rir has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have used the following logic to identify blessed things.
$is_blessed = $x =~ /=/; # ASSERTED: ref($x)

Somewhere years ago I got the impression that a stringified reference was defined to be of the form commonly seen:


But perlref for 5.8.0 says: Using a reference as a string produces both its referent's type, including any package blessing as described in perlobj, as well as the numeric address expressed in hex.

This doesn't guarantee the =, the (, the ) or the order of the other elements.

Is there any usage of stringified refs in existing code that would inhibit an alteration of their format? Or am I just a odd man out.