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=begin pod :kind("Language") :subkind("Language") :category("migration")
=TITLE Perl 5 to Perl 6 guide - operators
=SUBTITLE Operators in Perl 5 to Perl 6: equivalencies and variations
A (hopefully) comprehensive list of Perl 5 operators with their Perl 6
equivalents with notes on variations between them where necessary.
=head1 NOTE
This document I<does not> explain the operators in detail. This document
is an attempt to guide you from the operators in Perl 5's C<perlop>
document to their equivalents in Perl 6. For full documentation on the
Perl 6 equivalents, please see the
L<Perl 6 documentation|/language/operators>.
=head2 Operator precedence and associativity
The operator precedence table is somewhat different in Perl 6 than it is
in Perl 5, so it will not be detailed here. If you need to know the
precedence and associativity of a given operator in Perl 6, refer to
L<Operator Precedence|/language/operators#Operator_precedence>.
=head2 Terms and list operators
The things listed in Perl 5's C<perlop> document as unary and list
operators in this section tend to be things that can also be thought of
as functions, such as C<print> and C<chdir>. As such, you can find
information about them in the L<functions|/language/5to6-perlfunc>
guide. Parentheses are still used for grouping. There is one caveat: in
Perl 6, it's the C<,> (comma) that creates lists, B<not> parentheses.
=begin code
my @foo = 1,2,3,4,5; # no parentheses needed
.say for 1,2,3,4,5; # also no parentheses
my $scalar = (1); # *not* a list, as there is no comma
my $list = (1,); # a List in a scalar container
=end code
=head2 The arrow operator
As you typically will not be using references in Perl 6, the arrow is
probably less useful as a dereferencing operator. If you do need to
dereference something, however, the arrow is the dot. It is also the dot
for method calls. So, Perl 5's C<< $arrayref->[7] >> becomes
C<$arrayref.[7]> in Perl 6 and, similarly, C<< $user->name >> becomes
C<$>. The C<< => >> arrow is used for constructing Pairs, see
L<Pair term documentation|/language/terms#Pair>.
=head2 Auto-increment and auto-decrement
Work as in Perl 5. The one possible caveat is that they function by
calling the C<succ> method for C<++> and the C<pred> method for C<-->.
For builtin numeric types, this is unlikely to do something unusual, but
custom types can define their own C<succ> and C<pred> methods, so in
those cases, you should probably take note of what C<++> and C<--> will
I<actually> do.
=head2 Exponentiation
Works as you would expect. The caveat in Perl 5's perlop about C<**>
binding more tightly than unary minus (i. e. "-2**4" evaluates as "-(2**4)"
rather than "(-2)**4)") is also true for Perl 6.
=head2 Symbolic unary operators
As in Perl 5, unary C<!> and C<-> do logical and arithmetic negation,
respectively. C<?^> is used for bitwise logical negation, which the
documentation indicates is equivalent to C<!>. It may be relevant to
note that these coerce their arguments to C<Bool> and C<Numeric>,
Unary C<~> is the string context operator in Perl 6, so use prefix C<+^>
for bitwise integer negation. Assumes two's complement.
C<+> I<does> have an effect in Perl 6, coercing its argument to the
Numeric type.
Unary C<\> is no more. If you really want to take a "reference" to an existing
named variable, you can use item context, like so: C<$aref = item(@array)>, or
maybe more familiarly by prefixing with a C<$>: C<$aref = $@array>. Please
note that you're not really getting a reference, but a scalar container with
the referenced object in it.
You can get a "reference" to a named subroutine by using the C<&> sigil:
C<$sref = &foo>. Anonymous arrays, hashes, and subs return the underlying
object during creation I<right away>: C<$sref = sub { }>.
=head2 Binding operators
C<=~> and C<!~> have been replaced by C<~~> and C<!~~>, respectively.
Those of you who consider smartmatching broken in Perl 5 will be happy
to hear that it works much better in Perl 6, as the stronger typing
means less guesswork. See
L<the smartmatch documentation|/language/operators#index-entry-smartmatch_operator> for a
more extensive explanation of how smartmatch works in Perl 6.
=head2 Multiplicative operators
Binary C<*>, C</>, and C<%> do multiplication, division, and modulo,
respectively, as in Perl 5.
Binary C<x> is slightly different in Perl 6, and has a companion.
C<print '-' x 80;> gives you a string of 80 dashes, but for the Perl 5
behavior of C<@ones = (1) x 80;> giving you a list of 80 "1"s, you would
use C<@ones = 1 xx 80;>.
=head2 Additive operators
Binary C<+> and C<-> do addition and subtraction, respectively, as you would
As C<.> is the method call operator, so binary C<~> acts as the
concatenation operator in Perl 6.
=head2 Shift operators
C« << » and C« >> » have been replaced by C<< +< >> and C<< +> >>.
