It occurs to me that this fact might not be intuitively obvious to someone that isn't already used to that behavior, as for instance from regular use of bash. It's intuitively obvious to me, but I'm a penguinista. Those who write Perl but use Windows, for instance, wouldn't be used to that kind of behavior. Remember that in the Windows GUI environment files never get named until they're saved after editing. Habitual Windows users probably never realize that what's going on is that the file is actually only being "opened" for the first time when that "okay" button in the save dialog is clicked.
So: For those of us used to that sort of behavior (like 'nix users), it's "Of course it will create a new file." For those who are not (like Windows users), it's "Oh. That's news to me."
The fact that one must use >> instead of > to edit an already extant file without wiping out its contents is an important fact, though, and it's a good thing you brought it up. It should really be included in the text of the tutorial itself.
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