Avoid Using Perl’s Default Delimiter / in Paths and URLs

Perl’s regular expression substitution function is useful for CGI string manipulation, but using the default delimiter / can lead to leaning-toothpick syndrome if you use it for paths or URLs. Consider this line:

 s/http://myURL/files//http://myURL/newFiles//

Each / must be escaped, leading to an unreadable regular expression. But you don’t need to use the default delimiter; in fact, you can use any character you want.

 s!http://myURL/files/!http://myURL/newFiles/!

Using ! as a delimiter makes this string substitution much easier to read, and much more likely to work the first time around.

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