I agree that simply using perl 5.12 gets you most of Perl 5.12. Specifically, you get bug fixes and features that aren't backwards incompatible. For the rest of the features, you need the pragma.
Did you mean you found a convoluted way (which I did not understand) to describe use 5.012;?
Saying that use 5.012; causes the Perl 5.12 language to be used is hardly convoluted. But no, I wasn't describing use 5.012;, I was talking about strict in Perl 5.12.
*Most* changes of the language you'll get with, or without use 5.XXX. (Smart match for instance, all of the regexp changes, new versions of Unicode, etc).
Actually, some of the regex and unicode changes require use 5.xxx; because they aren't backwards compatible.
Second, due to exporting, one actually needs to run code to know what's being exported
Granted, I forgot that.
Let's say it was impossible to export variables. Would you still say that use strict 'vars'; should be done by a linter instead of Perl itself?
The point is I think your condition for deciding if something should be done by a linter instead of perl is insufficient. This renders your argument unconvincing.
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