.

       Scripts are read in binary mode by default to allow ByteLoader (and the filter mechanism in general) to work
       properly.  For compatibility, the DATA filehandle will be set to text mode if a carriage return is detected at
       the end of the line containing the __END__ or __DATA__ token; if not, the DATA filehandle will be left open in
       binary mode.  Earlier versions always opened the DATA filehandle in text mode.

       The glob() operator is implemented via the "File::Glob" extension, which supports glob syntax of the C shell.
       This increases the flexibility of the glob() operator, but there may be compatibility issues for programs that
       relied on the older globbing syntax.  If you want to preserve compatibility with the older syntax, you might
       want to run perl with "-MFile::DosGlob".  For details and compatibility information, see File::Glob.

Significant bug fixes
       <HANDLE> on empty files

       With $/ set to "undef", "slurping" an empty file returns a string of zero length (instead of "undef", as it
       used to) the first time the HANDLE is read after $/ is set to "undef".  Further reads yield "undef".

       This means that the following will append "foo" to an empty file (it used to do nothing):

           perl -0777 -pi -e 's/^/foo/' empty_file

       The behaviour of:

           perl -pi -e 's/^/foo/' empty_file

       is unchanged (it continues to leave the file empty).

       "eval '...'" improvements

       Line numbers (as reflected by caller() and most diagnostics) within "eval '...'" were often incorrect where
       here documents were involved.  This has been corrected.

       Lexical lookups for variables appearing in "eval '...'" within functions that were themselves called within an
       "eval '...'" were searching the wrong place for lexicals.  The lexical search now correctly ends at the subrou-
       tine's block boundary.

       The use of "return" within "eval {...}" caused $@ not to be reset correctly when no exception occurred within
       the eval.  This has been fixed.

       Parsing of here documents used to be flawed when they appeared as the replacement expression in "eval
       's/.../.../e'".  This has been fixed.

       All compilation errors are true errors

       Some "errors" encountered at compile time were by necessity generated as warnings followed by eventual termina-
       tion of the program.  This enabled more such errors to be reported in a single run, rather than causing a hard
       stop at the first error that was encountered.

       The mechanism for reporting such errors has been reimplemented to queue compile-time errors and report them at
       the end of the compilation as true errors rather than as warnings.  This fixes cases where error messages
       leaked through in the form of warnings when code was compiled at run time using "eval STRING", and also allows
       such errors to be reliably trapped using "eval "..."".

       Implicitly closed filehandles are safer

       Sometimes implicitly closed filehandles (as when they are localized, and Perl automatically closes them on
       exiting the scope) could inadvertently set $? or $!.  This has been corrected.

       Behavior of list slices is more consistent

       When taking a slice of a literal list (as opposed to a slice of an array or hash), Perl used to return an empty
       list if the result happened to be composed of all undef values.

       The new behavior is to produce an empty list if (and only if) the original list was empty.  Consider the fol-
       lowing example:

           @a = (1,undef,undef,2)[2,1,2];

       The old behavior would have resulted in @a having no elements.  The new behavior ensures it has three undefined

       Note in particular that the behavior of slices of the following cases remains unchanged:

           @a = ()[1,2];
           @a = (getpwent)[7,0];
           @a = (anything_returning_empty_list())[2,1,2];
           @a = @b[2,1,2];
           @a = @c{'a','b','c'};

       See perldata.

       "(\$)" prototype and $foo{a}

       A scalar reference prototype now correctly allows a hash or array element in that slot.

       "goto &sub" and AUTOLOAD

       The "goto &sub" construct works correctly when &sub happens to be autoloaded.

       "-bareword" allowed under "use integer"

       The autoquoting of barewords preceded by "-" did not work in prior versions when the "integer" pragma was
       enabled.  This has been fixed.

       Failures in DESTROY()

       When code in a destructor threw an exception, it went unnoticed in earlier versions of Perl, unless someone
       happened to be looking in $@ just after the point the destructor happened to run.  Such failures are now visi-
       ble as warnings when warnings are enabled.

       Locale bugs fixed

       printf() and sprintf() previously reset the numeric locale back to the default "C" locale.  This has been

       Numbers formatted according to the local numeric locale (such as using a decimal comma instead of a decimal
       dot) caused "isn't numeric" warnings, even while the operations accessing those numbers produced correct
       results.  These warnings have been discontinued.

       Memory leaks

       The "eval 'return sub {...}'" construct could sometimes leak memory.  This has been fixed.

       Operations that aren't filehandle constructors used to leak memory when used on invalid filehandles.  This has
       been fixed.

       Constructs that modified @_ could fail to deallocate values in @_ and thus leak memory.  This has been cor-

       Spurious subroutine stubs after failed subroutine calls

       Perl could sometimes create empty subroutine stubs when a subroutine was not found in the package.  Such cases
       stopped later method lookups from progressing into base packages.  This has been corrected.

       Taint failures under "-U"

       When running in unsafe mode, taint violations could sometimes cause silent failures.  This has been fixed.

