byte - Perl pragma to force byte semantics rather than character semantics
use byte; no byte;
WARNING: The implementation of Unicode support in Perl is incomplete. Expect sudden and unannounced changes!
use byte pragma disables character semantics for the rest of the lexical scope in which it appears.
no byte can be used to reverse the effect of
use byte within the current lexical scope.
Perl normally assumes character semantics in the presence of character data (i.e. data that has come from a source that has been marked as being of a particular character encoding) or when the global $^U flag is enabled. [XXX: implement -C command line switch and mention that instead of $^U?]
To understand the implications and differences between character semantics and byte semantics, see perlunicode.