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Perl6::Say - print(), but no newline needed


    # Perl 5 code...

    use Perl6::Say;

    say 'boo';             # same as:  print 'boo', "\n"

    say STDERR 'boo';      # same as:  print STDERR 'boo', "\n"

    STDERR->say('boo');    # same as:  print STDERR 'boo', \n"

    $fh->say('boo');       # same as:  print $fh 'boo', "\n";

    say();                 # same as:  print "$_\n";

    say undef;             # same as:  print "\n";


Note for Users of Perl 5.10

You don't need this module. The Perl 6 say function is available in Perl 5.10 by saying use feature 'say';. Hence, this module is of interest only to users of Perl 5.6 and 5.8.

If you have Perl 5.10 installed, see the 510/ directory in this distribution for some elementary examples of say taken from perldoc feature.


Implements a close simulation of the say function in Perl 6, which acts like print but automatically appends a newline.

Use it just like print (except that it only supports the indirect object syntax when the stream is a bareword). That is, assuming the relevant filehandles are open for output, you can use any of these:

    say @data;
    say FH @data;
    say $fh, @data;

but not any of these:

    say {FH} @data;
    say {*FH} @data;
    say {\*FH} @data;
    say $fh @data;
    say {$fh} @data;

Additional Permitted Usages

As demonstrated in the test suite accompanying this distribution, Perl6::Say::say() can be used in all the following situations.

    $string = q{};
    open FH, ">", \$string;
    say FH qq{Hello World};            # print to a string
    close FH;                          # requires Perl 5.8.0 or later

    use FileHandle;
    $fh = FileHandle->new($file, 'w');
    if (defined $fh) {
        say $fh, qq{Hello World};

    use IO::File;
    $fh = IO::File->new($file, 'w');
    if (defined $fh) {
        say $fh, qq{Hello World};

    $string = q{};
    open FH, ">", \$string;             # requires Perl 5.8.0 or later
    say qq{Hello World};
    close FH;

Interaction with Output Record Separator

In Perl 6, say @stuff is exactly equivalent to Core::print @stuff, "\n".

That means that a call to say appends any output record separator (ORS) after the added newline (though in Perl 6, the ORS is an attribute of the filehandle being used, rather than a global $/ variable).


IO::Handle version 1.27 or later (which, confusingly, is found in IO distribution 1.23 and later) also implements a say method. Perl6::Say provides its own say method to IO::Handle if IO::Handle::say is not available.

Usage with Older Perls

As noted above, some aspects of Perl6::Say::say() will not work with versions of Perl earlier than 5.8.0. This is not due to any problem with this module; it is simply that Perl did not support printing to an in-memory file (print \$string, "\n";) prior to that point. (Thanks to a CPAN testers report from David Cantrell for identifying this limitation.)


The syntax and semantics of Perl 6 is still being finalized and consequently is at any time subject to change. That means the same caveat applies to this module.


No dependencies other than on modules included with the Perl core as of version 5.8.0.

Some of the files in the test suite accompanying this distribution use non-core CPAN module IO::Capture::Stdout. Tests calling IO::Capture::Stdout methods are enclosed in SKIP blocks and so should pose no obstacle to installation of the distribution on systems lacking IO::Capture. (However, the maintainer strongly recommends IO::Capture for developers who write a lot of test code. So please consider installing it!)



Damian Conway (


Alexandr Ciornii (


Thanks to Damian Conway for dreaming this up. Thanks to David A Golden for a close review of the documentation. Thanks to CPAN tester Jost Krieger for reporting an error in my SKIP block count in one test file.


As far as we can determine, Perl 5 doesn't allow us to create a subroutine that truly acts like print. That is, one that can simultaneously be used like so:

    say @data;

and like so:

    say {$fh} @data;

Comments, suggestions, and patches welcome.


Copyright (c) 2004, Damian Conway. All Rights Reserved. This module is free software. It may be used, redistributed and/or modified under the same terms as Perl itself.