There's a big diference between 'common/not recommended', and almost 50% slower.
And with all due respect to PBP, using three lines of shift instead of = @_ is just silly in some ways. To each their own.
Re^2: 5:10: Why is this slower than 5.8.8?
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Well, obviously it would be better if there wasn't a speed penalty associated with array assigns, but since there is it might be better to live with the extra lines of shifts, even if they seem inelegant.
Anyway, the main point is that we should probably assume that this is a FreeBSD oddity of some sort (ala the "malloc" issue under discussion), unless someone chimes in with some data that shows the contrary.