perl regex works in script but not when executed on the command line

I'm trying to manipulate multiline CoffeeScript comments in a file using perl. This is my regex:


When I run this in a script where data is the file data, it does what I expect and replaces all multiline comments with "foo":

$data =~ s{^\t*###[\S\s]*?^\t*###}{"foo"}gme;

However, when I run this on the command line the file is unchanged:

perl -pi -e 's{^\t*###[\S\s]*?^\t*###}{"foo"}gme'

I've used similar commands with different regular expressions and without the 'm' option and they all work. Is it the m option that's causing the issue? I'm sure its something simple.


In the implicit loops set by -n and -p it can be useful to define the values of $/ and $\. Using the -0 option puts Perl in paragraph mode and the special value 0777 puts Perl into file slurp mode.

perl -0777 -i -pe 's{^\t*###[\S\s]*?^\t*###}{"foo"}gme'

The perl documentation for the -n/-p option states:

assume "while (<>) { ... }" loop around program

This means that each time the -e expression is executed, $_ is one line of the input file. Your s/// expression is expecting to operate on the whole entire file at once, so it won't work in this mode.

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