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Chapter 13. Overloading > The Copy Constructor (=)

13.4. The Copy Constructor (=)

Although it looks like a regular operator, = has a special and slightly subintuitive meaning as an overload key. It does not overload the Perl assignment operator. It can't, because that operator has to be reserved for assigning references, or everything breaks.

The handler for = is used in situations where a mutator (such as ++, --, or any of the assignment operators) is applied to a reference that shares its object with another reference. The = handler lets you intercept the mutator and copy the object yourself so that the copy alone is mutated. Otherwise, you'd clobber the original.


  

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