First, thanks for the link, thats an interesting site. :-) But i have to quibble a little with this particular example. Obviously the code posted in that link appears hokey. Not using pack/substr or vec for the index string strikes me as a little odd for instance. But the overall strategy represented there is not IMO that crazy. Consider that if you have large numbers of strings such a strategy can greatly reduce the overhead of storing it in perl. Each SV in perl represents a certain amount of space, for the sake of the discussion lets say 20 bytes, versus the 2 - 8 required by a representationg akin to the one mentioned. So if we are storing large numbers of strings this overhead can be quite burdensome. Also, by using such an approach you can grab a large chunk of memory at a single go instead of doing a large number of small allocations. (Its interesting (if a little obvious) to consider that if you have 100k null terminated strings you are using 100k to simply store the end of string point :-)
Anyway i didnt think such comments were worth posting on the site you linked to, but I do think its worth mentioning here.