I believe the ssl_opts thing is from libwww-perl, which probably comes with Perl. Version 5.10 is kind of old (2007, I think). I also know that libwww-perl used to not validate hostnames by default, which is probably why commenting out that line works for you. Unless you are planning to update your perl setup, I would just leave it commented out.
The perl sample you have already seen shows how to perform the fundamental operations with the api. To see what sorts of things you can query for and what commands you can invoke, I recommend looking at the documentation bundled with the Orion SDK and trying things out in SWQL Studio, which is also part of the SDK package.
I wanted to find the difference between Query and QueryXML
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Query is an obsolete method. It returns a binary serialization of a .NET DataTable - completely useless in perl. That method has been removed in SWISv3.
QueryXml is what you want.
But if they uses QueryXML how would the =>0 work? Whenever I use a > or < for a QueryXML request with Perl, I get an error that it doesn't know how to handle < and >.