I think we are splitting hairs here. I count $first as the first token, you don't. Or you figure that the final empty token shouldn't be counted? Either way not a significant problem in my mind.
Yes, tr is the fastest and best way to do a simple count of the x's. And yes, substr is the fastest way to get a fixed length thing at the beginning. The reason that I demo'd split was to show: a)how to get a non-fixed length thing at the beginning, b)how to access some of these other length "between the x's" fields. I'm sure that they have some meaning.
Update: I almost never use the -1 limit on split. I saw an opportunity to play with this and remind myself of how it worked. Once I had done that, I impulsively posted my "play". Wasn't meant to be "earth shattering" stuff, just an example of a not so common usage that is often forgotten.
Are you posting in the right place? Check out Where do I post X? to know for sure.
Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags. Currently these include the following:
<code> <a> <b> <big>
<blockquote> <br /> <dd>
<dl> <dt> <em> <font>
<h1> <h2> <h3> <h4>
<h5> <h6> <hr /> <i>
<li> <nbsp> <ol> <p>
<small> <strike> <strong>
<sub> <sup> <table>
<td> <th> <tr> <tt>
Snippets of code should be wrapped in
<code> tags not
<pre> tags. In fact, <pre>
tags should generally be avoided. If they must
be used, extreme care should be
taken to ensure that their contents do not
have long lines (<70 chars), in order to prevent
horizontal scrolling (and possible janitor
Want more info? How to link or
or How to display code and escape characters
are good places to start.