DevShed: Perl 101 (Part 2)--Of Variables And Operators

Thursday May 16th 2002 by ServerWatch Staff
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Now that you've got the basics of the language down, this second article in the series teaches you about Perl's variables and operators, and also introduces you to conditional expressions.

"To begin with, let's answer a very basic question for all those of you unfamiliar with programming jargon: what's a variable when it's at home?"

"A variable is the fundamental building block of any programming languages. Think of a variable as a container which can be used to store data; this data is used in different places in your Perl program. A variable can store both numeric and non-numeric data, and the contents of a variable can be altered during program execution. Finally, variables can be compared with each other, and you--the programmer--can write program code that performs specific actions on the basis of this comparison."

"Every language has different types of variables--however, for the moment, we're going to concentrate on the simplest type, referred to in Perl as "scalar variables". A scalar variable can hold any type of value--integer, text string, floating-point number--and is usually preceded by a dollar sign."

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