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bytes(3pm)			 Perl Programmers Reference Guide		       bytes(3pm)

       bytes - Perl pragma to force byte semantics rather than character semantics

	   use bytes;
	   no bytes;

       The "use bytes" pragma disables character semantics for the rest of the lexical scope in
       which it appears.  "no bytes" can be used to reverse the effect of "use bytes" within the
       current lexical scope.

       Perl normally assumes character semantics in the presence of character data (i.e. data
       that has come from a source that has been marked as being of a particular character encod-
       ing). When "use bytes" is in effect, the encoding is temporarily ignored, and each string
       is treated as a series of bytes.

       As an example, when Perl sees "$x = chr(400)", it encodes the character in UTF-8 and
       stores it in $x. Then it is marked as character data, so, for instance, "length $x"
       returns 1. However, in the scope of the "bytes" pragma, $x is treated as a series of bytes
       - the bytes that make up the UTF8 encoding - and "length $x" returns 2:

	   $x = chr(400);
	   print "Length is ", length $x, "\n";     # "Length is 1"
	   printf "Contents are %vd\n", $x;	    # "Contents are 400"
	       use bytes;
	       print "Length is ", length $x, "\n"; # "Length is 2"
	       printf "Contents are %vd\n", $x;     # "Contents are 198.144"

       For more on the implications and differences between character semantics and byte seman-
       tics, see perlunicode.

       perlunicode, utf8

perl v5.8.0				    2002-06-01				       bytes(3pm)
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