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X11R7.4 - man page for perl5004delta (x11r4 section 1)

PERL5004DELTA(1)		 Perl Programmers Reference Guide		 PERL5004DELTA(1)

       perl5004delta - what's new for perl5.004

       This document describes differences between the 5.003 release (as documented in Program-
       ming Perl, second edition--the Camel Book) and this one.

Supported Environments
       Perl5.004 builds out of the box on Unix, Plan 9, LynxOS, VMS, OS/2, QNX, AmigaOS, and Win-
       dows NT.  Perl runs on Windows 95 as well, but it cannot be built there, for lack of a
       reasonable command interpreter.

Core Changes
       Most importantly, many bugs were fixed, including several security problems.  See the
       Changes file in the distribution for details.

       List assignment to %ENV works

       "%ENV = ()" and "%ENV = @list" now work as expected (except on VMS where it generates a
       fatal error).

       Change to "Can't locate Foo.pm in @INC" error

       The error "Can't locate Foo.pm in @INC" now lists the contents of @INC for easier debug-

       Compilation option: Binary compatibility with 5.003

       There is a new Configure question that asks if you want to maintain binary compatibility
       with Perl 5.003.  If you choose binary compatibility, you do not have to recompile your
       extensions, but you might have symbol conflicts if you embed Perl in another application,
       just as in the 5.003 release.  By default, binary compatibility is preserved at the
       expense of symbol table pollution.

       $PERL5OPT environment variable

       You may now put Perl options in the $PERL5OPT environment variable.  Unless Perl is run-
       ning with taint checks, it will interpret this variable as if its contents had appeared on
       a "#!perl" line at the beginning of your script, except that hyphens are optional.
       PERL5OPT may only be used to set the following switches: -[DIMUdmw].

       Limitations on -M, -m, and -T options

       The "-M" and "-m" options are no longer allowed on the "#!" line of a script.  If a script
       needs a module, it should invoke it with the "use" pragma.

       The -T option is also forbidden on the "#!" line of a script, unless it was present on the
       Perl command line.  Due to the way "#!"	works, this usually means that -T must be in the
       first argument.	Thus:

	   #!/usr/bin/perl -T -w

       will probably work for an executable script invoked as "scriptname", while:

	   #!/usr/bin/perl -w -T

       will probably fail under the same conditions.  (Non-Unix systems will probably not follow
       this rule.)  But "perl scriptname" is guaranteed to fail, since then there is no chance of
       -T being found on the command line before it is found on the "#!" line.

       More precise warnings

       If you removed the -w option from your Perl 5.003 scripts because it made Perl too ver-
       bose, we recommend that you try putting it back when you upgrade to Perl 5.004.	Each new
       perl version tends to remove some undesirable warnings, while adding new warnings that may
       catch bugs in your scripts.

       Deprecated: Inherited "AUTOLOAD" for non-methods

       Before Perl 5.004, "AUTOLOAD" functions were looked up as methods (using the @ISA hierar-
       chy), even when the function to be autoloaded was called as a plain function (e.g.
       "Foo::bar()"), not a method (e.g. "Foo->bar()" or "$obj->bar()").

       Perl 5.005 will use method lookup only for methods' "AUTOLOAD"s.  However, there is a sig-
       nificant base of existing code that may be using the old behavior.  So, as an interim
       step, Perl 5.004 issues an optional warning when a non-method uses an inherited

       The simple rule is:  Inheritance will not work when autoloading non-methods.  The simple
       fix for old code is:  In any module that used to depend on inheriting "AUTOLOAD" for non-
       methods from a base class named "BaseClass", execute "*AUTOLOAD = \&BaseClass::AUTOLOAD"
       during startup.

       Previously deprecated %OVERLOAD is no longer usable

       Using %OVERLOAD to define overloading was deprecated in 5.003.  Overloading is now defined
       using the overload pragma. %OVERLOAD is still used internally but should not be used by
       Perl scripts. See overload for more details.

       Subroutine arguments created only when they're modified

       In Perl 5.004, nonexistent array and hash elements used as subroutine parameters are
       brought into existence only if they are actually assigned to (via @_).

       Earlier versions of Perl vary in their handling of such arguments.  Perl versions 5.002
       and 5.003 always brought them into existence.  Perl versions 5.000 and 5.001 brought them
       into existence only if they were not the first argument (which was almost certainly a
       bug).  Earlier versions of Perl never brought them into existence.

       For example, given this code:

	    undef @a; undef %a;
	    sub show { print $_[0] };
	    sub change { $_[0]++ };

       After this code executes in Perl 5.004, $a{b} exists but $a[2] does not.  In Perl 5.002
       and 5.003, both $a{b} and $a[2] would have existed (but $a[2]'s value would have been

       Group vector changeable with $)

       The $) special variable has always (well, in Perl 5, at least) reflected not only the cur-
       rent effective group, but also the group list as returned by the "getgroups()" C function
       (if there is one).  However, until this release, there has not been a way to call the
       "setgroups()" C function from Perl.

       In Perl 5.004, assigning to $) is exactly symmetrical with examining it: The first number
       in its string value is used as the effective gid; if there are any numbers after the first
       one, they are passed to the "setgroups()" C function (if there is one).

       Fixed parsing of $$<digit>, &$<digit>, etc.

       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 special treatment will cease.

       Fixed localization of $<digit>, $&, etc.

       Perl versions before 5.004 did not always properly localize the regex-related special
       variables.  Perl 5.004 does localize them, as the documentation has always said it should.
       This may result in $1, $2, etc. no longer being set where existing programs use them.

       No resetting of $. on implicit close

       The documentation for Perl 5.0 has always stated that $. is not reset when an already-open
       file handle is reopened with no intervening call to "close".  Due to a bug, perl versions
       5.000 through 5.003 did reset $. under that circumstance; Perl 5.004 does not.

       "wantarray" may return undef

       The "wantarray" operator returns true if a subroutine is expected to return a list, and
       false otherwise.  In Perl 5.004, "wantarray" can also return the undefined value if a sub-
       routine's return value will not be used at all, which allows subroutines to avoid a time-
       consuming calculation of a return value if it isn't going to be used.

