You want to exchange the values of two scalar variables, but don't want to use a temporary variable.
Use list assignment to reorder the variables.
($VAR1, $VAR2) = ($VAR2, $VAR1);
Most programming languages require an intermediate step when swapping two variables' values:
$temp = $a; $a = $b; $b = $temp;
Not so in Perl. It tracks both sides of the assignment, guaranteeing that you don't accidentally clobber any of your values. This eliminates the temporary variable:
$a = "alpha"; $b = "omega"; ($a, $b) = ($b, $a); # the first shall be last -- and versa vice
You can even exchange more than two variables at once:
($alpha, $beta, $production) = qw(January March August); # move beta to alpha, # move production to beta, # move alpha to production ($alpha, $beta, $production) = ($beta, $production, $alpha);
When this code finishes, $alpha, $beta, and $production have the values "March", "August", and "January".
The section on "List value constructors" in perldata(1) and on "List Values and Arrays" in Chapter 2 of Programming Perl