We see at once if a perl variable is an array or a scalar, since the name of an array starts with an at sign (@), while we know that a perl scalar variable name is introduced by a dollar sign ($).
We can initialize a string array a notation that remembers the C one, but it uses round brackets to delimit the elements:
my @names = ("Tim", "Bill", "Jim");Or we can use a more perl-ish one, that gets rid of quotations and commas:
my @names = qw(Tim Bill Jim);The result is the same: we have defined an array containing three strings.
When we want to print an array, we usually print it using the interpolated notation:
print "@names\n";Because the interpolation in case of arrays means inserting a blank between each element - making the result readable.
One may wonder what means assigning an array to a scalar variable:
my $len = @names;As the chosen variable names should suggest, an array variable in a scalar context is actually evaluated to the length of the array itself. So this perl instruction:
print "$len: @names\n";should result in an output like this:
3: Tim Bill JimWe didn't actually need an explicit scalar variable to achieve that result, we could just tell to perl to use the array as a scalar, using the "scalar" operator:
print scalar @names, ": @names\n";
Chapter 3 of Beginning Perl by Simon Cozens is about arrays and associative arrays (hashes).