       END blocks and the "-c" switch

       Prior versions used to run BEGIN and END blocks when Perl was run in compile-only mode.  Since this is typi-
       cally not the expected behavior, END blocks are not executed anymore when the "-c" switch is used, or if
       compilation fails.

       See "Support for CHECK blocks" for how to run things when the compile phase ends.

       Potential to leak DATA filehandles

       Using the "__DATA__" token creates an implicit filehandle to the file that contains the token.  It is the pro-
       gram's responsibility to close it when it is done reading from it.

       This caveat is now better explained in the documentation.  See perldata.

New or Changed Diagnostics
       "%s" variable %s masks earlier declaration in same %s
           (W misc) A "my" or "our" variable has been redeclared in the current scope or statement, effectively elimi-
           nating all access to the previous instance.  This is almost always a typographical error.  Note that the
           earlier variable will still exist until the end of the scope or until all closure referents to it are

       "my sub" not yet implemented
           (F) Lexically scoped subroutines are not yet implemented.  Don't try that yet.

       "our" variable %s redeclared
           (W misc) You seem to have already declared the same global once before in the current lexical scope.

       '!' allowed only after types %s
           (F) The '!' is allowed in pack() and unpack() only after certain types.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       / cannot take a count
           (F) You had an unpack template indicating a counted-length string, but you have also specified an explicit
           size for the string.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       / must be followed by a, A or Z
           (F) You had an unpack template indicating a counted-length string, which must be followed by one of the
           letters a, A or Z to indicate what sort of string is to be unpacked.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       / must be followed by a*, A* or Z*
           (F) You had a pack template indicating a counted-length string, Currently the only things that can have
           their length counted are a*, A* or Z*.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       / must follow a numeric type
           (F) You had an unpack template that contained a '#', but this did not follow some numeric unpack specifica-
           tion.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       /%s/: Unrecognized escape \\%c passed through
           (W regexp) You used a backslash-character combination which is not recognized by Perl.  This combination
           appears in an interpolated variable or a "'"-delimited regular expression.  The character was understood

       /%s/: Unrecognized escape \\%c in character class passed through
           (W regexp) You used a backslash-character combination which is not recognized by Perl inside character
           classes.  The character was understood literally.

       /%s/ should probably be written as "%s"
           (W syntax) You have used a pattern where Perl expected to find a string, as in the first argument to
           "join".  Perl will treat the true or false result of matching the pattern against $_ as the string, which
           is probably not what you had in mind.

       %s() called too early to check prototype
           (W prototype) You've called a function that has a prototype before the parser saw a definition or declara-
           tion for it, and Perl could not check that the call conforms to the prototype.  You need to either add an
           early prototype declaration for the subroutine in question, or move the subroutine definition ahead of the
           call to get proper prototype checking.  Alternatively, if you are certain that you're calling the function
           correctly, you may put an ampersand before the name to avoid the warning.  See perlsub.

       %s argument is not a HASH or ARRAY element
           (F) The argument to exists() must be a hash or array element, such as:


       %s argument is not a HASH or ARRAY element or slice
           (F) The argument to delete() must be either a hash or array element, such as:


           or a hash or array slice, such as:

               @foo[$bar, $baz, $xyzzy]
               @{$ref->[12]}{"susie", "queue"}

       %s argument is not a subroutine name
           (F) The argument to exists() for "exists &sub" must be a subroutine name, and not a subroutine call.
           "exists &sub()" will generate this error.

       %s package attribute may clash with future reserved word: %s
           (W reserved) A lowercase attribute name was used that had a package-specific handler.  That name might have
           a meaning to Perl itself some day, even though it doesn't yet.  Perhaps you should use a mixed-case
           attribute name, instead.  See attributes.

       (in cleanup) %s
           (W misc) This prefix usually indicates that a DESTROY() method raised the indicated exception.  Since
           destructors are usually called by the system at arbitrary points during execution, and often a vast number
           of times, the warning is issued only once for any number of failures that would otherwise result in the
           same message being repeated.

           Failure of user callbacks dispatched using the "G_KEEPERR" flag could also result in this warning.  See
           "G_KEEPERR" in perlcall.

       <> should be quotes
           (F) You wrote "require <file>" when you should have written "require 'file'".

       Attempt to join self
           (F) You tried to join a thread from within itself, which is an impossible task.  You may be joining the
           wrong thread, or you may need to move the join() to some other thread.

       Bad evalled substitution pattern
           (F) You've used the /e switch to evaluate the replacement for a substitution, but perl found a syntax error
           in the code to evaluate, most likely an unexpected right brace '}'.

       Bad realloc() ignored
           (S) An internal routine called realloc() on something that had never been malloc()ed in the first place.
           Mandatory, but can be disabled by setting environment variable "PERL_BADFREE" to 1.

       Bareword found in conditional
           (W bareword) The compiler found a bareword where it expected a conditional, which often indicates that an
           || or && was parsed as part of the last argument of the previous construct, for example:

               open FOO || die;

           It may also indicate a misspelled constant that has been interpreted as a bareword:

               use constant TYPO => 1;
               if (TYOP) { print "foo" }

           The "strict" pragma is useful in avoiding such errors.

