[% setvar title Case ignoring eq and cmp operators %]
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Case ignoring eq and cmp operators
Maintainer: Markus Peter <email@example.com> Date: 24 Aug 2000 Last Modified: 25 Sep 2000 Mailing List: firstname.lastname@example.org Number: 143 Version: 2 Status: Retired
Perl currently only has
cmp operators which work case-sensitively.
It would be a useful addition to add case-insensitive equivalents.
Perl currently knows basically two methods for checking of equality of strings case-insensitively:
uc($a) eq uc($b) $a =~ /^$b$/i
and for comparing them one:
uc($a) cmp uc($b)
The probably worst about these statements is that they look ugly. Also, they further complicate statements and they are counter-intuitive for beginners - why should I change the case of variables if I only want to compare them?
The regexp mechanism has a case-insensitivity option (there's probably no proper way to simulate it there I admit). With this in mind most beginners will conclude the same is true for eq and cmp - after all Perl is strong in text processing so how could such a feature miss? Beginner code usually ends up using the case-insensitive regexps then instead of the easier to read uppercase/equals combination.
We apply something similar to the regexp modifiers to
as well, after a slash. The above examples would then be
$a eq/i $b $a cmp/i $b
This still leaves some room for future additions to eq and cmp if desired (stupid example: like ignoring all white space in the comparison or whatever comes up)
Probably has to be added to perl internals...
I wonder what will happen with overloads though - is eq/i a new operator to overload or is the case-insensitivity somehow magically done by the Perl interpreter even though eq was overloaded? This probably could lead to problems...
perlop manpage for eq and cmp
String.equalsIgnoreCase() method in Java