       "eval EXPR" determines value of EXPR in scalar context

       Perl (version 5) used to determine the value of EXPR inconsistently, sometimes incorrectly
       using the surrounding context for the determination.  Now, the value of EXPR (before being
       parsed by eval) is always determined in a scalar context.  Once parsed, it is executed as
       before, by providing the context that the scope surrounding the eval provided.  This
       change makes the behavior Perl4 compatible, besides fixing bugs resulting from the incon-
       sistent behavior.  This program:

	   @a = qw(time now is time);
	   print eval @a;
	   print '|', scalar eval @a;

       used to print something like "timenowis881399109|4", but now (and in perl4) prints "4|4".

       Changes to tainting checks

       A bug in previous versions may have failed to detect some insecure conditions when taint
       checks are turned on.  (Taint checks are used in setuid or setgid scripts, or when explic-
       itly turned on with the "-T" invocation option.)  Although it's unlikely, this may cause a
       previously-working script to now fail -- which should be construed as a blessing, since
       that indicates a potentially-serious security hole was just plugged.

       The new restrictions when tainting include:

       No glob() or <*>
	   These operators may spawn the C shell (csh), which cannot be made safe.  This restric-
	   tion will be lifted in a future version of Perl when globbing is implemented without
	   the use of an external program.

       No spawning if tainted $CDPATH, $ENV, $BASH_ENV
	   These environment variables may alter the behavior of spawned programs (especially
	   shells) in ways that subvert security.  So now they are treated as dangerous, in the
	   manner of $IFS and $PATH.

       No spawning if tainted $TERM doesn't look like a terminal name
	   Some termcap libraries do unsafe things with $TERM.	However, it would be unnecessar-
	   ily harsh to treat all $TERM values as unsafe, since only shell metacharacters can
	   cause trouble in $TERM.  So a tainted $TERM is considered to be safe if it contains
	   only alphanumerics, underscores, dashes, and colons, and unsafe if it contains other
	   characters (including whitespace).

       New Opcode module and revised Safe module

       A new Opcode module supports the creation, manipulation and application of opcode masks.
       The revised Safe module has a new API and is implemented using the new Opcode module.
       Please read the new Opcode and Safe documentation.

       Embedding improvements

       In older versions of Perl it was not possible to create more than one Perl interpreter
       instance inside a single process without leaking like a sieve and/or crashing.  The bugs
       that caused this behavior have all been fixed.  However, you still must take care when
       embedding Perl in a C program.  See the updated perlembed manpage for tips on how to man-
       age your interpreters.

       Internal change: FileHandle class based on IO::* classes

       File handles are now stored internally as type IO::Handle.  The FileHandle module is still
       supported for backwards compatibility, but it is now merely a front end to the IO::* mod-
       ules -- specifically, IO::Handle, IO::Seekable, and IO::File.  We suggest, but do not
       require, that you use the IO::* modules in new code.

       In harmony with this change, *GLOB{FILEHANDLE} is now just a backward-compatible synonym
       for *GLOB{IO}.

       Internal change: PerlIO abstraction interface

       It is now possible to build Perl with AT&T's sfio IO package instead of stdio.  See perla-
       pio for more details, and the INSTALL file for how to use it.

       New and changed syntax

	   A subroutine reference may now be suffixed with an arrow and a (possibly empty) param-
	   eter list.  This syntax denotes a call of the referenced subroutine, with the given
	   parameters (if any).

	   This new syntax follows the pattern of "$hashref->{FOO}" and "$aryref->[$foo]": You
	   may now write "&$subref($foo)" as "$subref->($foo)".  All these arrow terms may be
	   chained; thus, "&{$table->{FOO}}($bar)" may now be written "$table->{FOO}->($bar)".

       New and changed builtin constants

	   The current package name at compile time, or the undefined value if there is no cur-
	   rent package (due to a "package;" directive).  Like "__FILE__" and "__LINE__",
	   "__PACKAGE__" does not interpolate into strings.

       New and changed builtin variables

       $^E Extended error message on some platforms.  (Also known as $EXTENDED_OS_ERROR if you
	   "use English").

       $^H The current set of syntax checks enabled by "use strict".  See the documentation of
	   "strict" for more details.  Not actually new, but newly documented.	Because it is
	   intended for internal use by Perl core components, there is no "use English" long name
	   for this variable.

       $^M By default, running out of memory it is not trappable.  However, if compiled for this,
	   Perl may use the contents of $^M as an emergency pool after die()ing with this mes-
	   sage.  Suppose that your Perl were compiled with -DPERL_EMERGENCY_SBRK and used Perl's
	   malloc.  Then

	       $^M = 'a' x (1<<16);

	   would allocate a 64K buffer for use when in emergency.  See the INSTALL file for
	   information on how to enable this option.  As a disincentive to casual use of this
	   advanced feature, there is no "use English" long name for this variable.

       New and changed builtin functions

       delete on slices
	   This now works.  (e.g. "delete @ENV{'PATH', 'MANPATH'}")

	   is now supported on more platforms, prefers fcntl to lockf when emulating, and always
	   flushes before (un)locking.

       printf and sprintf
	   Perl now implements these functions itself; it doesn't use the C library function
	   sprintf() any more, except for floating-point numbers, and even then only known flags
	   are allowed.  As a result, it is now possible to know which conversions and flags will
	   work, and what they will do.

	   The new conversions in Perl's sprintf() are:

	      %i   a synonym for %d
	      %p   a pointer (the address of the Perl value, in hexadecimal)
	      %n   special: *stores* the number of characters output so far
		   into the next variable in the parameter list

	   The new flags that go between the "%" and the conversion are:

	      #    prefix octal with "0", hex with "0x"
	      h    interpret integer as C type "short" or "unsigned short"
	      V    interpret integer as Perl's standard integer type

	   Also, where a number would appear in the flags, an asterisk ("*") may be used instead,
	   in which case Perl uses the next item in the parameter list as the given number (that
	   is, as the field width or precision).  If a field width obtained through "*" is nega-
	   tive, it has the same effect as the '-' flag: left-justification.

