Perl is a high level, dynamic, and interpretable programming language that was initially developed in 1987 by Larry Wall. It was created for general processing purposes. Later, Perl underwent various revisions and changes that popularized the program. Larry Wall is still involved with developing Perl and is currently engaged with its new version Perl 6.
Perl 6 encloses features from other programming languages like C, AWK, and SED (stream editor). Perl does not require arbitrary length limits for data as with other languages, and it facilitates easy manipulation of text files. Perl is used in the fields of graphics programming, network programming, system administration, and database management. Perl is designed in such a way that commands are logical, complete, and efficient. There are two slogans given by Larry Wall regarding Perl: "there is more than one way of doing it," and "easy things should be easy and hard things should be just as possible."
Perl is like Unix, but unlike Unix, Perl can be ported from one place to other. Perl is free and can be used with many operating systems.
Programmers can take advantage of Perl's many benefits. The first benefit is Perl's flexibility. Perl is compatible with third party languages including Postgre, Sybase, and Oracle, and it is capable of interacting with C and C++ libraries. Perl's interpreter is embedded in other systems in order to ensure openness. Perl makes it easier to handle HTML forums and allows for easy integration with databases. Perl is extendible and can be used to accomplish various tasks. Perl's auto load mechanism allows you define arbitrary semantics for undefined subroutine calls.
How It Works
Perl is procedural and uses various functions like variables, assignment statements, expressions, control structures, and subroutines. Most of its features are derived from C. Perl also takes lists from Lisp, expressions from Sed, and arrays from AWK. Perl simplifies the data in addition to handling, managing, and parsing the text. There are additional features like packages and references used for supporting more complex data structures. The type and storage requirements are identified by Perl interpreter. Perl allocates storage by reference counting on the basis of linguistic principles.
Vanilla Perl and Strawberry Perl are the major versions of the Perl programming language.