The version + patchlevel / 1000 of the Perl interpreter. This variable can be used to determine whether the Perl interpreter executing a script is in the right range of versions. (Mnemonic: Is this version of perl in the right bracket?) Example:
warn "No checksumming!\n" if $] < 3.019;
See also the documentation of
use VERSION and
require VERSION for a convenient way to fail if the running Perl interpreter is too old.
The floating point representation can sometimes lead to inaccurate numeric comparisons. See
$^V for a more modern representation of the Perl version that allows accurate string comparisons.