|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
“Anonymous” as usual. (Sigh.) But, given that I am presently leading yet-another software rehabilitation project with a six-figure budget, maybe I do “know whereof I speak.”
Always pressing on my mind is the daily “burn rate.” So-many thousand dollars a day are going to be spent on salaries and overhead, whether the team is making progress or not.
Not only was the OP confronted with a piece of source-code that (s)he did not understand, but the OP found it necessary to seek professional guidance from an Internet web-site that is known to be dedicated to this increasingly-arcane programming tool. How many hours or days might this programmer have been utterly show-stopped? What if (s)he had simply guessed? The original author sought to be clever, which gains the sponsoring company absolutely zero dollars in revenue. S/He did not seek to be clear, which exposed the company to actual financial losses, at least equivalent to the OP’s salary while “stuck” and possibly very(!!) much more.
But maybe I should stop myself: if it were not for “legions of programmers just like you,” I probably wouldn’t have a job.
“Write source-code that will survive you, and that will do so without incident.” Instead of crafting a “clever” piece of code that tries to win an episode of “Name That Tune,” write code to be maintainable, patchable, and always “immediately obvious.” This precept is true regardless of what programming language you are dealing with at any particular time.
But maybe I should stop myself again: maybe you don’t have any idea what I am talking about, nor why it is important to the people who hired the people who hired the people who hired you. To the people who hire people like me.