"Never say never" means "nothing is impossible, anything can happen." This is very common knowledge.
You have a lot of misconceptions about how split works:
perldoc -f split
The first argument is a regular expression. Pipes are metacharacters in regular expressions. You have to escape them if you want to match a literal representation of this.
In particular the following metacharacters have their
standard egrep-ish meanings:
\ Quote the next metacharacter
^ Match the beginning of the line
. Match any character (except newline)
$ Match the end of the string
of the string)
 Bracketed Character class
The reason why you make more work for yourself rather than less is not because you went back on some hyperbolic rules you literally interpreted and placed upon yourself, but because you lack understanding of the tools you are using. I don't see how you are qualified to give advice to professionals who do this for a living.