=head2 Named unary operators
As noted above, you'll find these in the L<functions|/language/5to6-perlfunc>
=head2 Relational operators
These all work as in Perl 5.
=head2 Equality operators
C<==> and C<!=> both work as in Perl 5.
C<< <=> >> and C<cmp> have different behavior in Perl 6. C<< <=> >>
does a numeric comparison, but returns C<Order::Less>, C<Order::Same>,
or C<Order::More> instead of Perl 5's C<-1>, C<0>, or C<1>. To get the
Perl 5 behavior (with the change that it returns the C<Order> objects,
rather than integers) of C<cmp>, you would use the C<leg> operator.
C<cmp> does either C<< <=> >> or C<leg>, depending on the existing type
of its arguments.
C<~~> is the smartmatch operator as in Perl 5, but it's also I<just>
the match operator in Perl 6, as noted above. For how smartmatching
works in Perl 6, see L<the smartmatch documentation|/language/operators#index-entry-smartmatch_operator>.
=head2 Smartmatch operator
See L<the smartmatch documentation|/language/operators#index-entry-smartmatch_operator>
for a more extensive explanation of how smartmatch works in Perl 6.
=head2 Bitwise And
Binary C<&> is C<+&> in Perl 6.
=head2 Bitwise Or and Exclusive Or
Bitwise OR has changed from C<|> in Perl 5 to C<+|> in Perl 6.
Similarly, bitwise XOR C<^> is C<+^>, except this operates on integers.
=head2 C-style Logical And
=head2 C-style Logical Or
=head2 Logical Defined-Or
Remains in Perl 6 as C<//>. Returns the first defined operand, or else
the last operand. Also, there is a low precedence version, called
=head2 Range operators
In list context, C<..> operates as the range operator and should not
need to be changed. That said, there are exclusionary range operators
that may be useful. These are:
=item infix C<..^> which excludes the endpoint;
=item infix ^.. which excludes the starting point;
=item infix C<^..^> which excludes both the starting and ending points;
=item prefix C<^> which starts from zero excluding the endpoint.
The following example shows the effects of all the above range operators
(please note parentheses are used only to allow the method call):
=begin code
(1..^5).list; # (1 2 3 4)
(1^..5).list; # (2 3 4 5)
(1^..^5).list; # (2 3 4)
(^5).list; # (0 1 2 3 4)
=end code
In Perl 5, in scalar context, the operators C<..> and C<...> work
as flip-flop operators, even if they are little-known and probably
less used. Those operators have been replaced in Perl 6
by L<ff|/routine/ff> and L<fff|/routine/fff> respectively.
=head2 Conditional operator
The conditional operator C<? :> has been replaced
by C<?? !!>:
=for code :lang<perl5>
$x = $ok ? $yes : $no; # Perl 5
=for code :preamble<my $x;my $ok;my $yes;my $no>
$x = $ok ?? $yes !! $no; # Perl 6
=head2 Assignment operators
Although not fully documented, S03 indicates that the mathematical and
logical assignment operators should work as you would expect. The one
noticeable change is that C<.=> calls a mutating method on the object on
the left (which can also be a type-object). This allows for the following
useful idiom:
=begin code
class LongClassName {
has $.frobnicate;
my LongClassName $bar .= new( frobnicate => 42 ); # no need to repeat class name
=end code
This ensures that C<$bar> will only be able to contain a C<LongClassName>
object, as well not having to repeat (and possibly misspell) the class name.
C<~=> is the string concatenation assignment, as you might expect with the
changes in C<.> and C<~>. Also, the bitwise assignment operators are likely
not separated into numeric and string versions (C<&=>, etc., vs. C<&.=>, etc.),
as that feature is currently experimental in Perl 5 itself - although, again,
this is not specifically documented.
=head2 Comma operator
The comma operator works mostly as expected, but technically it
creates L<Lists|/type/List>) or separates arguments in function
calls. Also, there is a C<:> variant that turns function calls into
method calls - see L<this page|/language/operators#infix_%3A>.
The C<< => >> operator, or I<fat arrow>, works similarly to the Perl 5 "fat
comma" in that it allows an unquoted (ordinary) identifier on its left side, but
in Perl 6 constructs Pair objects, rather than just functioning as a separator.
If you are trying to just literally translate a line of Perl 5 code to Perl 6,
it should behave as expected.
=head2 List operators (rightward)
Like the Named Unary Operators, you'll find these discussed under
=head2 Logical Not
The lower precedence version of C<!>. As with C<!>, coerces its argument
to C<Bool>.
=head2 Logical And
Lower precedence version of C<&&> as in Perl 5.
=head2 Logical or and Exclusive Or
C<or> is the low precedence version of C<||>, and C<xor> is the low precedence
version of C<^^>.
Additionally, there is a low precedence version of C<//>, called C<orelse>.