       Binary number > 0b11111111111111111111111111111111 non-portable
           (W portable) The binary number you specified is larger than 2**32-1 (4294967295) and therefore non-portable
           between systems.  See perlport for more on portability concerns.

       Bit vector size > 32 non-portable
           (W portable) Using bit vector sizes larger than 32 is non-portable.

       Buffer overflow in prime_env_iter: %s
           (W internal) A warning peculiar to VMS.  While Perl was preparing to iterate over %ENV, it encountered a
           logical name or symbol definition which was too long, so it was truncated to the string shown.

       Can't check filesystem of script "%s"
           (P) For some reason you can't check the filesystem of the script for nosuid.

       Can't declare class for non-scalar %s in "%s"
           (S) Currently, only scalar variables can declared with a specific class qualifier in a "my" or "our" decla-
           ration.  The semantics may be extended for other types of variables in future.

       Can't declare %s in "%s"
           (F) Only scalar, array, and hash variables may be declared as "my" or "our" variables.  They must have
           ordinary identifiers as names.

       Can't ignore signal CHLD, forcing to default
           (W signal) Perl has detected that it is being run with the SIGCHLD signal (sometimes known as SIGCLD) dis-
           abled.  Since disabling this signal will interfere with proper determination of exit status of child pro-
           cesses, Perl has reset the signal to its default value.  This situation typically indicates that the parent
           program under which Perl may be running (e.g., cron) is being very careless.

       Can't modify non-lvalue subroutine call
           (F) Subroutines meant to be used in lvalue context should be declared as such, see "Lvalue subroutines" in

       Can't read CRTL environ
           (S) A warning peculiar to VMS.  Perl tried to read an element of %ENV from the CRTL's internal environment
           array and discovered the array was missing.  You need to figure out where your CRTL misplaced its environ
           or define PERL_ENV_TABLES (see perlvms) so that environ is not searched.

       Can't remove %s: %s, skipping file
           (S) You requested an inplace edit without creating a backup file.  Perl was unable to remove the original
           file to replace it with the modified file.  The file was left unmodified.

       Can't return %s from lvalue subroutine
           (F) Perl detected an attempt to return illegal lvalues (such as temporary or readonly values) from a sub-
           routine used as an lvalue.  This is not allowed.

       Can't weaken a nonreference
           (F) You attempted to weaken something that was not a reference.  Only references can be weakened.

       Character class [:%s:] unknown
           (F) The class in the character class [: :] syntax is unknown.  See perlre.

       Character class syntax [%s] belongs inside character classes
           (W unsafe) The character class constructs [: :], [= =], and [. .]  go inside character classes, the [] are
           part of the construct, for example: /[012[:alpha:]345]/.  Note that [= =] and [. .]  are not currently
           implemented; they are simply placeholders for future extensions.

       Constant is not %s reference
           (F) A constant value (perhaps declared using the "use constant" pragma) is being dereferenced, but it
           amounts to the wrong type of reference.  The message indicates the type of reference that was expected.
           This usually indicates a syntax error in dereferencing the constant value.  See "Constant Functions" in
           perlsub and constant.

       constant(%s): %s
           (F) The parser found inconsistencies either while attempting to define an overloaded constant, or when try-
           ing to find the character name specified in the "\N{...}" escape.  Perhaps you forgot to load the corre-
           sponding "overload" or "charnames" pragma?  See charnames and overload.

       CORE::%s is not a keyword
           (F) The CORE:: namespace is reserved for Perl keywords.

       defined(@array) is deprecated
           (D) defined() is not usually useful on arrays because it checks for an undefined scalar value.  If you want
           to see if the array is empty, just use "if (@array) { # not empty }" for example.

       defined(%hash) is deprecated
           (D) defined() is not usually useful on hashes because it checks for an undefined scalar value.  If you want
           to see if the hash is empty, just use "if (%hash) { # not empty }" for example.

       Did not produce a valid header
           See Server error.

       (Did you mean "local" instead of "our"?)
           (W misc) Remember that "our" does not localize the declared global variable.  You have declared it again in
           the same lexical scope, which seems superfluous.

       Document contains no data
           See Server error.

       entering effective %s failed
           (F) While under the "use filetest" pragma, switching the real and effective uids or gids failed.

       false [] range "%s" in regexp
           (W regexp) A character class range must start and end at a literal character, not another character class
           like "\d" or "[:alpha:]".  The "-" in your false range is interpreted as a literal "-".  Consider quoting
           the "-",  "\-".  See perlre.

       Filehandle %s opened only for output
           (W io) You tried to read from a filehandle opened only for writing.  If you intended it to be a read/write
           filehandle, you needed to open it with "+<" or "+>" or "+>>" instead of with "<" or nothing.  If you
           intended only to read from the file, use "<".  See "open" in perlfunc.

       flock() on closed filehandle %s
           (W closed) The filehandle you're attempting to flock() got itself closed some time before now.  Check your
           logic flow.  flock() operates on filehandles.  Are you attempting to call flock() on a dirhandle by the
           same name?

