How do I shuffle an array randomly?

If you either have Perl 5.8.0 or later installed, or if you have Scalar-List-Utils 1.03 or later installed, you can say:

    use List::Util 'shuffle';
	@shuffled = shuffle(@list);
If not, you can use a Fisher-Yates shuffle.

    sub fisher_yates_shuffle {
        my $deck = shift;  # $deck is a reference to an array
        my $i = @$deck;
        while ($i--) {
            my $j = int rand ($i+1);
            @$deck[$i,$j] = @$deck[$j,$i];
    # shuffle my mpeg collection
    my @mpeg = <audio/*/*.mp3>;
    fisher_yates_shuffle( \@mpeg );    # randomize @mpeg in place
    print @mpeg;
Note that the above implementation shuffles an array in place, unlike the List::Util::shuffle() which takes a list and returns a new shuffled list.

You've probably seen shuffling algorithms that work using splice, randomly picking another element to swap the current element with

    @new = ();
    @old = 1 .. 10;  # just a demo
    while (@old) {
	push(@new, splice(@old, rand @old, 1));
This is bad because splice is already O(N), and since you do it N times, you just invented a quadratic algorithm; that is, O(N**2). This does not scale, although Perl is so efficient that you probably won't notice this until you have rather largish arrays.
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