I didnít aim for clarity in that bit. I wanted to waste the least space possible on code to perform this function, because I was contrasting with Ruby and Python examples, where there is no need to write any code for this because both languages include strip methods in their built in String classes.
Maybe I should lobby for the inclusion of a strip function in Scalar::Util. (It could even be written in XS, and therefore go faster than regexes. Hmm. Thereís a thought.)
Makeshifts last the longest.