Saturday, September 6, 2008

Perl Interview Questions

1) What are the two different types of data perl handles?
Perl handles two types of data they are
(i) Scalar Variables and
(ii) Lists
Scalar variables hold a single data item whereas lists hold multiple data items.

2) What are scalar variables?
Scalar variables are what many programming languages refer to as simple variables. They hold a single data item, a number, a string, or a perl reference. Scalars are called scalars to differentiate them from constructs that can hold more than one item, like arrays.

3) Explain about lists?
A list is a construct that associates data elements together and you can specify a list by enclosing those elements in parenthesis and separating them with commas. They could themselves be arrays, hashes or even other lists. Lists do not have a specific list data type.

4) Name all the prefix dereferencer in perl?
The symbol that starts all scalar variables is called a prefix dereferencer. The different types of dereferencer are.
(i) $-Scalar variables
(ii) %-Hash variables
(iii) @-arrays
(iv) &-subroutines
(v) Type globs-*myvar stands for @myvar, %myvar.

5) Explain about an ivalue?
An ivalue is an item that can serve as the target of an assignment. The term I value originally meant a “left value”, which is to say a value that appears on the left. An ivalue usually represents a data space in memory and you can store data using the ivalues name. Any variable can serve as an ivalue.

6) How does a “grep” function perform?
Grep returns the number of lines the expression is true. Grep returns a sublist of a list for which a specific criterion is true. This function often involves pattern matching. It modifies the elements in the original list.

7) Explain about Typeglobs?
Type globs are another integral type in perl. A typeglob`s prefix derefrencer is *, which is also the wild card character because you can use typeglobs to create an alias for all types associated with a particular name. All kinds of manipulations are possible with typeglobs.

8) Is there any way to add two arrays together?
Of course you can add two arrays together by using push function. The push function adds a value or values to the end of an array. The push function pushes the values of list onto the end of the array. Length of an array can be increased by the length of list.

9) How to use the command shift?
Shift array function shifts off the first value of the array and returns it, thereby shortening the array by one element and moving everything from one place to the left. If you don’t specify an array to shift, shift uses @ ARGV, the array of command line arguments passed to the script or the array named @-.

10) What exactly is grooving and shortening of the array?
You can change the number of elements in an array simply by changing the value of the last index of/in the array $#array. In fact, if you simply refer to a non existent element in an array perl extends the array as needed, creating new elements. It also includes new elements in its array.

11) What are the three ways to empty an array?
The three different ways to empty an array are as follows
1) You can empty an array by setting its length to a negative number.
2) Another way of empting an array is to assign the null list ().
3) Try to clear an array by setting it to undef, but be aware when you set to undef.

12) How do you work with array slices
An array slice is a section of an array that acts like a list, and you indicate what elements to put into the slice by using multiple array indexes in square brackets. By specifying the range operator you can also specify a slice.

13) What is meant by splicing arrays explain in context of list and scalar.
Splicing an array means adding elements from a list to that array, possibly replacing elements now in the array. In list context, the splice function returns the elements removed from the array. In scalar context, the splice function returns the last element removed.

14) What are the different types of perl operators?
There are four different types of perl operators they are
(i) Unary operator like the not operator
(ii) Binary operator like the addition operator
(iii) Tertiary operator like the conditional operator
(iv) List operator like the print operator

15) Which has the highest precedence, List or Terms? Explain?
Terms have the highest precedence in perl. Terms include variables, quotes, expressions in parenthesis etc. List operators have the same level of precedence as terms. Specifically, these operators have very strong left word precedence.

16) What is a short circuit operator?
The C-Style operator, ll, performs a logical (or) operation and you can use it to tie logical clauses together, returning an overall value of true if either clause is true. This operator is called a short-circuit operator because if the left operand is true the right operand is not checked or evaluated.

17) What are the different forms of goto in perl? Explain?
The three forms of goto are as follows. They are
(i) Goto label
(ii) Goto name
(iii) Goto expr
The first form, goto LABEL, transfers execution to the statement labeled LABEL. The second form, goto EXPR, expects EXPR to evaluate to a label. The last form goto &name is used with subroutines. This goto statement is used only when there is a necessity as it can create havoc in a program.

18) What are the different types of eval statements?
There are two different types of eval statements they are eval EXPR and eval BLOCK. Eval EXPR executes an expression and eval BLOCK executes BLOCK. Eval Block executes an entire block, BLOCK. First one is used when you want your code passed in the expression and the second one is used to parse the code in the block.

19) Determine the difference between my and local?
The fundamental difference between my and local is that my creates a new variable, whereas local saves a copy of an existing variable.

20) Explain about returning values from subroutines (functions)?
The return value of the subroutine is the value of the last expression evaluated or you can explicitly use a return statement to exit the subroutine specifying the return value. That return value is evaluated in the appropriate content depending on the content of the subroutine call.

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