Good question(s). Force of habit, mainly, and also it doesn't require the registry association to exist. I'm a big fan of not relying on things that are outside my control, and the registry is one of those things. I have worked on machines that were locked down so tight that I couldn't install any software on it, but I could manually copy Perl onto it, and add it to the path. Making the shortcut run perl with the .pl as a parameter would have worked for the shortcuts, but not for the command line. Also Win95 can't be told to search the path for .pl files.
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