I'd be very surprised if a pure-Perl script beat a native utility like cut.
If cutting out of the columns of these large files is a bottleneck, your options include:
- As you mentioned, piping the output of cut to your script;
- Running cut as a pipe from within your script:
open my $cutter, "-|", 'cut', '-d,', '-f"1-15"', $mongo
or die "Fork failed: $!\n";
go_to_town( $_ ) while <$cutter>;
Write a Perl extension module (XS, Inline::C, Swig) to extract the rows.
I like the second option best.
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