in reply to Inline::C vs. XS vs. SWIG
There are a few good books on the subject. Advandced Perl Programming (O'Reilly) covers how to use SWIG and XS both, and some of the trade-off's betwix them. Extending and Embedding Perl (Manning) gives a more in-depth treating of how to effectivly use the tools. Neither of these give a good comparrison with Inline::C.
I expect the next sentance is going to get me in rough with the other monks ... I, personally, don't like Inline::C. Inline::C takes the C code you provide, and compiles it in a sub directory, and then uses that. While this is sometimes fine, machines without compilers (Productions Unix hosts, or Win32 machines) do not work with this. With Inline::C there is a speed penalty the first time (when it compiles), but it reuses the compiled version thereafter. Inline::C is quick to write, but i don't think that makes it better. I suggest reading the perlxstut and desiding for yourself which is best suited for your skill level and needs.
from the frivolous to the serious