What is Perl and what are Its Benefits?
What is Perl?
Perl is short for Practical Extraction and Reporting Language and is defined as a high-level programming language that was developed way back in 1987 by computer programmer and author, Larry Wall. Perl’s main purpose then was to make reporting easier however it has undergone many significant changes as well as revisions on its scripting to enable it to be used as a text processing program. It was recently updated in May 2012 with version 5.16 with Perl 6 as the most recent revision; Perl is still continuously being developed and will still be an important program to use for report processing in the future.
What is Perl for?
What are the benefits of using Perl?
Perl is flexible; it may be used in a variety of application. Although there are many programmers who dislike the appearance of the program because it is highly procedural; it is one of the basic programming blocks that have created sites that se CGI scripts. Websites like Amazon.com, Craigslist, LiveJournal, Slashdot, bbc.co.uk and Ticketmaster are just some of the many sites that use scripts formatted through Perl.
The flexibility of Perl also allows it to tie systems and various important interfaces together hence the nickname “glue language.” As a system administrator, you may be able to convert process and store large volumes of data as well as create reports in just one command line.
Perl is largely written in C language which makes it easy to manipulate and to use. This program carries a dual license: an Artistic License and a GNU or General Public License. It is commonly provided on UNIX and Unix-like systems; as far as distributing Perl, it is available in most operating systems.
Other important information about Perl:
If you use a Mac system, there are ports provided called MacPerl which is available independently with eth Mac OS Classic system. And when you use Windows on you PC, there are several versions of Perl that may depend on the user’s needs: there is ActivePerl which is from ActiveState that includes the Perl package manager which is an important tool for installing Perl, removing, upgrading and managing different modules of Perl. Strawberry Perl on the other hand is an open source for Windows; it is used to install Perl distributions to be used in other platforms like XS modules.
Perl scripts are the programs written in Perl. You may think that you have never used Perl before but is you have used scripts like Unix for a variety of purposes then you have used Perl to create these.
It is an interpreted language which means it will use more CPU computing time compared to ordinary C programs. But now that computers are faster, writing Perl scripts have also become fasted as well.
There are many online venues where you can learn all about Perl and how it will be used in the future. You may check “State of the Onion”, Wall’s yearly updates and summaries in the development of Perl.
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