Write a perl script that takes one argument, the name of a file or directory. The script should call the stat function and print the resulting data along with a one line explanation of each field.

my $args;

if ($args<1)
    die("Expecting a filename");

sub showstat
      print " $_[0] dev, device number of filesystem\n";
      print " $_[1] ino,      inode number\n";
      print " $_[2] mode,     file mode  (type and permissions)\n";
      print " $_[3] nlink,    number of (hard) links to the file\n";

my $filename=$ARGV[0];
if (open (TESTFILE,$filename))
    my @filedata= stat(TESTFILE);

    close (TESTFILE);
    print "error on open $filename";

My question is if $args=@ARGV, shouldn't $ARGV[0] equal to $args[0] instead of $filename=$ARGV[0]? Why not?

and under where it says @showstat(@filedata), why do you put the ampersand? (i know by definition it is a subroutine), but can I get a clarification what the actual function do in here?

closed as off topic by Renan, Stéphane Chazelas, Warren Young, Anthon, Ulrich Dangel Jun 6 '13 at 14:09

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  • Didn't you ask a similar questions a while ago? – Ulrich Dangel Jun 6 '13 at 14:10
  • @UlrichDangel no, he has asked 3, all closed of course. – terdon Jun 6 '13 at 14:13
  • @Luc, programming questions are off topic here, try them at stackoverflow.com – terdon Jun 6 '13 at 14:14

Perl is context sensitive. If you assign to a scalar variable

$args = @ARGV

the right hand side value is evaluated in scalar context, i.e. the array returns its size.

Using the ampersand for subroutine calls is a Perl 4 habit. Nowadays, there are only few cases where you really need the ampersand, e.g. in this case, it can be safely deleted.

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