       Global symbol "%s" requires explicit package name
           (F) You've said "use strict vars", which indicates that all variables must either be lexically scoped
           (using "my"), declared beforehand using "our", or explicitly qualified to say which package the global
           variable is in (using "::").

       Hexadecimal number > 0xffffffff non-portable
           (W portable) The hexadecimal number you specified is larger than 2**32-1 (4294967295) and therefore non-
           portable between systems.  See perlport for more on portability concerns.

       Ill-formed CRTL environ value "%s"
           (W internal) A warning peculiar to VMS.  Perl tried to read the CRTL's internal environ array, and encoun-
           tered an element without the "=" delimiter used to separate keys from values.  The element is ignored.

       Ill-formed message in prime_env_iter: |%s|
           (W internal) A warning peculiar to VMS.  Perl tried to read a logical name or CLI symbol definition when
           preparing to iterate over %ENV, and didn't see the expected delimiter between key and value, so the line
           was ignored.

       Illegal binary digit %s
           (F) You used a digit other than 0 or 1 in a binary number.

       Illegal binary digit %s ignored
           (W digit) You may have tried to use a digit other than 0 or 1 in a binary number.  Interpretation of the
           binary number stopped before the offending digit.

       Illegal number of bits in vec
           (F) The number of bits in vec() (the third argument) must be a power of two from 1 to 32 (or 64, if your
           platform supports that).

       Integer overflow in %s number
           (W overflow) The hexadecimal, octal or binary number you have specified either as a literal or as an argu-
           ment to hex() or oct() is too big for your architecture, and has been converted to a floating point number.
           On a 32-bit architecture the largest hexadecimal, octal or binary number representable without overflow is
           0xFFFFFFFF, 037777777777, or 0b11111111111111111111111111111111 respectively.  Note that Perl transparently
           promotes all numbers to a floating point representation internally--subject to loss of precision errors in
           subsequent operations.

       Invalid %s attribute: %s
           The indicated attribute for a subroutine or variable was not recognized by Perl or by a user-supplied han-
           dler.  See attributes.

       Invalid %s attributes: %s
           The indicated attributes for a subroutine or variable were not recognized by Perl or by a user-supplied
           handler.  See attributes.

       invalid [] range "%s" in regexp
           The offending range is now explicitly displayed.

       Invalid separator character %s in attribute list
           (F) Something other than a colon or whitespace was seen between the elements of an attribute list.  If the
           previous attribute had a parenthesised parameter list, perhaps that list was terminated too soon.  See

       Invalid separator character %s in subroutine attribute list
           (F) Something other than a colon or whitespace was seen between the elements of a subroutine attribute
           list.  If the previous attribute had a parenthesised parameter list, perhaps that list was terminated too

       leaving effective %s failed
           (F) While under the "use filetest" pragma, switching the real and effective uids or gids failed.

       Lvalue subs returning %s not implemented yet
           (F) Due to limitations in the current implementation, array and hash values cannot be returned in subrou-
           tines used in lvalue context.  See "Lvalue subroutines" in perlsub.

       Method %s not permitted
           See Server error.

       Missing %sbrace%s on \N{}
           (F) Wrong syntax of character name literal "\N{charname}" within double-quotish context.

       Missing command in piped open
           (W pipe) You used the "open(FH, "| command")" or "open(FH, "command |")" construction, but the command was
           missing or blank.

       Missing name in "my sub"
           (F) The reserved syntax for lexically scoped subroutines requires that they have a name with which they can
           be found.

       No %s specified for -%c
           (F) The indicated command line switch needs a mandatory argument, but you haven't specified one.

       No package name allowed for variable %s in "our"
           (F) Fully qualified variable names are not allowed in "our" declarations, because that doesn't make much
           sense under existing semantics.  Such syntax is reserved for future extensions.

       No space allowed after -%c
           (F) The argument to the indicated command line switch must follow immediately after the switch, without
           intervening spaces.

       no UTC offset information; assuming local time is UTC
           (S) A warning peculiar to VMS.  Perl was unable to find the local timezone offset, so it's assuming that
           local system time is equivalent to UTC.  If it's not, define the logical name SYS$TIMEZONE_DIFFERENTIAL to
           translate to the number of seconds which need to be added to UTC to get local time.

       Octal number > 037777777777 non-portable
           (W portable) The octal number you specified is larger than 2**32-1 (4294967295) and therefore non-portable
           between systems.  See perlport for more on portability concerns.

           See also perlport for writing portable code.

       panic: del_backref
           (P) Failed an internal consistency check while trying to reset a weak reference.

       panic: kid popen errno read
           (F) forked child returned an incomprehensible message about its errno.

       panic: magic_killbackrefs
           (P) Failed an internal consistency check while trying to reset all weak references to an object.

       Parentheses missing around "%s" list
           (W parenthesis) You said something like

               my $foo, $bar = @_;

           when you meant

               my ($foo, $bar) = @_;

           Remember that "my", "our", and "local" bind tighter than comma.

