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Chapter 7.  Subroutine References

 
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Chapter 7. Subroutine References

So far, you've seen references to three main Perl data types: scalars, arrays, and hashes. We can also take a reference to a subroutine (sometimes called a coderef).

Why would we want to do that? Well, in the same way that taking a reference to an array lets you have the same code work on different arrays at different times, taking a reference to a subroutine allows the same code to call different subroutines at different times. Also, references permit complex data structures. A reference to a subroutine allows a subroutine to effectively become part of that complex data structure.

Put another way, a variable or a complex data structure is a repository of values throughout the program. A reference to a subroutine can be thought of as a repository of behavior in a program. The examples in this section show how this works.


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