Except that if you assign any value past the end of an array, Perl is supposed to automatically lengthen the array to accommodate the value.
$flds = undef;
say 0+ @flds;
I can see no rational reason to treat an array holding the results of a split
differently other arrays.
#11929 First ask yourself `How would I do this without a computer?' Then have the computer do it the same way.
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