=head2 Quote and quote-like operators
For all the gory details on quoting constructs, see
There is a quoting operator that allows absolute literal strings: C<Q> or
C<「…」>, although the latter might be difficult to find on your keyboard,
depending on your keyboard... Backslash escapes do I<not> apply in C<Q> quoted
strings. E. g. C<Q{This is still a closing curly brace → \}> renders "This is still a
closing curly brace → \".
C<q> does what you expect, allowing backslash escapes. E. g. C<q{This is
not a closing curly brace → \}, but this is → }> returning "This is
not a closing curly brace → }, but this is →". As in Perl 5, you can
get this behavior with single quotes.
C<qq> allows interpolation of variables. However, by default, only
scalar variables are interpolated. To get other variables to
interpolate, you need to put square brackets after them (the so-called
L<zen-slice|/language/subscripts#index-entry-Zen_slices>) to get them to
interpolate. E.g. C<< @a = <1 2 3>; say qq/@a[]; >>
results in "1 2 3". Hashes interpolate in the same
manner: C<< %a = 1 => 2, 3 => 4;say "%a{}"; >> results in a space
separating the pairs and tabs separating the key from the value in each
pair (because that's the standard stringification of C<Pair>s, and a hash
acts as list of C<Pair>s when stringified). You can also interpolate Perl 6
code in strings using curly braces. For all the details, see
C<qw> works as in Perl 5, and can also be rendered as C<< <...> >>. E.
g. C<qw/a b c/> is equivalent to C<< <a b c> >>.
There is also a version of C<qw> that interpolates, which is C<qqw>. So
C<my $a = 42;say qqw/$a b c/;> gives you "42 b c".
Shell quoting is available through C<qx>, but you should note that
backticks do not do shell quoting as in Perl 5, and Perl variables are
I<not> interpolated in C<qx> strings. If you need to interpolate Perl
variables in a shell command string, you can use C<qqx> instead.
The C<qr> operator is gone from Perl 6.
C<tr///> works similarly to how it
does in Perl 5. The one caveat is that ranges are specified differently.
Instead of using a range "a-z", you would use "a..z", i. e. with Perl's
range operator. C<tr///> has a method version, which is better
documented, called C<.trans>. C<.trans> uses a list of pairs, as
follows: C<< $x.trans(['a'..'c'] => ['A'..'C'], ['d'..'q'] =>
['D'..'Q'], ['r'..'z'] => ['R'..'Z']); >> A much more extensive
description of the uses of C<.trans> can be found at
L<>. The C<y///>
equivalent has been done away with.
Heredocs are specified differently in Perl 6. You use C<:to> with your quoting
operator, e. g. C<q:to/END/;> would start a heredoc ending with "END".
Similarly, you get escaping and interpolation based on your quoting operator,
i. e. literals with C<Q>, backslash escapes with C<q>, and interpolation with
=head2 I/O operators
The full details on Input/Output in Perl 6 can be found at
As C<< <...> >> is the quote-words construct in Perl 6, C<< <> >> is not
used for reading lines from a file. You can do that by either making an
C<IO> object from a file name or using an open filehandle and then, in
either case, calling C<.lines> on it. I. e. either C<my @a =
"filename".IO.lines;> or C<my $fh = open "filename", :r;my @a =
$fh.lines;> (In the latter case, we are using C<:r> to specifically open
the file for reading). To do this in an iterative manner, you can use a
C<for> loop this way:
=begin code
for 'huge-csv'.IO.lines -> $line {
# Do something with $line
=end code
Note the use of C<< -> >> there. That's part of the Block syntax, and in
Perl 6 is needed for C<if>, C<for>, C<while>, etc.
If you want to slurp the entire file into a scalar, you would - surprise! -
use the C<.slurp> method. For instance
=begin code
my $x = "filename".IO.slurp;
# ... or ...
my $fh = open "filename", :r;
my $x = $fh.slurp;
=end code
As noted in the L<Special Variables|/language/5to6-perlvar> guide,
the C<ARGV> magic input filehandle has
been replaced by C<$*ARGFILES>, and the C<@ARGV> array of command line
arguments has been replaced by C<@*ARGS>.
=head2 No-ops
C<1 while foo();> works in the same way as it does in Perl 5, however it
generates a warning. In Perl 6 the idiom is now written as
C<Nil while foo();> instead.
=head2 Bitwise string operators
Documented individually above, but to summarize...
Bitwise integer negation is prefix C<+^>. Bitwise boolean
negation is C<?^>.
Bitwise and is C<+&>.
Bitwise integer or is C<+|>. Bitwise integer xor is infix C<+^>. Bitwise
boolean or is C<?|>.
Left shift and right shift are C<< +< >> and C<< +> >>.
=end pod
# vim: expandtab softtabstop=4 shiftwidth=4 ft=perl6
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