Burzum619 Burzum619 - 1 month ago 4
Perl Question

Why does smartmatch not work when dereferencing an arrayref on the left-hand side?

I am currently reading Intermediate Perl from O'Reilly and am attempting to to do one of the exercises. I am new to references in Perl, so I hope that I am not misunderstanding something and coding this exercise incorrectly.

However, I have tried to debug this code and I am not able to come to a conclusion as to how the line with the smart matching is failing every time. From what I understand

@array ~~ $scalar
should return true if the string-wise scalar value is found in the

Below is my code:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use 5.010;

my @rick = qw(shirt shotgun knife crossbow water);
my @shane = qw(ball jumprope thumbtacks crossbow water);
my @dale = qw(notebook shotgun pistol pocketprotector);
my %all = (
Rick => \@rick,
Shane => \@shane,
Dale => \@dale,


sub check_items_for_all {
my $all = shift;
foreach $person (keys %$all) {
$items = $all->{$person};
check_required_items($person, $items);

sub check_required_items {
my $who = shift; #persons name
my $items = shift; #reference to items array
my @required = qw(water crossbow);
"Analyzing $who who has the following items: @$items. Item being compared is $item \n"
foreach $item (@required) {
unless (@$items ~~ $item) {
print "Item $item not found on $who!\n";


If you reverse the match it will work:

$item ~~ @$items


$item ~~ $items  # Smart-matching works with references too.

PS: get used to adding use strict; to the start of your program. It will point you to a few mistakes in your code :)