       Possible unintended interpolation of %s in string
           (W ambiguous) It used to be that Perl would try to guess whether you wanted an array interpolated or a lit-
           eral @.  It no longer does this; arrays are now always interpolated into strings.  This means that if you
           try something like:

                   print "";

           and the array @example doesn't exist, Perl is going to print "", which is probably not what you
           wanted.  To get a literal "@" sign in a string, put a backslash before it, just as you would to get a lit-
           eral "$" sign.

       Possible Y2K bug: %s
           (W y2k) You are concatenating the number 19 with another number, which could be a potential Year 2000 prob-

       pragma "attrs" is deprecated, use "sub NAME : ATTRS" instead
           (W deprecated) You have written something like this:

               sub doit
                   use attrs qw(locked);

           You should use the new declaration syntax instead.

               sub doit : locked

           The "use attrs" pragma is now obsolete, and is only provided for backward-compatibility. See "Subroutine
           Attributes" in perlsub.

       Premature end of script headers
           See Server error.

       Repeat count in pack overflows
           (F) You can't specify a repeat count so large that it overflows your signed integers.  See "pack" in perl-

       Repeat count in unpack overflows
           (F) You can't specify a repeat count so large that it overflows your signed integers.  See "unpack" in

       realloc() of freed memory ignored
           (S) An internal routine called realloc() on something that had already been freed.

       Reference is already weak
           (W misc) You have attempted to weaken a reference that is already weak.  Doing so has no effect.

       setpgrp can't take arguments
           (F) Your system has the setpgrp() from BSD 4.2, which takes no arguments, unlike POSIX setpgid(), which
           takes a process ID and process group ID.

       Strange *+?{} on zero-length expression
           (W regexp) You applied a regular expression quantifier in a place where it makes no sense, such as on a
           zero-width assertion.  Try putting the quantifier inside the assertion instead.  For example, the way to
           match "abc" provided that it is followed by three repetitions of "xyz" is "/abc(?=(?:xyz){3})/", not

       switching effective %s is not implemented
           (F) While under the "use filetest" pragma, we cannot switch the real and effective uids or gids.

       This Perl can't reset CRTL environ elements (%s)
       This Perl can't set CRTL environ elements (%s=%s)
           (W internal) Warnings peculiar to VMS.  You tried to change or delete an element of the CRTL's internal
           environ array, but your copy of Perl wasn't built with a CRTL that contained the setenv() function.  You'll
           need to rebuild Perl with a CRTL that does, or redefine PERL_ENV_TABLES (see perlvms) so that the environ
           array isn't the target of the change to %ENV which produced the warning.

       Too late to run %s block
           (W void) A CHECK or INIT block is being defined during run time proper, when the opportunity to run them
           has already passed.  Perhaps you are loading a file with "require" or "do" when you should be using "use"
           instead.  Or perhaps you should put the "require" or "do" inside a BEGIN block.

       Unknown open() mode '%s'
           (F) The second argument of 3-argument open() is not among the list of valid modes: "<", ">", ">>", "+<",
           "+>", "+>>", "-|", "|-".

       Unknown process %x sent message to prime_env_iter: %s
           (P) An error peculiar to VMS.  Perl was reading values for %ENV before iterating over it, and someone else
           stuck a message in the stream of data Perl expected.  Someone's very confused, or perhaps trying to subvert
           Perl's population of %ENV for nefarious purposes.

       Unrecognized escape \\%c passed through
           (W misc) You used a backslash-character combination which is not recognized by Perl.  The character was
           understood literally.

       Unterminated attribute parameter in attribute list
           (F) The lexer saw an opening (left) parenthesis character while parsing an attribute list, but the matching
           closing (right) parenthesis character was not found.  You may need to add (or remove) a backslash character
           to get your parentheses to balance.  See attributes.

       Unterminated attribute list
           (F) The lexer found something other than a simple identifier at the start of an attribute, and it wasn't a
           semicolon or the start of a block.  Perhaps you terminated the parameter list of the previous attribute too
           soon.  See attributes.

       Unterminated attribute parameter in subroutine attribute list
           (F) The lexer saw an opening (left) parenthesis character while parsing a subroutine attribute list, but
           the matching closing (right) parenthesis character was not found.  You may need to add (or remove) a back-
           slash character to get your parentheses to balance.

       Unterminated subroutine attribute list
           (F) The lexer found something other than a simple identifier at the start of a subroutine attribute, and it
           wasn't a semicolon or the start of a block.  Perhaps you terminated the parameter list of the previous
           attribute too soon.

       Value of CLI symbol "%s" too long
           (W misc) A warning peculiar to VMS.  Perl tried to read the value of an %ENV element from a CLI symbol ta-
           ble, and found a resultant string longer than 1024 characters.  The return value has been truncated to 1024

       Version number must be a constant number
           (P) The attempt to translate a "use Module n.n LIST" statement into its equivalent "BEGIN" block found an
           internal inconsistency with the version number.

New tests
           Compatibility tests for "sub : attrs" vs the older "use attrs".

           Tests for new environment scalar capability (e.g., "use Env qw($BAR);").

           Tests for new environment array capability (e.g., "use Env qw(@PATH);").

           IO constants (SEEK_*, _IO*).