	   See "sprintf" in perlfunc for a complete list of conversion and flags.

       keys as an lvalue
	   As an lvalue, "keys" allows you to increase the number of hash buckets allocated for
	   the given hash.  This can gain you a measure of efficiency if you know the hash is
	   going to get big.  (This is similar to pre-extending an array by assigning a larger
	   number to $#array.)	If you say

	       keys %hash = 200;

	   then %hash will have at least 200 buckets allocated for it.	These buckets will be
	   retained even if you do "%hash = ()"; use "undef %hash" if you want to free the stor-
	   age while %hash is still in scope.  You can't shrink the number of buckets allocated
	   for the hash using "keys" in this way (but you needn't worry about doing this by acci-
	   dent, as trying has no effect).

       my() in Control Structures
	   You can now use my() (with or without the parentheses) in the control expressions of
	   control structures such as:

	       while (defined(my $line = <>)) {
		   $line = lc $line;
	       } continue {
		   print $line;

	       if ((my $answer = <STDIN>) =~ /^y(es)?$/i) {
	       } elsif ($answer =~ /^n(o)?$/i) {
	       } else {
		   chomp $answer;
		   die "`$answer' is neither `yes' nor `no'";

	   Also, you can declare a foreach loop control variable as lexical by preceding it with
	   the word "my".  For example, in:

	       foreach my $i (1, 2, 3) {

	   $i is a lexical variable, and the scope of $i extends to the end of the loop, but not
	   beyond it.

	   Note that you still cannot use my() on global punctuation variables such as $_ and the

       pack() and unpack()
	   A new format 'w' represents a BER compressed integer (as defined in ASN.1).	Its for-
	   mat is a sequence of one or more bytes, each of which provides seven bits of the total
	   value, with the most significant first.  Bit eight of each byte is set, except for the
	   last byte, in which bit eight is clear.

	   If 'p' or 'P' are given undef as values, they now generate a NULL pointer.

	   Both pack() and unpack() now fail when their templates contain invalid types.
	   (Invalid types used to be ignored.)

	   The new sysseek() operator is a variant of seek() that sets and gets the file's system
	   read/write position, using the lseek(2) system call.  It is the only reliable way to
	   seek before using sysread() or syswrite().  Its return value is the new position, or
	   the undefined value on failure.

       use VERSION
	   If the first argument to "use" is a number, it is treated as a version number instead
	   of a module name.  If the version of the Perl interpreter is less than VERSION, then
	   an error message is printed and Perl exits immediately.  Because "use" occurs at com-
	   pile time, this check happens immediately during the compilation process, unlike
	   "require VERSION", which waits until runtime for the check.	This is often useful if
	   you need to check the current Perl version before "use"ing library modules which have
	   changed in incompatible ways from older versions of Perl.  (We try not to do this more
	   than we have to.)

       use Module VERSION LIST
	   If the VERSION argument is present between Module and LIST, then the "use" will call
	   the VERSION method in class Module with the given version as an argument.  The default
	   VERSION method, inherited from the UNIVERSAL class, croaks if the given version is
	   larger than the value of the variable $Module::VERSION.  (Note that there is not a
	   comma after VERSION!)

	   This version-checking mechanism is similar to the one currently used in the Exporter
	   module, but it is faster and can be used with modules that don't use the Exporter.  It
	   is the recommended method for new code.

	   Returns the prototype of a function as a string (or "undef" if the function has no
	   prototype).	FUNCTION is a reference to or the name of the function whose prototype
	   you want to retrieve.  (Not actually new; just never documented before.)

	   The default seed for "srand", which used to be "time", has been changed.  Now it's a
	   heady mix of difficult-to-predict system-dependent values, which should be sufficient
	   for most everyday purposes.

	   Previous to version 5.004, calling "rand" without first calling "srand" would yield
	   the same sequence of random numbers on most or all machines.  Now, when perl sees that
	   you're calling "rand" and haven't yet called "srand", it calls "srand" with the
	   default seed. You should still call "srand" manually if your code might ever be run on
	   a pre-5.004 system, of course, or if you want a seed other than the default.

       $_ as Default
	   Functions documented in the Camel to default to $_ now in fact do, and all those that
	   do are so documented in perlfunc.

       "m//gc" does not reset search position on failure
	   The "m//g" match iteration construct has always reset its target string's search posi-
	   tion (which is visible through the "pos" operator) when a match fails; as a result,
	   the next "m//g" match after a failure starts again at the beginning of the string.
	   With Perl 5.004, this reset may be disabled by adding the "c" (for "continue") modi-
	   fier, i.e. "m//gc".	This feature, in conjunction with the "\G" zero-width assertion,
	   makes it possible to chain matches together.  See perlop and perlre.

       "m//x" ignores whitespace before ?*+{}
	   The "m//x" construct has always been intended to ignore all unescaped whitespace.
	   However, before Perl 5.004, whitespace had the effect of escaping repeat modifiers
	   like "*" or "?"; for example, "/a *b/x" was (mis)interpreted as "/a\*b/x".  This bug
	   has been fixed in 5.004.

       nested "sub{}" closures work now
	   Prior to the 5.004 release, nested anonymous functions didn't work right.  They do

       formats work right on changing lexicals
	   Just like anonymous functions that contain lexical variables that change (like a lexi-
	   cal index variable for a "foreach" loop), formats now work properly.  For example,
	   this silently failed before (printed only zeros), but is fine now:

	       my $i;
	       foreach $i ( 1 .. 10 ) {
	       format =
		   my i is @#

	   However, it still fails (without a warning) if the foreach is within a subroutine:

	       my $i;
	       sub foo {
		 foreach $i ( 1 .. 10 ) {
	       format =
		   my i is @#

       New builtin methods

       The "UNIVERSAL" package automatically contains the following methods that are inherited by
       all other classes:

	   "isa" returns true if its object is blessed into a subclass of "CLASS"

	   "isa" is also exportable and can be called as a sub with two arguments. This allows
	   the ability to check what a reference points to. Example:

	       use UNIVERSAL qw(isa);

	       if(isa($ref, 'ARRAY')) {

	   "can" checks to see if its object has a method called "METHOD", if it does then a ref-
	   erence to the sub is returned; if it does not then undef is returned.

