Chapter 8 in Intermediate Perl is about "Filehandle References", and it's current up to 5.8. We cover lexical filehandles and the three argument open, but we also cover the IO::Handle modules too. We have three exercises for that chapter, so we use a different technique for each answer.
As with all of our answers, it's only one way to do it. And, as with any teaching environment, you don't necessarily do things as you would in real life. Once you know the technique, you can forget it and use the one you like best. In this case, it would be the three-argument open in the section "An Even Better Way" :)
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