           Directory-related IO methods (new, read, close, rewind, tied delete).

           INET sockets with multi-homed hosts.

           IO poll().

           UNIX sockets.

           Regression tests for "my ($x,@y,%z) : attrs" and <sub : attrs>.

           File test operators.

           Verify operations that access pad objects (lexicals and temporaries).

           Verify "exists &sub" operations.

Incompatible Changes
       Perl Source Incompatibilities

       Beware that any new warnings that have been added or old ones that have been enhanced are not considered incom-
       patible changes.

       Since all new warnings must be explicitly requested via the "-w" switch or the "warnings" pragma, it is ulti-
       mately the programmer's responsibility to ensure that warnings are enabled judiciously.

       CHECK is a new keyword
           All subroutine definitions named CHECK are now special.  See "/"Support for CHECK blocks"" for more infor-

       Treatment of list slices of undef has changed
           There is a potential incompatibility in the behavior of list slices that are comprised entirely of unde-
           fined values.  See "Behavior of list slices is more consistent".

       Format of $English::PERL_VERSION is different
           The English module now sets $PERL_VERSION to $^V (a string value) rather than $] (a numeric value).  This
           is a potential incompatibility.  Send us a report via perlbug if you are affected by this.

           See "Improved Perl version numbering system" for the reasons for this change.

       Literals of the form 1.2.3 parse differently
           Previously, numeric literals with more than one dot in them were interpreted as a floating point number
           concatenated with one or more numbers.  Such "numbers" are now parsed as strings composed of the specified

           For example, "print 97.98.99" used to output 97.9899 in earlier versions, but now prints "abc".

           See "Support for strings represented as a vector of ordinals".

       Possibly changed pseudo-random number generator
           Perl programs that depend on reproducing a specific set of pseudo-random numbers may now produce different
           output due to improvements made to the rand() builtin.  You can use "sh Configure -Drandfunc=rand" to
           obtain the old behavior.

           See "Better pseudo-random number generator".

       Hashing function for hash keys has changed
           Even though Perl hashes are not order preserving, the apparently random order encountered when iterating on
           the contents of a hash is actually determined by the hashing algorithm used.  Improvements in the algorithm
           may yield a random order that is different from that of previous versions, especially when iterating on

           See "Better worst-case behavior of hashes" for additional information.

       "undef" fails on read only values
           Using the "undef" operator on a readonly value (such as $1) has the same effect as assigning "undef" to the
           readonly value--it throws an exception.

       Close-on-exec bit may be set on pipe and socket handles
           Pipe and socket handles are also now subject to the close-on-exec behavior determined by the special vari-
           able $^F.

           See "More consistent close-on-exec behavior".

       Writing "$$1" to mean "${$}1" is unsupported
           Perl 5.004 deprecated the interpretation of $$1 and similar within interpolated strings to mean "$$ . "1"",
           but still allowed it.

           In Perl 5.6.0 and later, "$$1" always means "${$1}".

       delete(), each(), values() and "\(%h)"
           operate on aliases to values, not copies

           delete(), each(), values() and hashes (e.g. "\(%h)") in a list context return the actual values in the
           hash, instead of copies (as they used to in earlier versions).  Typical idioms for using these constructs
           copy the returned values, but this can make a significant difference when creating references to the
           returned values.  Keys in the hash are still returned as copies when iterating on a hash.

           See also "delete(), each(), values() and hash iteration are faster".

       vec(EXPR,OFFSET,BITS) enforces powers-of-two BITS
           vec() generates a run-time error if the BITS argument is not a valid power-of-two integer.

       Text of some diagnostic output has changed
           Most references to internal Perl operations in diagnostics have been changed to be more descriptive.  This
           may be an issue for programs that may incorrectly rely on the exact text of diagnostics for proper func-

       "%@" has been removed
           The undocumented special variable "%@" that used to accumulate "background" errors (such as those that hap-
           pen in DESTROY()) has been removed, because it could potentially result in memory leaks.

       Parenthesized not() behaves like a list operator
           The "not" operator now falls under the "if it looks like a function, it behaves like a function" rule.

           As a result, the parenthesized form can be used with "grep" and "map".  The following construct used to be
           a syntax error before, but it works as expected now:

               grep not($_), @things;

           On the other hand, using "not" with a literal list slice may not work.  The following previously allowed

               print not (1,2,3)[0];

           needs to be written with additional parentheses now:

               print not((1,2,3)[0]);

           The behavior remains unaffected when "not" is not followed by parentheses.

       Semantics of bareword prototype "(*)" have changed
           The semantics of the bareword prototype "*" have changed.  Perl 5.005 always coerced simple scalar argu-
           ments to a typeglob, which wasn't useful in situations where the subroutine must distinguish between a sim-
           ple scalar and a typeglob.  The new behavior is to not coerce bareword arguments to a typeglob.  The value
           will always be visible as either a simple scalar or as a reference to a typeglob.

           See "More functional bareword prototype (*)".

