What is Perl's equivalent to PHP's print_r()?

Note @tchrist recommends Data::Dump over Data::Dumper. I wasn't aware of it, but from the looks of it, seems like it's both far easier to use and producing better looking and easier to interpret results.

Data::Dumper :

A snippet of the examples shown in the above link.

use Data::Dumper;

package Foo;
sub new {bless {'a' => 1, 'b' => sub { return "foo" }}, $_[0]};

package Fuz;                       # a weird REF-REF-SCALAR object
sub new {bless \($_ = \ 'fu\'z'), $_[0]};

package main;
$foo = Foo->new;
$fuz = Fuz->new;
$boo = [ 1, [], "abcd", \*foo,
         {1 => 'a', 023 => 'b', 0x45 => 'c'}, 
         \\"p\q\'r", $foo, $fuz];

# simple usage

$bar = eval(Dumper($boo));
print($@) if $@;
print Dumper($boo), Dumper($bar);  # pretty print (no array indices)

$Data::Dumper::Terse = 1;          # don't output names where feasible
$Data::Dumper::Indent = 0;         # turn off all pretty print
print Dumper($boo), "\n";

$Data::Dumper::Indent = 1;         # mild pretty print
print Dumper($boo);

$Data::Dumper::Indent = 3;         # pretty print with array indices
print Dumper($boo);

$Data::Dumper::Useqq = 1;          # print strings in double quotes
print Dumper($boo);

An alternative to Data::Dumper that does not produce valid Perl code but instead a more skimmable format (same as the x command of the Perl debugger) is Dumpvalue. It also consumes a lot less memory.

As well, there is Data::Dump::Streamer, which is more accurate in various edge and corner cases than Data::Dumper is.

I use Data::Dump, it's output is a bit cleaner than Data::Dumper's (no $VAR1), it provides quick shortcuts and it also tries to DTRT, i.e. it will print to STDERR when called in void context and return the dump string when not.

I went looking for the same thing and found this lovely little Perl function, explicitly meant to generate results like print_r().

The author of the script was asking your exact question in a forum here.

print objectToString($json_data);

Gives this output:

time                             => 1233173875
error                            => 0
node                             => HASH {
    vid                              => 1011
    moderate                         => 0
    field_datestring                 => ARRAY {
        HASH {
            value                            => August 30, 1979

    field_tagged_persons             => ARRAY {
        HASH {
            nid                              => undef

...and so on...


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