       VERSION( [NEED] )
	   "VERSION" returns the version number of the class (package).  If the NEED argument is
	   given then it will check that the current version (as defined by the $VERSION variable
	   in the given package) not less than NEED; it will die if this is not the case.  This
	   method is normally called as a class method.  This method is called automatically by
	   the "VERSION" form of "use".

	       use A 1.2 qw(some imported subs);
	       # implies:

       NOTE: "can" directly uses Perl's internal code for method lookup, and "isa" uses a very
       similar method and caching strategy. This may cause strange effects if the Perl code
       dynamically changes @ISA in any package.

       You may add other methods to the UNIVERSAL class via Perl or XS code.  You do not need to
       "use UNIVERSAL" in order to make these methods available to your program.  This is neces-
       sary only if you wish to have "isa" available as a plain subroutine in the current pack-

       TIEHANDLE now supported

       See perltie for other kinds of tie()s.

       TIEHANDLE classname, LIST
	   This is the constructor for the class.  That means it is expected to return an object
	   of some sort. The reference can be used to hold some internal information.

	       sub TIEHANDLE {
		   print "<shout>\n";
		   my $i;
		   return bless \$i, shift;

       PRINT this, LIST
	   This method will be triggered every time the tied handle is printed to.  Beyond its
	   self reference it also expects the list that was passed to the print function.

	       sub PRINT {
		   $r = shift;
		   return print join( $, => map {uc} @_), $\;

       PRINTF this, LIST
	   This method will be triggered every time the tied handle is printed to with the
	   "printf()" function.  Beyond its self reference it also expects the format and list
	   that was passed to the printf function.

	       sub PRINTF {
		     my $fmt = shift;
		   print sprintf($fmt, @_)."\n";

       READ this LIST
	   This method will be called when the handle is read from via the "read" or "sysread"

	       sub READ {
		   $r = shift;
		   my($buf,$len,$offset) = @_;
		   print "READ called, \$buf=$buf, \$len=$len, \$offset=$offset";

       READLINE this
	   This method will be called when the handle is read from. The method should return
	   undef when there is no more data.

	       sub READLINE {
		   $r = shift;
		   return "PRINT called $$r times\n"

       GETC this
	   This method will be called when the "getc" function is called.

	       sub GETC { print "Don't GETC, Get Perl"; return "a"; }

       DESTROY this
	   As with the other types of ties, this method will be called when the tied handle is
	   about to be destroyed. This is useful for debugging and possibly for cleaning up.

	       sub DESTROY {
		   print "</shout>\n";

       Malloc enhancements

       If perl is compiled with the malloc included with the perl distribution (that is, if "perl
       -V:d_mymalloc" is 'define') then you can print memory statistics at runtime by running
       Perl thusly:

	 env PERL_DEBUG_MSTATS=2 perl your_script_here

       The value of 2 means to print statistics after compilation and on exit; with a value of 1,
       the statistics are printed only on exit.  (If you want the statistics at an arbitrary
       time, you'll need to install the optional module Devel::Peek.)

       Three new compilation flags are recognized by malloc.c.	(They have no effect if perl is
       compiled with system malloc().)

	   If this macro is defined, running out of memory need not be a fatal error: a memory
	   pool can allocated by assigning to the special variable $^M.  See "$^M".

	   Perl memory allocation is by bucket with sizes close to powers of two.  Because of
	   these malloc overhead may be big, especially for data of size exactly a power of two.
	   If "PACK_MALLOC" is defined, perl uses a slightly different algorithm for small allo-
	   cations (up to 64 bytes long), which makes it possible to have overhead down to 1 byte
	   for allocations which are powers of two (and appear quite often).

	   Expected memory savings (with 8-byte alignment in "alignbytes") is about 20% for typi-
	   cal Perl usage.  Expected slowdown due to additional malloc overhead is in fractions
	   of a percent (hard to measure, because of the effect of saved memory on speed).

	   Similarly to "PACK_MALLOC", this macro improves allocations of data with size close to
	   a power of two; but this works for big allocations (starting with 16K by default).
	   Such allocations are typical for big hashes and special-purpose scripts, especially
	   image processing.

	   On recent systems, the fact that perl requires 2M from system for 1M allocation will
	   not affect speed of execution, since the tail of such a chunk is not going to be
	   touched (and thus will not require real memory).  However, it may result in a prema-
	   ture out-of-memory error.  So if you will be manipulating very large blocks with sizes
	   close to powers of two, it would be wise to define this macro.

	   Expected saving of memory is 0-100% (100% in applications which require most memory in
	   such 2**n chunks); expected slowdown is negligible.

       Miscellaneous efficiency enhancements

       Functions that have an empty prototype and that do nothing but return a fixed value are
       now inlined (e.g. "sub PI () { 3.14159 }").

       Each unique hash key is only allocated once, no matter how many hashes have an entry with
       that key.  So even if you have 100 copies of the same hash, the hash keys never have to be

Support for More Operating Systems
       Support for the following operating systems is new in Perl 5.004.


       Perl 5.004 now includes support for building a "native" perl under Windows NT, using the
       Microsoft Visual C++ compiler (versions 2.0 and above) or the Borland C++ compiler (ver-
       sions 5.02 and above).  The resulting perl can be used under Windows 95 (if it is
       installed in the same directory locations as it got installed in Windows NT).  This port
       includes support for perl extension building tools like MakeMaker and h2xs, so that many
       extensions available on the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) can now be readily
       built under Windows NT.	See http://www.perl.com/ for more information on CPAN and
       README.win32 in the perl distribution for more details on how to get started with building
       this port.

