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The PERL Programming Language

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PERL (Practical Extraction and Report Language) is a relatively new language. It was created in 1986 by Larry Wall. It has gone through a versions Perl, Perl4, and, the newly released Perl5.

New Features

Perl5 adds the following features: Regular expression enhancements, Arbitrarily nested data structures, Modularity and reusability, Object-oriented programming, Many usability enhancements, Simplified grammar, Lexical scoping, POSIX compliant, Package constructors and destructors, Multiple simultaneous DBM implementations, and Subroutine definitions may now be autoloaded.

Perl's Niche

Perl's strength lies in it's ability to interact with it's environment. It is a very powerful string manipulation language. It is able to open and manipulate many files from within the same program, with ease. It can manipulate UNIX shells, and issue commands to the system. All of these features make it a powerful Administrative tool that is in use on just about all major UNIX systems. It's popularity can be seen in the conversion of Perl to many home PC systems. It has been translated to function in MS-DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Macintosh DOS, and Amiga DOS, just to name a few.

New Directions for Perl5

Perl is starting to move towards it's C heritage by adding the ability to program using objects. It also is added the ability to be as structured, or unstructured, as you want it to be.

References used in preparing this summary are: Programming perl, written by Larry Wall and Randal Schwartz. It is an excellent source of information, and does a very good job of teaching you the intricacies of the language. The book is published by O'Reilly & Associates, a very good source for computer books.

Sample Program

Source Code: (Hello World)
#!/usr/its/bin/perl

print "Hello, World!\n";

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

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