In short, anyone else feel that the java/c way of 'overloading' subs based on the number of parameters is much cleaner then the perl way, and wish that you could use prototypes to do the same thing?
I certainly don't. It would be helpful if you could give an example of an application or a pattern where such a technique of distinct routines to handle different arglists would be useful.
Usually, a routine or method will do a particular job, and the bulk of the code will be independent of the form of parameter passing used. The rest of the code is a wrapper to handle the different types of parameters. This is polymorphism in action - what you are suggesting is violating one of the principles and advantages of OO. In Perl, rather than true polymorphism, most people adopt DWIM when designing the interface.
When it comes to perl's prototypes, I avoid using them, as they are nearly always more trouble than they are worth. I prefer the freeform arglist array that perl gives you in @_, and if I need something complicated, I cast (copy) it to a hash to implement named params.
Also, what I've just said applies to Perl 5. Perl 6 promises to provide much better ways of handling argument lists than Perl 5's prototypes.
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