       There is also support for building perl under the Cygwin32 environment.	Cygwin32 is a set
       of GNU tools that make it possible to compile and run many Unix programs under Windows NT
       by providing a mostly Unix-like interface for compilation and execution.  See README.cyg-
       win32 in the perl distribution for more details on this port and how to obtain the Cyg-
       win32 toolkit.

       Plan 9

       See README.plan9 in the perl distribution.


       See README.qnx in the perl distribution.


       See README.amigaos in the perl distribution.

       Six new pragmatic modules exist:

       use autouse MODULE => qw(sub1 sub2 sub3)
	   Defers "require MODULE" until someone calls one of the specified subroutines (which
	   must be exported by MODULE).  This pragma should be used with caution, and only when

       use blib
       use blib 'dir'
	   Looks for MakeMaker-like 'blib' directory structure starting in dir (or current direc-
	   tory) and working back up to five levels of parent directories.

	   Intended for use on command line with -M option as a way of testing arbitrary scripts
	   against an uninstalled version of a package.

       use constant NAME => VALUE
	   Provides a convenient interface for creating compile-time constants, See "Constant
	   Functions" in perlsub.

       use locale
	   Tells the compiler to enable (or disable) the use of POSIX locales for builtin opera-

	   When "use locale" is in effect, the current LC_CTYPE locale is used for regular
	   expressions and case mapping; LC_COLLATE for string ordering; and LC_NUMERIC for
	   numeric formatting in printf and sprintf (but not in print).  LC_NUMERIC is always
	   used in write, since lexical scoping of formats is problematic at best.

	   Each "use locale" or "no locale" affects statements to the end of the enclosing BLOCK
	   or, if not inside a BLOCK, to the end of the current file.  Locales can be switched
	   and queried with POSIX::setlocale().

	   See perllocale for more information.

       use ops
	   Disable unsafe opcodes, or any named opcodes, when compiling Perl code.

       use vmsish
	   Enable VMS-specific language features.  Currently, there are three VMS-specific fea-
	   tures available: 'status', which makes $? and "system" return genuine VMS status val-
	   ues instead of emulating POSIX; 'exit', which makes "exit" take a genuine VMS status
	   value instead of assuming that "exit 1" is an error; and 'time', which makes all times
	   relative to the local time zone, in the VMS tradition.

       Required Updates

       Though Perl 5.004 is compatible with almost all modules that work with Perl 5.003, there
       are a few exceptions:

	   Module   Required Version for Perl 5.004
	   ------   -------------------------------
	   Filter   Filter-1.12
	   LWP	    libwww-perl-5.08
	   Tk	    Tk400.202 (-w makes noise)

       Also, the majordomo mailing list program, version 1.94.1, doesn't work with Perl 5.004
       (nor with perl 4), because it executes an invalid regular expression.  This bug is fixed
       in majordomo version 1.94.2.

       Installation directories

       The installperl script now places the Perl source files for extensions in the architec-
       ture-specific library directory, which is where the shared libraries for extensions have
       always been.  This change is intended to allow administrators to keep the Perl 5.004
       library directory unchanged from a previous version, without running the risk of binary
       incompatibility between extensions' Perl source and shared libraries.

       Module information summary

       Brand new modules, arranged by topic rather than strictly alphabetically:

	   CGI.pm		Web server interface ("Common Gateway Interface")
	   CGI/Apache.pm	Support for Apache's Perl module
	   CGI/Carp.pm		Log server errors with helpful context
	   CGI/Fast.pm		Support for FastCGI (persistent server process)
	   CGI/Push.pm		Support for server push
	   CGI/Switch.pm	Simple interface for multiple server types

	   CPAN 		Interface to Comprehensive Perl Archive Network
	   CPAN::FirstTime	Utility for creating CPAN configuration file
	   CPAN::Nox		Runs CPAN while avoiding compiled extensions

	   IO.pm		Top-level interface to IO::* classes
	   IO/File.pm		IO::File extension Perl module
	   IO/Handle.pm 	IO::Handle extension Perl module
	   IO/Pipe.pm		IO::Pipe extension Perl module
	   IO/Seekable.pm	IO::Seekable extension Perl module
	   IO/Select.pm 	IO::Select extension Perl module
	   IO/Socket.pm 	IO::Socket extension Perl module

	   Opcode.pm		Disable named opcodes when compiling Perl code

	   ExtUtils/Embed.pm	Utilities for embedding Perl in C programs
	   ExtUtils/testlib.pm	Fixes up @INC to use just-built extension

	   FindBin.pm		Find path of currently executing program

	   Class/Struct.pm	Declare struct-like datatypes as Perl classes
	   File/stat.pm 	By-name interface to Perl's builtin stat
	   Net/hostent.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin gethost*
	   Net/netent.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin getnet*
	   Net/protoent.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin getproto*
	   Net/servent.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin getserv*
	   Time/gmtime.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin gmtime
	   Time/localtime.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin localtime
	   Time/tm.pm		Internal object for Time::{gm,local}time
	   User/grent.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin getgr*
	   User/pwent.pm	By-name interface to Perl's builtin getpw*

	   Tie/RefHash.pm	Base class for tied hashes with references as keys

	   UNIVERSAL.pm 	Base class for *ALL* classes


       New constants in the existing Fcntl modules are now supported, provided that your operat-
       ing system happens to support them:


       These constants are intended for use with the Perl operators sysopen() and fcntl() and the
       basic database modules like SDBM_File.  For the exact meaning of these and other Fcntl
       constants please refer to your operating system's documentation for fcntl() and open().

       In addition, the Fcntl module now provides these constants for use with the Perl operator


       These constants are defined in all environments (because where there is no flock() system
       call, Perl emulates it).  However, for historical reasons, these constants are not
       exported unless they are explicitly requested with the ":flock" tag (e.g. "use Fcntl


       The IO module provides a simple mechanism to load all the IO modules at one go.	Currently
       this includes:


       For more information on any of these modules, please see its respective documentation.


