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[Perl] Accessing array elements within a sed command in Perl script

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# 1  
Old 10-03-2008
[Perl] Accessing array elements within a sed command in Perl script

I am trying to use a script to replace the header of each file, whose filename are stored within the array $test, using the sed command within a Perl script as follows:
$count = 0;
while ( $count < $#test )
        `sed -e 's/BIOGRF  321/BIOGRF  332/g' ${test[$count]} > 0`;
        `cat 0 > ${test[$count]}`;

`rm 0`;

This script doesn't work as is and I think it might be something with the syntax of how to call the element of an array within a embedded sed command. If I put an actual integer as the array index instead of the variable $count, it works fine, but if I try to use $count, it doesn't work at all. I know this might not be the most efficient method, but it is the only way I can think of with my limited knowledge of perl scripting.
# 2  
Old 10-03-2008
First, why would you use such a sed script within Perl? But whatever. Second, the second back-ticked command, while functionally correct, is not as good or as clear as:
rename(0, ${test[$count]});

Third, the last one in the array never gets converted. That's because $#test is the last index in the array of @test, and you're telling the while loop to stop before count is equal to this.

Now to your actual question. I dont know. This worked when I ran sample code and on the files (except for the last). However, better code would be as follows:

for (@test)
        system("sed -i -e 's/BIOGRF  321/BIOGRF  332/g' $_");

# 3  
Old 10-03-2008
Like otheus said, why use sed in a Perl script? If you are going to use Perl, you had better learn how to use it properly. Otherwise stick with sed.

Here's a small Perl script that will do what you want and create a backup file to boot.

I called this


use strict;
use warnings;
use English qw( -no_match_vars );

my $old;
my $new;
my $oldFH;
my $newFH;
my $dirDH;

my $dir = ".";  #Use current directory

opendir($dirDH, $dir) or die "Cannot opendir $dir\n";

my @test = readdir($dirDH);

foreach $old (@test) {
    next if $old eq '.';  #skip directory entries
    next if $old eq '..';

    $new = "$old.temp";
    open($oldFH, "<", $old)        or die "can't open $old: $OS_ERROR\n";
    open($newFH, ">", $new)        or die "can't open $new: $OS_ERROR\n";
    while (<$oldFH>) {
        $_ =~ s/BIOGRF  321/BIOGRF  332/g;
        print $newFH $_            or die "can't write $new: $OS_ERROR\n";

    close($oldFH)                  or die "can't close $old: $OS_ERROR\n";
    close($newFH)                  or die "can't close $new: $OS_ERROR\n";
    rename($old, "$old.orig")      or die "can't rename $old to $old.orig: $OS_ERROR\n";
    rename($new, $old)             or die "can't rename $new to $old: $OS_ERROR\n";


closedir($dirDH) or die "Cannot closedir $dir\n";

exit 0;


$ ls -1

$ cat test1 test2 test3 test4


$ cat test1 test2 test3 test4

$ ls -1

The guts of the code comes from The Perl Cookbook. I just wrapped it around a loop that takes all the files from the current directory and performs your replace command. In your case you just need the while loop that walks through your array called @test.

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