I had to code Perl at my day job today… and was productive… and enjoyed it. Ewwwww. The task was munging 15,000 mails from a variety of mailing list archives into our email system to test the new spam filter. Previously, I would have used gawk for that, and spent a good half my morning writing out clever ways to extract the “next” mail from the archive’s web page. That task took a single regular expression — that whole “matching the stuff in parentheses” is really magic.
Someone please pass me a flail, I need to be beaten before all my code looks like newspaper characters cussing. (No lie. That one minute program included the line $_=~s/blahblah/blah/. Experienced Perl hackers will immediately notice the problem with this line — its four characters longer than it needs to be.