       The Math::Complex module has been totally rewritten, and now supports more operations.
       These are overloaded:

	    + - * / ** <=> neg ~ abs sqrt exp log sin cos atan2 "" (stringify)

       And these functions are now exported:

	   pi i Re Im arg
	   log10 logn ln cbrt root
	   csc sec cot
	   asin acos atan
	   acsc asec acot
	   sinh cosh tanh
	   csch sech coth
	   asinh acosh atanh
	   acsch asech acoth
	   cplx cplxe


       This new module provides a simpler interface to parts of Math::Complex for those who need
       trigonometric functions only for real numbers.


       There have been quite a few changes made to DB_File. Here are a few of the highlights:

       o   Fixed a handful of bugs.

       o   By public demand, added support for the standard hash function exists().

       o   Made it compatible with Berkeley DB 1.86.

       o   Made negative subscripts work with RECNO interface.

       o   Changed the default flags from O_RDWR to O_CREAT|O_RDWR and the default mode from 0640
	   to 0666.

       o   Made DB_File automatically import the open() constants (O_RDWR, O_CREAT etc.) from
	   Fcntl, if available.

       o   Updated documentation.

       Refer to the HISTORY section in DB_File.pm for a complete list of changes. Everything
       after DB_File 1.01 has been added since 5.003.


       Major rewrite - support added for both udp echo and real icmp pings.

       Object-oriented overrides for builtin operators

       Many of the Perl builtins returning lists now have object-oriented overrides.  These are:


       For example, you can now say

	   use File::stat;
	   use User::pwent;
	   $his = (stat($filename)->st_uid == pwent($whoever)->pw_uid);

Utility Changes

       Sends converted HTML to standard output
	   The pod2html utility included with Perl 5.004 is entirely new.  By default, it sends
	   the converted HTML to its standard output, instead of writing it to a file like Perl
	   5.003's pod2html did.  Use the --outfile=FILENAME option to write to a file.


       "void" XSUBs now default to returning nothing
	   Due to a documentation/implementation bug in previous versions of Perl, XSUBs with a
	   return type of "void" have actually been returning one value.  Usually that value was
	   the GV for the XSUB, but sometimes it was some already freed or reused value, which
	   would sometimes lead to program failure.

	   In Perl 5.004, if an XSUB is declared as returning "void", it actually returns no
	   value, i.e. an empty list (though there is a backward-compatibility exception; see
	   below).  If your XSUB really does return an SV, you should give it a return type of
	   "SV *".

	   For backward compatibility, xsubpp tries to guess whether a "void" XSUB is really
	   "void" or if it wants to return an "SV *".  It does so by examining the text of the
	   XSUB: if xsubpp finds what looks like an assignment to ST(0), it assumes that the
	   XSUB's return type is really "SV *".

C Language API Changes
       "gv_fetchmethod" and "perl_call_sv"
	   The "gv_fetchmethod" function finds a method for an object, just like in Perl 5.003.
	   The GV it returns may be a method cache entry.  However, in Perl 5.004, method cache
	   entries are not visible to users; therefore, they can no longer be passed directly to
	   "perl_call_sv".  Instead, you should use the "GvCV" macro on the GV to extract its CV,
	   and pass the CV to "perl_call_sv".

	   The most likely symptom of passing the result of "gv_fetchmethod" to "perl_call_sv" is
	   Perl's producing an "Undefined subroutine called" error on the second call to a given
	   method (since there is no cache on the first call).

	   A new function handy for eval'ing strings of Perl code inside C code.  This function
	   returns the value from the eval statement, which can be used instead of fetching glob-
	   als from the symbol table.  See perlguts, perlembed and perlcall for details and exam-

       Extended API for manipulating hashes
	   Internal handling of hash keys has changed.	The old hashtable API is still fully sup-
	   ported, and will likely remain so.  The additions to the API allow passing keys as
	   "SV*"s, so that "tied" hashes can be given real scalars as keys rather than plain
	   strings (nontied hashes still can only use strings as keys).  New extensions must use
	   the new hash access functions and macros if they wish to use "SV*" keys.  These addi-
	   tions also make it feasible to manipulate "HE*"s (hash entries), which can be more
	   efficient.  See perlguts for details.

Documentation Changes
       Many of the base and library pods were updated.	These new pods are included in section 1:

	   This document.

	   Frequently asked questions.

	   Locale support (internationalization and localization).

	   Tutorial on Perl OO programming.

	   Perl internal IO abstraction interface.

	   Perl module library and recommended practice for module creation.  Extracted from
	   perlmod (which is much smaller as a result).

	   Although not new, this has been massively updated.

	   Although not new, this has been massively updated.

New Diagnostics
       Several new conditions will trigger warnings that were silent before.  Some only affect
       certain platforms.  The following new warnings and errors outline these.  These messages
       are classified as follows (listed in increasing order of desperation):

	  (W) A warning (optional).
	  (D) A deprecation (optional).
	  (S) A severe warning (mandatory).
	  (F) A fatal error (trappable).
	  (P) An internal error you should never see (trappable).
	  (X) A very fatal error (nontrappable).
	  (A) An alien error message (not generated by Perl).

       "my" variable %s masks earlier declaration in same scope
	   (W) A lexical variable has been redeclared in the same scope, effectively eliminating
	   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 destroyed.

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


	   or a hash slice, such as

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

       Allocation too large: %lx
	   (X) You can't allocate more than 64K on an MS-DOS machine.

       Allocation too large
	   (F) You can't allocate more than 2^31+"small amount" bytes.

       Applying %s to %s will act on scalar(%s)
	   (W) The pattern match (//), substitution (s///), and transliteration (tr///) operators
	   work on scalar values.  If you apply one of them to an array or a hash, it will con-
	   vert the array or hash to a scalar value -- the length of an array, or the population
	   info of a hash -- and then work on that scalar value.  This is probably not what you
	   meant to do.  See "grep" in perlfunc and "map" in perlfunc for alternatives.

       Attempt to free nonexistent shared string
	   (P) Perl maintains a reference counted internal table of strings to optimize the stor-
	   age and access of hash keys and other strings.  This indicates someone tried to decre-
	   ment the reference count of a string that can no longer be found in the table.

