It's pure Perl (only your last example is) and it's the start of a clean, OO method of walking through Perl's structs. Frankly, I can't think of any reason I would use this (Ingy needed a pure Perl method of determining if a scalar contained an integer or a string), but it's fun (to me).
As for portability, Ingy admits that this is alpha code, but he's using Config to try to make it as portable as possible.
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