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With 5.12.2:
$ perl -wE 'my $s = "foo bar"; $s =~ /(bar)/; say ${^PREMATCH}' foo $ perl -wE 'my $s = "foo bar"; $s =~ /bar/; say ${^PREMATCH}' Use of uninitialized value $^PREMATCH in say at -e line 1. $
Note also the difference in what's going on:
$ perl -Mre=debug -wE 'my $s = "foo bar"; $s =~ /bar/;' Compiling REx "bar" Final program: 1: EXACT <bar> (3) 3: END (0) anchored "bar" at 0 (checking anchored isall) minlen 3 Guessing start of match in sv for REx "bar" against "foo bar" Found anchored substr "bar" at offset 4... Starting position does not contradict /^/m... Guessed: match at offset 4 Freeing REx: "bar" $ perl -Mre=debug -wE 'my $s = "foo bar"; $s =~ /(bar)/;' Compiling REx "(bar)" Final program: 1: OPEN1 (3) 3: EXACT <bar> (5) 5: CLOSE1 (7) 7: END (0) anchored "bar" at 0 (checking anchored) minlen 3 Guessing start of match in sv for REx "(bar)" against "foo bar" Found anchored substr "bar" at offset 4... Starting position does not contradict /^/m... Guessed: match at offset 4 Matching REx "(bar)" against "bar" 4 <foo > <bar> | 1:OPEN1(3) 4 <foo > <bar> | 3:EXACT <bar>(5) 7 <foo bar> <> | 5:CLOSE1(7) 7 <foo bar> <> | 7:END(0) Match successful! Freeing REx: "(bar)" $

In reply to Re^3: ${^MATCH} regex special variable(s) and /p regex modifier by JavaFan
in thread ${^MATCH} regex special variable(s) and /p regex modifier by AnomalousMonk

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