# Paths in Perl

Discussion in 'Perl' started by pradeep, Oct 17, 2005.

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Different Operating Systems use different characters as their path separator when specifying directory and file paths:

foo/bar/baz # *nix uses a /
foo\bar\baz # Win32 uses a \
foo:bar:baz # Mac OS 9 uses a :
foo/bar/baz # Mac OS X uses a / (usually!)

In Perl you can generally just use a / as your path separator (except on Mac OS 9, thanks Hanamaki). Why? Because Perl will automagically convert the / to the correct path separator for the system it is running on! This means that coding Windows paths like this

$path = "\\foo\\bar\\baz"; is not required. You can just use this:$path = "/foo/bar/baz";

and things will be fine. In fact using \\ can be problematic, but you probably already know that

If you want to display the expected system delimiter to a user (ie hide the fact that you are using / internally) you can just do something like this:

Code:
my $perl_path = '/foo/bar/baz'; (my$win_path = $perl_path) =~ tr!/!\\!; print "Perl still sees:$perl_path\n";
print "But we can print: $win_path\n";  If you need to do lots of conversions just write a sub like this: Code:  my$perl_path = '/foo/bar/baz';
print "This is the Windows path: ", win_path
($perl_path), "\n"; sub win_path { (my$path = shift) =~ tr!/!\\!;
return \$path;
}
So there you have it. Paths in Perl. By using a / you make it much easier to port your code to another system.

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2006