FAQ 5.40 Why do I get weird spaces when I print an array of lines?

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by PerlFAQ Server, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq5.pod, which
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    to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
    perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .


    5.40: Why do I get weird spaces when I print an array of lines?

    (contributed by brian d foy)

    If you are seeing spaces between the elements of your array when you
    print the array, you are probably interpolating the array in double

    my @animals = qw(camel llama alpaca vicuna);
    print "animals are: @animals\n";

    It's the double quotes, not the "print", doing this. Whenever you
    interpolate an array in a double quote context, Perl joins the elements
    with spaces (or whatever is in $", which is a space by default):

    animals are: camel llama alpaca vicuna

    This is different than printing the array without the interpolation:

    my @animals = qw(camel llama alpaca vicuna);
    print "animals are: ", @animals, "\n";

    Now the output doesn't have the spaces between the elements because the
    elements of @animals simply become part of the list to "print":

    animals are: camelllamaalpacavicuna

    You might notice this when each of the elements of @array end with a
    newline. You expect to print one element per line, but notice that every
    line after the first is indented:

    this is a line
    this is another line
    this is the third line

    That extra space comes from the interpolation of the array. If you don't
    want to put anything between your array elements, don't use the array in
    double quotes. You can send it to print without them:

    print @lines;


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