We're getting warmer. What we'd really like to do is reuse the abstractions and functions we've already got available. So you tie a file to an array, and use the standard collection traversal functions (map, grep, foreach, reduce, etc.) to do the dirty work. And be sure to make it lazy (demand driven) just like our familiar unix command line utilities. (see Chapter 9, pg. 142 of Advanced Perl Programming (the Panther)).
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