Illuminating facts about Perl: (work in progress)
Illuminating perlmonks nodes: (work in progress)
Favourite Larry Wall quote:
Part of what's confusing the issue is that DESTROY is a verb. It was done that way by analogy to FETCH and STORE, but the use of a verb is unfortunate, in retrospect. I should have named it something like YOU_ARE_ABOUT_TO_BE_SHOT_DO_YOU_HAVE_ANY_LAST_WORDS.
Just as an object oriented design will often separate initializers from constructors, it will also separate finalizers from destructors. DESTROY is designed to be a destructor that can call a finalizer, but to confuse it with a finalizer would be, er, confusing.