super post Marshall
Beside of very clean explanation of your code generation, i like the example of chess gamers: patterns are a central argument while learning.
A second general principle come to my mind: we are what we eat
Listening good music open your music possibilities as reading good perl code can lead to better programs. Here idiomatic perl fit well as suggestion: to recognize and to write idiomatic perl is not a way to be flattened to a monolithic usage of the language, is instead a way to collect good patterns to rearrange with creativity to solve your problems.
There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.
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