       Attempt to use reference as lvalue in substr
	   (W) You supplied a reference as the first argument to substr() used as an lvalue,
	   which is pretty strange.  Perhaps you forgot to dereference it first.  See "substr" in

       Bareword "%s" refers to nonexistent package
	   (W) You used a qualified bareword of the form "Foo::", but the compiler saw no other
	   uses of that namespace before that point.  Perhaps you need to predeclare a package?

       Can't redefine active sort subroutine %s
	   (F) Perl optimizes the internal handling of sort subroutines and keeps pointers into
	   them.  You tried to redefine one such sort subroutine when it was currently active,
	   which is not allowed.  If you really want to do this, you should write "sort { &func }
	   @x" instead of "sort func @x".

       Can't use bareword ("%s") as %s ref while "strict refs" in use
	   (F) Only hard references are allowed by "strict refs".  Symbolic references are disal-
	   lowed.  See perlref.

       Cannot resolve method `%s' overloading `%s' in package `%s'
	   (P) Internal error trying to resolve overloading specified by a method name (as
	   opposed to a subroutine reference).

       Constant subroutine %s redefined
	   (S) You redefined a subroutine which had previously been eligible for inlining.  See
	   "Constant Functions" in perlsub for commentary and workarounds.

       Constant subroutine %s undefined
	   (S) You undefined a subroutine which had previously been eligible for inlining.  See
	   "Constant Functions" in perlsub for commentary and workarounds.

       Copy method did not return a reference
	   (F) The method which overloads "=" is buggy. See "Copy Constructor" in overload.

	   (F) You passed die() an empty string (the equivalent of "die """) or you called it
	   with no args and both $@ and $_ were empty.

       Exiting pseudo-block via %s
	   (W) You are exiting a rather special block construct (like a sort block or subroutine)
	   by unconventional means, such as a goto, or a loop control statement.  See "sort" in

       Identifier too long
	   (F) Perl limits identifiers (names for variables, functions, etc.) to 252 characters
	   for simple names, somewhat more for compound names (like $A::B).  You've exceeded
	   Perl's limits.  Future versions of Perl are likely to eliminate these arbitrary limi-

       Illegal character %s (carriage return)
	   (F) A carriage return character was found in the input.  This is an error, and not a
	   warning, because carriage return characters can break multi-line strings, including
	   here documents (e.g., "print <<EOF;").

       Illegal switch in PERL5OPT: %s
	   (X) The PERL5OPT environment variable may only be used to set the following switches:

       Integer overflow in hex number
	   (S) The literal hex number you have specified is too big for your architecture. On a
	   32-bit architecture the largest hex literal is 0xFFFFFFFF.

       Integer overflow in octal number
	   (S) The literal octal number you have specified is too big for your architecture. On a
	   32-bit architecture the largest octal literal is 037777777777.

       internal error: glob failed
	   (P) Something went wrong with the external program(s) used for "glob" and "<*.c>".
	   This may mean that your csh (C shell) is broken.  If so, you should change all of the
	   csh-related variables in config.sh:	If you have tcsh, make the variables refer to it
	   as if it were csh (e.g. "full_csh='/usr/bin/tcsh'"); otherwise, make them all empty
	   (except that "d_csh" should be 'undef') so that Perl will think csh is missing.  In
	   either case, after editing config.sh, run "./Configure -S" and rebuild Perl.

       Invalid conversion in %s: "%s"
	   (W) Perl does not understand the given format conversion.  See "sprintf" in perlfunc.

       Invalid type in pack: '%s'
	   (F) The given character is not a valid pack type.  See "pack" in perlfunc.

       Invalid type in unpack: '%s'
	   (F) The given character is not a valid unpack type.	See "unpack" in perlfunc.

       Name "%s::%s" used only once: possible typo
	   (W) Typographical errors often show up as unique variable names.  If you had a good
	   reason for having a unique name, then just mention it again somehow to suppress the
	   message (the "use vars" pragma is provided for just this purpose).

       Null picture in formline
	   (F) The first argument to formline must be a valid format picture specification.  It
	   was found to be empty, which probably means you supplied it an uninitialized value.
	   See perlform.

       Offset outside string
	   (F) You tried to do a read/write/send/recv operation with an offset pointing outside
	   the buffer.	This is difficult to imagine.  The sole exception to this is that "sys-
	   read()"ing past the buffer will extend the buffer and zero pad the new area.

       Out of memory!
	   (X|F) The malloc() function returned 0, indicating there was insufficient remaining
	   memory (or virtual memory) to satisfy the request.

	   The request was judged to be small, so the possibility to trap it depends on the way
	   Perl was compiled.  By default it is not trappable.	However, if compiled for this,
	   Perl may use the contents of $^M as an emergency pool after die()ing with this mes-
	   sage.  In this case the error is trappable once.

       Out of memory during request for %s
	   (F) The malloc() function returned 0, indicating there was insufficient remaining mem-
	   ory (or virtual memory) to satisfy the request. However, the request was judged large
	   enough (compile-time default is 64K), so a possibility to shut down by trapping this
	   error is granted.

       panic: frexp
	   (P) The library function frexp() failed, making printf("%f") impossible.

       Possible attempt to put comments in qw() list
	   (W) qw() lists contain items separated by whitespace; as with literal strings, comment
	   characters are not ignored, but are instead treated as literal data.  (You may have
	   used different delimiters than the parentheses shown here; braces are also frequently

	   You probably wrote something like this:

	       @list = qw(
		   a # a comment
		   b # another comment

	   when you should have written this:

	       @list = qw(

	   If you really want comments, build your list the old-fashioned way, with quotes and

	       @list = (
		   'a',    # a comment
		   'b',    # another comment

       Possible attempt to separate words with commas
	   (W) qw() lists contain items separated by whitespace; therefore commas aren't needed
	   to separate the items. (You may have used different delimiters than the parentheses
	   shown here; braces are also frequently used.)

