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How to fix: Unescaped left brace error from Perl

In 2019, a Perl update contained a change that broke some Encodable apps like FileChucker and UserBase.  Installations that worked fine before would suddenly start displaying errors like this:

Unescaped left brace in regex is illegal here in regex; marked by <-- HERE in m/%PREF{ <-- HERE (\w+)}/ at filechucker.cgi line 2011.

This issue is fixed in the latest version of FileChucker (and will be fixed soon in UserBase), so you may want to get the update.

Or, if you want to fix your existing installation, you can do that instead.  First, make a backup copy of the script in question, e.g. filechucker.cgi or userbase.cgi.  Then open the file in a text editor and go to the line number given in the error message.  For example:

$PREF{after_upload_redirect_to} =~ s/%PREF{(\w+)}/$PREF{$1}/g;

The problem there is as explained in the error message: the "{" character in "%PREF{(\w+)}".  The fix is to "escape" that character, by putting a backslash before it.  And you'll need to escape the right brace too.  The fixed line is:

$PREF{after_upload_redirect_to} =~ s/%PREF\{(\w+)\}/$PREF{$1}/g;

NOTE: you must not escape all the braces on the line.  The ones before the "=~" must remain unescaped.  And the ones in the second half of the regex must also remain unescaped.  The regex is the "s/.../.../g" part.  Notice it has a first half (near the s) and a second half (near the g) separated by a slash in the middle.  You must only change the first half.

After you've fixed this line, upload your fixed file to your website, and reload the page in your browser.  You should now see the same error again, but this time referencing a different line.  There are about 15-20 lines like this that need to be fixed.

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I just wanted to say that yours is the first product that I've tested so far that hasn't failed on handling uploads.  This is going to work for a print company, so they are handling nothing but large files and all the other solutions I've tried so far have not been reliable.  So far yours has been 100% successful in my tests.
– Kevin H.
Thank you VERY much for all of your help.  You've really impressed me.  We have support agreements for other software that costs thousands of dollars / year (just for the support), and most of them aren't as helpful as you have been.
– Keith Y.
Why didn't I just do this from the get-go?  So much easier.  Thanks for your work.  FileChucker makes my work easier.
– Dominic M.
I looked all over trying to find a simple cgi script.  I found that FileChucker was by far the best.  If you have issues with your hosting service's php.ini max upload size then this is the way to go.  Looking forward to future enhancements.
– Bob C.
I want to thank you for your efforts on Userbase. It has become an integral part of our business and has allowed us to branch out and begin using automation on a lot of our processes. Userbase has become the gateway to advancement for our company's processes for our clients and employees.
The work, the thought and the organization you put into this app is incredible.
– Bruce C.
You've done a wonderful job with FileChucker and UserBase, and they have made a big difference to how our website runs.
– Nicholas H.
I just installed the demo of your product and got it up and running in no time.  I searched high and low for a decent login script and thank God I found yours.
– Adrian F.
Just one word: Fantastic.  10-minute job to plug FileChucker into my app, and it now works a treat.  It's through the hard work by people like yourselves that make my job so much easier.  Congratulations on an outstanding product... Many many thanks.
– Sean F.
Thanks again for a great product and great support - beyond expectations.
– Greg S.
Our members think your software is fantastic...  I would recommend your software and your company to anyone.  Thanks for all your help.  It has been a pleasure dealing with you.
– Tommy A.
I just want to say you guys really stand alone in that you have a quality product and you provide genuine customer service.  It's sad but those qualities are seldom found separately, much less together.  Thanks again for your time and help.
– Alex S.
Nice script, it's saving the day on our project.
– Aaron W.
FileChucker is working great...  Clients love it.  Vendors love it.  We love it.
– Gerry W.
FileChucker is helping drive the backend of several high profile entertainment sites for people like Shania Twain and Dolly Parton.  We're also using it to drive backend file uploads for a multi-billion dollar banking institution.  It's a great product.  We've tried other "chucking" upload solutions with progress bars using flash and php, but nothing works as reliably as FileChucker.
– Michael W.
FileChucker is a great drop-in solution for file uploads, and worth every penny of its very reasonable cost.  Encodable's support is excellent to boot.
– Loren A.
Do you know how rare it is to have a "canned" shopping cart that can easily do complex pricing options on a single item?  Basically, they don't exist!  I have looked.  Everywhere!  And the few that might even come close to CornerStore's functionality cost a fortune!
– Tashina P.
The amount of customization in the program is incredible.  I was able to integrate it into my existing page layout relatively simply.  I was also able to easily customize the look/feel to match the current site.
– Jason M.