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Re^3: Dynamically create a foreach loop within a foreach loop?

by smls (Friar)
on Dec 11, 2013 at 12:22 UTC ( #1066613=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Dynamically create a foreach loop within a foreach loop?
in thread Dynamically create a foreach loop within a foreach loop?

Short answer: You really should read through perlintro and perlreftut, and at least skim through perldata.

Longer answer:

my $n = shift; #I understand shift chops off the first element in an array, but what purpose does that serve?

In Perl, parameters passed to a subroutine are stored in the @_ array. (See perlintro#Writing-subroutines.)
When shift is called without an explicit argument, it operates on that array. (See shift.)

The purpose of the quoted line is to remove the first element (i.e. the first subroutine parameter) from the @_ array and store it in $n.

Also, how are the arrays (@a, @b, @c) referenced in this code?

The function consumes the first array reference (i.e. \@a) via another shift:

for my $i ( @{ shift() } ) {
It leaves the remaining array references in @_, and passes them on to a new function-call to the same function:
nFor( $n-1, @_, $i );

for my $i ( @{ shift() } ) { # I have no idea how $i get's it's value?

shift() removes the first element from @_ and returns it - in this case it happens to be an array reference.
@{ ... } performs array dereferencing - i.e. when given an array reference, it returns the actual array. (See perlreftut and References quick reference).
for my $i ( ... ) { ... } loops over all elements of the list defined within the round brackets, storing the current element in $i each time. (See perlintro#foreach.)

nFor( $n-1, @_, $i ); #why does the top nFor call for 4 variables, while this one only calls for 3?

When an array is placed in a comma-separated list, it is "flattened" - i.e. it's as though all its elements had been individually placed in that spot in the list, in order. (See perldata#List-value-constructors.)

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