While I thought the original question was lacking something, I also think your response is not particularly useful either.
The original poster should use the <code> tags to show the program in the correctly formatted way. If they had done that, the two lines which you chose to discuss would have kept their square-brackets, and thus worked much better than you indicate. If you look closely, the $i is underlined, as $i, because perlmonks writeup ate the brackets, not because the poster's program itself was broken (in that way).
To the original poster: an impersonal general request like "here's some code to improve if you like" won't gather as much useful response as a direct or specific question. Even "I'm not happy with the way this code looks, how would you make it better?" would probably be enough to get more folks interested in collaborating. In brief, if it doesn't sound like you care about it yourself, why should we?
[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]