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FAQ 7.20 Why doesn't "my($foo) = <FILE>;" work right?

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This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq7.pod, which
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to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
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7.20: Why doesn't "my($foo) = <FILE>;" work right?

"my()" and "local()" give list context to the right hand side of "=".
The <FH> read operation, like so many of Perl's functions and operators,
can tell which context it was called in and behaves appropriately. In
general, the scalar() function can help. This function does nothing to
the data itself (contrary to popular myth) but rather tells its argument
to behave in whatever its scalar fashion is. If that function doesn't
have a defined scalar behavior, this of course doesn't help you (such as
with sort()).

To enforce scalar context in this particular case, however, you need
merely omit the parentheses:

local($foo) = <FILE>; # WRONG
local($foo) = scalar(<FILE>); # ok
local $foo = <FILE>; # right

You should probably be using lexical variables anyway, although the
issue is the same here:

my($foo) = <FILE>; # WRONG
my $foo = <FILE>; # right


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so please include as much information as possible and relevant in any
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