       Semantics of bit operators may have changed on 64-bit platforms
           If your platform is either natively 64-bit or if Perl has been configured to used 64-bit integers, i.e.,
           $Config{ivsize} is 8, there may be a potential incompatibility in the behavior of bitwise numeric operators
           (& | ^ ~ << >>).  These operators used to strictly operate on the lower 32 bits of integers in previous
           versions, but now operate over the entire native integral width.  In particular, note that unary "~" will
           produce different results on platforms that have different $Config{ivsize}.  For portability, be sure to
           mask off the excess bits in the result of unary "~", e.g., "~$x & 0xffffffff".

           See "Bit operators support full native integer width".

       More builtins taint their results
           As described in "Improved security features", there may be more sources of taint in a Perl program.

           To avoid these new tainting behaviors, you can build Perl with the Configure option "-Accflags=-DINCOM-
           PLETE_TAINTS".  Beware that the ensuing perl binary may be insecure.

       C Source Incompatibilities

           Release 5.005 grandfathered old global symbol names by providing preprocessor macros for extension source
           compatibility.  As of release 5.6.0, these preprocessor definitions are not available by default.  You need
           to explicitly compile perl with "-DPERL_POLLUTE" to get these definitions.  For extensions still using the
           old symbols, this option can be specified via MakeMaker:

               perl Makefile.PL POLLUTE=1

           This new build option provides a set of macros for all API functions such that an implicit inter-
           preter/thread context argument is passed to every API function.  As a result of this, something like
           "sv_setsv(foo,bar)" amounts to a macro invocation that actually translates to something like
           "Perl_sv_setsv(my_perl,foo,bar)".  While this is generally expected to not have any significant source com-
           patibility issues, the difference between a macro and a real function call will need to be considered.

           This means that there is a source compatibility issue as a result of this if your extensions attempt to use
           pointers to any of the Perl API functions.

           Note that the above issue is not relevant to the default build of Perl, whose interfaces continue to match
           those of prior versions (but subject to the other options described here).

           See "The Perl API" in perlguts for detailed information on the ramifications of building Perl with this

               NOTE: PERL_IMPLICIT_CONTEXT is automatically enabled whenever Perl is built
               with one of -Dusethreads, -Dusemultiplicity, or both.  It is not
               intended to be enabled by users at this time.

           Enabling Perl's malloc in release 5.005 and earlier caused the namespace of the system's malloc family of
           functions to be usurped by the Perl versions, since by default they used the same names.  Besides causing
           problems on platforms that do not allow these functions to be cleanly replaced, this also meant that the
           system versions could not be called in programs that used Perl's malloc.  Previous versions of Perl have
           allowed this behaviour to be suppressed with the HIDEMYMALLOC and EMBEDMYMALLOC preprocessor definitions.

           As of release 5.6.0, Perl's malloc family of functions have default names distinct from the system ver-
           sions.  You need to explicitly compile perl with "-DPERL_POLLUTE_MALLOC" to get the older behaviour.  HIDE-
           MYMALLOC and EMBEDMYMALLOC have no effect, since the behaviour they enabled is now the default.

           Note that these functions do not constitute Perl's memory allocation API.  See "Memory Allocation" in
           perlguts for further information about that.

       Compatible C Source API Changes

           The cpp macros "PERL_REVISION", "PERL_VERSION", and "PERL_SUBVERSION" are now available by default from
           perl.h, and reflect the base revision, patchlevel, and subversion respectively.  "PERL_REVISION" had no
           prior equivalent, while "PERL_VERSION" and "PERL_SUBVERSION" were previously available as "PATCHLEVEL" and

           The new names cause less pollution of the cpp namespace and reflect what the numbers have come to stand for
           in common practice.  For compatibility, the old names are still supported when patchlevel.h is explicitly
           included (as required before), so there is no source incompatibility from the change.

       Binary Incompatibilities

       In general, the default build of this release is expected to be binary compatible for extensions built with the
       5.005 release or its maintenance versions.  However, specific platforms may have broken binary compatibility
       due to changes in the defaults used in hints files.  Therefore, please be sure to always check the platform-
       specific README files for any notes to the contrary.

       The usethreads or usemultiplicity builds are not binary compatible with the corresponding builds in 5.005.

       On platforms that require an explicit list of exports (AIX, OS/2 and Windows, among others), purely internal
       symbols such as parser functions and the run time opcodes are not exported by default.  Perl 5.005 used to
       export all functions irrespective of whether they were considered part of the public API or not.

       For the full list of public API functions, see perlapi.

Known Problems
       Thread test failures

       The subtests 19 and 20 of lib/thr5005.t test are known to fail due to fundamental problems in the 5.005 thread-
       ing implementation.  These are not new failures--Perl 5.005_0x has the same bugs, but didn't have these tests.

       EBCDIC platforms not supported

       In earlier releases of Perl, EBCDIC environments like OS390 (also known as Open Edition MVS) and VM-ESA were
       supported.  Due to changes required by the UTF-8 (Unicode) support, the EBCDIC platforms are not supported in
       Perl 5.6.0.

