SPUG: Barewords and Net::SNMP

Martin, Asa asa.martin at attws.com
Wed Dec 5 13:25:07 CST 2001

I have a specific question about the Net::SNMP module, but it also could be
a general question regarding barewords and constants.  Hopefully I'll make
this clear.

The Net::SNMP module defines a method called set_request, that takes as an
argument a reference to an array, like this:

$session->set_request(-varbindlist => \@oid_value)

The middle value of this array is a type value, several of which are
exported by Net::SNMP. For example, the documentation shows this:

my $sysContact = '';
my $result = $session->set_request(
   -varbindlist => [$sysContact, OCTET_STRING, 'Help Desk x911']

This works all well and good. However, when I try and do something like

my $sysContact = '';
my $type = 'OCTET_STRING';
my $value = 'Help Desk x911';
my $result = $session->set_request(
   -varbindlist => [$sysContact, $type, "$value"]

It errors out saying:
Unknown ASN.1 type [OCTET_STRING].
even though according to the docs, OCTET_STRING "exported" by default.

Is there a way to force the $type variable to be considered a "bareword" by
Perl and have it interpolate correctly? I don't know if that is phrased
correctly, but hopefully you understand the question. I'm also sending this
to the author of Net::SNMP and he might be able to shed some light on the

Thanks so much.

Asa Martin

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