	   You probably wrote something like this:

	       qw! a, b, c !;

	   which puts literal commas into some of the list items.  Write it without commas if you
	   don't want them to appear in your data:

	       qw! a b c !;

       Scalar value @%s{%s} better written as $%s{%s}
	   (W) You've used a hash slice (indicated by @) to select a single element of a hash.
	   Generally it's better to ask for a scalar value (indicated by $).  The difference is
	   that $foo{&bar} always behaves like a scalar, both when assigning to it and when eval-
	   uating its argument, while @foo{&bar} behaves like a list when you assign to it, and
	   provides a list context to its subscript, which can do weird things if you're expect-
	   ing only one subscript.

       Stub found while resolving method `%s' overloading `%s' in %s
	   (P) Overloading resolution over @ISA tree may be broken by importing stubs.	Stubs
	   should never be implicitly created, but explicit calls to "can" may break this.

       Too late for "-T" option
	   (X) The #! line (or local equivalent) in a Perl script contains the -T option, but
	   Perl was not invoked with -T in its argument list.  This is an error because, by the
	   time Perl discovers a -T in a script, it's too late to properly taint everything from
	   the environment.  So Perl gives up.

       untie attempted while %d inner references still exist
	   (W) A copy of the object returned from "tie" (or "tied") was still valid when "untie"
	   was called.

       Unrecognized character %s
	   (F) The Perl parser has no idea what to do with the specified character in your Perl
	   script (or eval).  Perhaps you tried to run a compressed script, a binary program, or
	   a directory as a Perl program.

       Unsupported function fork
	   (F) Your version of executable does not support forking.

	   Note that under some systems, like OS/2, there may be different flavors of Perl exe-
	   cutables, some of which may support fork, some not. Try changing the name you call
	   Perl by to "perl_", "perl__", and so on.

       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 gen-
	   erates this message as a warning.  And in Perl 5.005, this special treatment will

       Value of %s can be "0"; test with defined()
	   (W) In a conditional expression, you used <HANDLE>, <*> (glob), "each()", or "read-
	   dir()" as a boolean value.  Each of these constructs can return a value of "0"; that
	   would make the conditional expression false, which is probably not what you intended.
	   When using these constructs in conditional expressions, test their values with the
	   "defined" operator.

       Variable "%s" may be unavailable
	   (W) An inner (nested) anonymous subroutine is inside a named subroutine, and outside
	   that is another subroutine; and the anonymous (innermost) subroutine is referencing a
	   lexical variable defined in the outermost subroutine.  For example:

	      sub outermost { my $a; sub middle { sub { $a } } }

	   If the anonymous subroutine is called or referenced (directly or indirectly) from the
	   outermost subroutine, it will share the variable as you would expect.  But if the
	   anonymous subroutine is called or referenced when the outermost subroutine is not
	   active, it will see the value of the shared variable as it was before and during the
	   *first* call to the outermost subroutine, which is probably not what you want.

	   In these circumstances, it is usually best to make the middle subroutine anonymous,
	   using the "sub {}" syntax.  Perl has specific support for shared variables in nested
	   anonymous subroutines; a named subroutine in between interferes with this feature.

       Variable "%s" will not stay shared
	   (W) An inner (nested) named subroutine is referencing a lexical variable defined in an
	   outer subroutine.

	   When the inner subroutine is called, it will probably see the value of the outer sub-
	   routine's variable as it was before and during the *first* call to the outer subrou-
	   tine; in this case, after the first call to the outer subroutine is complete, the
	   inner and outer subroutines will no longer share a common value for the variable.  In
	   other words, the variable will no longer be shared.

	   Furthermore, if the outer subroutine is anonymous and references a lexical variable
	   outside itself, then the outer and inner subroutines will never share the given vari-

	   This problem can usually be solved by making the inner subroutine anonymous, using the
	   "sub {}" syntax.  When inner anonymous subs that reference variables in outer subrou-
	   tines are called or referenced, they are automatically rebound to the current values
	   of such variables.

       Warning: something's wrong
	   (W) You passed warn() an empty string (the equivalent of "warn """) or you called it
	   with no args and $_ was empty.

       Ill-formed logical name |%s| in prime_env_iter
	   (W) A warning peculiar to VMS.  A logical name was encountered when preparing to iter-
	   ate over %ENV which violates the syntactic rules governing logical names.  Since 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.

       Got an error from DosAllocMem
	   (P) An error peculiar to OS/2.  Most probably you're using an obsolete version of
	   Perl, and this should not happen anyway.

       Malformed PERLLIB_PREFIX
	   (F) An error peculiar to OS/2.  PERLLIB_PREFIX should be of the form



	       prefix1 prefix2

	   with nonempty prefix1 and prefix2.  If "prefix1" is indeed a prefix of a builtin
	   library search path, prefix2 is substituted.  The error may appear if components are
	   not found, or are too long.	See "PERLLIB_PREFIX" in README.os2.

       PERL_SH_DIR too long
	   (F) An error peculiar to OS/2. PERL_SH_DIR is the directory to find the "sh"-shell in.
	   See "PERL_SH_DIR" in README.os2.

       Process terminated by SIG%s
	   (W) This is a standard message issued by OS/2 applications, while *nix applications
	   die in silence.  It is considered a feature of the OS/2 port.  One can easily disable
	   this by appropriate sighandlers, see "Signals" in perlipc.  See also "Process termi-
	   nated by SIGTERM/SIGINT" in README.os2.

       If you find what you think is a bug, you might check the headers of recently posted arti-
       cles in the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup.  There may also be information at
       http://www.perl.com/perl/ , the Perl Home Page.

       If you believe you have an unreported bug, please run the perlbug program included with
       your release.  Make sure you 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 <perlbug@perl.com> 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.	This file has been significantly updated for
       5.004, so even veteran users should look through it.

       The README file for general stuff.

       The Copying file for copyright information.

       Constructed by Tom Christiansen, grabbing material with permission from innumerable con-
       tributors, with kibitzing by more than a few Perl porters.

       Last update: Wed May 14 11:14:09 EDT 1997

perl v5.8.9				    2007-11-17				 PERL5004DELTA(1)

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