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The confusion stems from the fact that Perl actually has two sets of comparison operators - one for comparing numeric values and one for comparing string American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) values.Since comparison operators are typically used to control logical program flow and make important decisions, using the wrong operator for the value you are testing can lead to bizarre errors and hours of debugging, if you're not careful.In particular, bugs/features of the compiler used may lead to breakage of some of the above rules.Perl operations which take a numeric argument treat that argument in one of four different ways: they may force it to one of the integer/floating/ string formats, or they may behave differently depending on the format of the operand.In particular, though the first such conversion may be time-consuming, repeated operations will not need to redo the conversion.

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(But realize that what we are discussing the rules for just the storage of these numbers.

Thus the limits for Perl numbers stored as native integers would typically be -2**31..2**32-1, with appropriate modifications in the case of 64-bit integers.

Again, this does not mean that Perl can do operations only over integers in this range: it is possible to store many more integers in floating point format.

Summing up, Perl numeric values can store only those numbers which have a finite decimal expansion or a "short" binary expansion.

As mentioned earlier, Perl can store a number in any one of three formats, but most operators typically understand only one of those formats.

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