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Perl 5 version 12.0 documentation
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  • ref EXPR

  • ref

    Returns a non-empty string if EXPR is a reference, the empty string otherwise. If EXPR is not specified, $_ will be used. The value returned depends on the type of thing the reference is a reference to. Builtin types include:

    1. SCALAR
    2. ARRAY
    3. HASH
    4. CODE
    5. REF
    6. GLOB
    7. LVALUE
    8. FORMAT
    9. IO
    10. VSTRING
    11. Regexp

    If the referenced object has been blessed into a package, then that package name is returned instead. You can think of ref as a typeof operator.

    1. if (ref($r) eq "HASH") {
    2. print "r is a reference to a hash.\n";
    3. }
    4. unless (ref($r)) {
    5. print "r is not a reference at all.\n";
    6. }

    The return value LVALUE indicates a reference to an lvalue that is not a variable. You get this from taking the reference of function calls like pos() or substr(). VSTRING is returned if the reference points to a version string.

    The result Regexp indicates that the argument is a regular expression resulting from qr//.

    See also perlref.