Chapter 2. Scalar Data
What Is Scalar Data?
2.1. What Is Scalar Data?
In English, as in many other spoken languages, we're used to distinguishing between singular and plural. As a computer language designed by a human linguist, Perl is similar. As a general rule, when Perl has just one of something, that's a scalar.
A scalar is the simplest kind of data that Perl manipulates. Most scalars are either a number (like 255 or 3.25e20) or a string of characters (like hello or the Gettysburg Address). Although you may think of numbers and strings as very different things, Perl uses them nearly interchangeably.
A scalar value can be acted upon with operators (like addition or concatenate), generally yielding a scalar result. A scalar value can be stored into a scalar variable. Scalars can be read from files and devices, and can be written out as well.
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