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The index of the first element in an array, and of the first character in a substring. Default is 0, but you could set it to 1 to make Perl behave more like awk (or Fortran) when subscripting and when evaluating the index() and substr() functions. (Mnemonic: [ begins subscripts.)

As of Perl 5, assignment to "$[" is treated as a compiler directive, and cannot influence the behavior of any other file. Its use is discouraged.