I don't mind occasionally having to reinvent a wheel; I don't even mind using someone's reinvented wheel occasionally. But it helps a lot if it is symmetric, contains no fewer than ten sides, and has the axle centered. I do tire of trapezoidal wheels with offset axles. --Joseph Newcomer
A good line for a perl program aimed at running under various languages under modern Linux systems would be this:
use encoding ':locale';
That way, all calculations about string length (among others) are base on characters and not on bytes. For example, many Spanish characters, under a UTF-8 system such as mine (Ubuntu 9.04), are coded in a 2-byte scheme--but this should be transparent to the programmer. So that length('aņo') yields 4 before adding use encoding ':locale'; and length('aņo') yields 3 after adding use encoding ':locale';.