Hmmm, if you were doing intensive CPU computation, then XS or Inline::c would definitely be good choice of candidates for improving performance. But if your performance issue is that you are handling huge amounts of data, I am not entirely sure that you are going to be easily doing much better than Perl. It really depends on the details of what you are doing, but Perl is fairly good at data munging, it is not always very easy to do any better even in a compiled language such as C. And, quite often, Perl offers you the tools to use easily a better algorithm which would be a pain in the neck to implement in C. BTW, this is not empty talk, I am working almost daily with tens of GB of data, often with hundreds of GB and sometimes (rarely, though) with even larger volumes, I have succeeded quite often (most of the time, actually) to create Perl programs faster or much faster than the existing pure C (or Java) programs they were replacing, just because Perl enabled me to implement easily better algorithms (sometimes, the speed of a Perl hash lookup can just make the hell of a difference). Of course, nothing in the foregoing is meant to claim that C is not better in some cases, I am only saying that the advantage of C is not always as obvious as you might think.
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