       In 64-bit HP-UX the lib/io_multihomed test may hang

       The lib/io_multihomed test may hang in HP-UX if Perl has been configured to be 64-bit.  Because other 64-bit
       platforms do not hang in this test, HP-UX is suspect.  All other tests pass in 64-bit HP-UX.  The test attempts
       to create and connect to "multihomed" sockets (sockets which have multiple IP addresses).

       NEXTSTEP 3.3 POSIX test failure

       In NEXTSTEP 3.3p2 the implementation of the strftime(3) in the operating system libraries is buggy: the %j for-
       mat numbers the days of a month starting from zero, which, while being logical to programmers, will cause the
       subtests 19 to 27 of the lib/posix test may fail.

       Tru64 (aka Digital UNIX, aka DEC OSF/1) lib/sdbm test failure with gcc

       If compiled with gcc 2.95 the lib/sdbm test will fail (dump core).  The cure is to use the vendor cc, it comes
       with the operating system and produces good code.

       UNICOS/mk CC failures during Configure run

       In UNICOS/mk the following errors may appear during the Configure run:

               Guessing which symbols your C compiler and preprocessor define...
               CC-20 cc: ERROR File = try.c, Line = 3
                 bad switch yylook 79bad switch yylook 79bad switch yylook 79bad switch yylook 79#ifdef A29K
               4 errors detected in the compilation of "try.c".

       The culprit is the broken awk of UNICOS/mk.  The effect is fortunately rather mild: Perl itself is not
       adversely affected by the error, only the h2ph utility coming with Perl, and that is rather rarely needed these

       Arrow operator and arrays

       When the left argument to the arrow operator "->" is an array, or the "scalar" operator operating on an array,
       the result of the operation must be considered erroneous. For example:


       These expressions will get run-time errors in some future release of Perl.

       Experimental features

       As discussed above, many features are still experimental.  Interfaces and implementation of these features are
       subject to change, and in extreme cases, even subject to removal in some future release of Perl.  These fea-
       tures include the following:

       64-bit support
       Lvalue subroutines
       Weak references
       The pseudo-hash data type
       The Compiler suite
       Internal implementation of file globbing
       The DB module
       The regular expression code constructs:
           "(?{ code })" and "(??{ code })"

Obsolete Diagnostics
       Character class syntax [: :] is reserved for future extensions
           (W) Within regular expression character classes ([]) the syntax beginning with "[:" and ending with ":]" is
           reserved for future extensions.  If you need to represent those character sequences inside a regular
           expression character class, just quote the square brackets with the backslash: "\[:" and ":\]".

       Ill-formed logical name |%s| in prime_env_iter
           (W) A warning peculiar to VMS.  A logical name was encountered when preparing to iterate over %ENV which
           violates the syntactic rules governing logical names.  Because it cannot be translated normally, it is
           skipped, and will not appear in %ENV.  This may be a benign occurrence, as some software packages might
           directly modify logical name tables and introduce nonstandard names, or it may indicate that a logical name
           table has been corrupted.

       In string, @%s now must be written as \@%s
           The description of this error used to say:

                   (Someday it will simply assume that an unbackslashed @
                    interpolates an array.)

           That day has come, and this fatal error has been removed.  It has been replaced by a non-fatal warning
           instead.  See "Arrays now always interpolate into double-quoted strings" for details.

       Probable precedence problem on %s
           (W) The compiler found a bareword where it expected a conditional, which often indicates that an || or &&
           was parsed as part of the last argument of the previous construct, for example:

               open FOO || die;

       regexp too big
           (F) The current implementation of regular expressions uses shorts as address offsets within a string.
           Unfortunately this means that if the regular expression compiles to longer than 32767, it'll blow up.  Usu-
           ally when you want a regular expression this big, there is a better way to do it with multiple statements.
           See perlre.

       Use of "$$<digit>" to mean "${$}<digit>" is deprecated
           (D) Perl versions before 5.004 misinterpreted any type marker followed by "$" and a digit.  For example,
           "$$0" was incorrectly taken to mean "${$}0" instead of "${$0}".  This bug is (mostly) fixed in Perl 5.004.

           However, the developers of Perl 5.004 could not fix this bug completely, because at least two widely-used
           modules depend on the old meaning of "$$0" in a string.  So Perl 5.004 still interprets "$$<digit>" in the
           old (broken) way inside strings; but it generates this message as a warning.  And in Perl 5.005, this spe-
           cial treatment will cease.

Reporting Bugs
       If you find what you think is a bug, you might check the articles recently posted to the comp.lang.perl.misc
       newsgroup.  There may also be information at , the Perl Home Page.

       If you believe you have an unreported bug, please run the perlbug program included with your release.  Be sure
       to trim your bug down to a tiny but sufficient test case.  Your bug report, along with the output of "perl -V",
       will be sent off to to be analysed by the Perl porting team.

       The Changes file for exhaustive details on what changed.

       The INSTALL file for how to build Perl.

       The README file for general stuff.

       The Artistic and Copying files for copyright information.

       Written by Gurusamy Sarathy <>, with many contributions from The Perl Porters.

       Send omissions or corrections to <>.

perl v5.8.8                       2006-01-07                    PERL56DELTA(1)