Commit 888a27e1 authored by Niko Tyni's avatar Niko Tyni

Imported Upstream version 5.6.1


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The "Artistic License"
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Version 5.000
New things
The -w switch is much more informative.
References. See t/op/ref.t for examples. All entities in Perl 5 are
reference counted so that it knows when each item should be destroyed.
Objects. See t/op/ref.t for examples.
=> is now a synonym for comma. This is useful as documentation for
arguments that come in pairs, such as initializers for associative arrays,
or named arguments to a subroutine.
All functions have been turned into list operators or unary operators,
meaning the parens are optional. Even subroutines may be called as
list operators if they've already been declared.
More embeddible. See main.c and Multiple interpreters
in the same process are supported (though not with interleaved
execution yet).
The interpreter is now flattened out. Compare Perl 4's eval.c with
the perl 5's pp.c. Compare Perl 4's 900 line interpreter loop in cmd.c
with Perl 5's 1 line interpreter loop in run.c. Eventually we'll make
everything non-blocking so we can interface nicely with a scheduler.
eval is now treated more like a subroutine call. Among other things,
this means you can return from it.
Format value lists may be spread over multiple lines by enclosing in
a do {} block.
You may now define BEGIN and END subroutines for each package. The BEGIN
subroutine executes the moment it's parsed. The END subroutine executes
just before exiting.
Flags on the #! line are interpreted even if the script wasn't
executed directly. (And even if the script was located by "perl -x"!)
The ?: operator is now legal as an lvalue.
List context now propagates to the right side of && and ||, as well
as the 2nd and 3rd arguments to ?:.
The "defined" function can now take a general expression.
Lexical scoping available via "my". eval can see the current lexical
The preferred package delimiter is now :: rather than '.
tie/untie are now preferred to dbmopen/dbmclose. Multiple DBM
implementations are allowed in the same executable, so you can
write scripts to interchange data among different formats.
New "and" and "or" operators work just like && and || but with
a precedence lower than comma, so they work better with list operators.
New functions include: abs(), chr(), uc(), ucfirst(), lc(), lcfirst(),
chomp(), glob()
require with a number checks to see that the version of Perl that is
currently running is at least that number.
Dynamic loading of external modules is now supported.
There is a new quote form qw//, which is equivalent to split(' ', q//).
Assignment of a reference to a glob value now just replaces the
single element of the glob corresponding to the reference type:
*foo = \$bar, *foo = \&bletch;
Filehandle methods are now supported:
output_autoflush STDOUT 1;
There is now an "English" module that provides human readable translations
for cryptic variable names.
Autoload stubs can now call the replacement subroutine with goto &realsub.
Subroutines can be defined lazily in any package by declaring an AUTOLOAD
routine, which will be called if a non-existent subroutine is called in
that package.
Several previously added features have been subsumed under the new
keywords "use" and "no". Saying "use Module LIST" is short for
BEGIN { require Module; import Module LIST; }
The "no" keyword is identical except that it calls "unimport" instead.
The earlier pragma mechanism now uses this mechanism, and two new
modules have been added to the library to implement "use integer"
and variations of "use strict vars, refs, subs".
Variables may now be interpolated literally into a pattern by prefixing
them with \Q, which works just like \U, but backwhacks non-alphanumerics
instead. There is also a corresponding quotemeta function.
Any quantifier in a regular expression may now be followed by a ? to
indicate that the pattern is supposed to match as little as possible.
Pattern matches may now be followed by an m or s modifier to explicitly
request multiline or singleline semantics. An s modifier makes . match
Patterns may now contain \A to match only at the beginning of the string,
and \Z to match only at the end. These differ from ^ and $ in that
they ignore multiline semantics. In addition, \G matches where the
last interation of m//g or s///g left off.
Non-backreference-producing parens of various sorts may now be
indicated by placing a ? directly after the opening parenthesis,
followed by a character that indicates the purpose of the parens.
An :, for instance, indicates simple grouping. (?:a|b|c) will
match any of a, b or c without producing a backreference. It does
"eat" the input. There are also assertions which do not eat the
input but do lookahead for you. (?=stuff) indicates that the next
thing must be "stuff". (?!nonsense) indicates that the next thing
must not be "nonsense".
The negation operator now treats non-numeric strings specially.
A -"text" is turned into "-text", so that -bareword is the same
as "-bareword". If the string already begins with a + or -, it
is flipped to the other sign.
@ now always interpolates an array in double-quotish strings. Some programs
may now need to use backslash to protect any @ that shouldn't interpolate.
Ordinary variables starting with underscore are no longer forced into
package main.
s'$lhs'$rhs' now does no interpolation on either side. It used to
interplolate $lhs but not $rhs.
The second and third arguments of splice are now evaluated in scalar
context (like the book says) rather than list context.
Saying "shift @foo + 20" is now a semantic error because of precedence.
"open FOO || die" is now incorrect. You need parens around the filehandle.
The elements of argument lists for formats are now evaluated in list
context. This means you can interpolate list values now.
You can't do a goto into a block that is optimized away. Darn.
It is no longer syntactically legal to use whitespace as the name
of a variable, or as a delimiter for any kind of quote construct.
Some error messages will be different.
The caller function now returns a false value in a scalar context if there
is no caller. This lets library files determine if they're being required.
m//g now attaches its state to the searched string rather than the
regular expression.
"reverse" is no longer allowed as the name of a sort subroutine.
taintperl is no longer a separate executable. There is now a -T
switch to turn on tainting when it isn't turned on automatically.
Symbols starting with _ are no longer forced into package main, except
for $_ itself (and @_, etc.).