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You're viewing a comment by Tom Legrady and its responses.
The inchworm on a stick may do something, but since it duplicates a standard operator, pre-decrement, it isn't very useful.
Your choices are
$b = --$a;
Which is documented in the manual, so everyone should know what it means, and the cryptic and arcane
$b = ~-$a;
I suppose if you enjoy proving your superiority by doing things no one knows, you'll prefer the second. Personally, I prefer to not have my sleep interrupted at 3 am by someone wanting an explanation of weird code in a program that stopped working. There are enough useful and valid Perl idioms that beginners don't know, no need to add an unneccessary one.
Actually, these are not the same.
--$a will decrement $a.
~-$a will decrement $a, but will not go negative.
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