I am not entirely sure about %+ being slow. I tried running the script with numbered captures like $1 and $2 and then with named captures and quite frankly didnt notice much difference. May be using named captures makes some script/program run slightly slower, but I am not the kinds who would really worry about fractional speed.
Speaking of speed, I have tried other scripting languages and as of now, perl is atleast twice as fast. I tried parsing an XML File in Perl and Python and Ruby, and Perl seems to do it much faster. Not dissing Python/Ruby here, just stating what I saw.
As for "borrowing" stuff from other languages, I think it's about time that other languages give back something to Perl. :D
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