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Perl : SubDir Recursion

A great use of Perl is for small utility scripts. Two utility scripts that I have written are a LowerCase script, which renames all the files in a directory and its subdirectories to all lowercase, and an Include script, which recurses through all HTML files in a directory searching for an include tag and inserts the appropiate files.

Both of these are used to maintain this or other web sites, and both of these scripts use a very handy Perl module called File::Recurse. The File::Recurse module was written by Aaron Sherman and can be download at any CPAN site.

The module is bundled with the File-Tools-2.0 module which can be downloaded from the CPAN site here (/modules/by-module/File/). The module works on both UNIX and Win32 systems running Perl.

The module allows you to perform a function on all files/dir inside of a specified directory. It recurses through all the subdirectories automatically performing the specified function on each file.

Here an example program which will lowercase all files in a specified directory. It reads in the directory through the command-line when you execute the script.

use File::Recurse;

# read in directory
$dir = $ARGV[0];

# verify directory
if (-d $dir) {
  print "Working Directory: $dir\n";

} else { print "\nError: Directory Not Found $dir\n"; exit(0); }

# call recurse function from module
# this applies the sub-routine lcName to all files
# in the specified directory

recurse(\&lcName, $dir);

# define the lcName sub-routine which lowercases all files

sub lcName {
  # receive passed filename
  $filename = $_[0];

  $newfilename = $filename;

  # regexp that converts to lowercase
  $newfilename =~ tr/A-Z/a-z/;

  # if I can read and write to it
  # rename the filename to the lowercase one

  if ((-r $filename) && (-w $filename)) {
     rename($filename, $newfilename);
     print " Renamed: $filename to $newfilename\n";


Related Links:

File::Recurse Documentation


Perl Documentation On-Line

Listing of CPAN sites


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