And as for the type-based multi-dispatch case, we can observe below that Perl 5 does have the notion of runtime types:
A:~ au$ perl -MDevel::Peek -e 'Dump 3'
SV = IV(0x100827190) at 0x100827198
REFCNT = 1
FLAGS = (IOK,READONLY,pIOK)
IV = 3
A:~ au$ perl -MDevel::Peek -e 'Dump "3"'
SV = PV(0x100801258) at 0x1008271b0
REFCNT = 1
FLAGS = (POK,READONLY,pPOK)
PV = 0x100207f60 "3"\0
CUR = 1
LEN = 16
Note that the IV above refers to an integer type, and PV refers a stringish type. (cf. perlguts for details...)
As for the casting functions, Perl 5 has them built-in:
"".$x # to string
0+$x # to number
int($x) # to integer
Hope that helps! :-)
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