The PERL programming language is a coding tool used for general purposes. Although it was originally developed for only manipulating text, it is commonly used for GUI development, web development, system administration and network programming. PERL stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language. There are over 25,000 third-party modules, or open source distributions, available for download from the official PERL website.
What is PERL?
PERL is a cross-platform programming language used for critical coding and infrastructure projects in the public sectors and private industries. PERL has a GNU-based General Public License (GPL), so it is an open source software available for free download. PERL was originally created by Larry Wall in the 1980s. PERL borrows the best features and most efficient practices of other popular languages like C and C++. The database integration interface supports standard platforms like MySQL and Oracle. PERL is designed to work with mark-up languages like XML and HTML. PERL is multi-function because it supports procedural programming and object-oriented programming.
PERL 5 is still used for certain programming functions. PERL is used to create intra-webs and legacy web systems. Although it’s slightly outdated, the PERL regex engine is sometimes used for data mining and statistical analysis. UNIX system administration on both Macs and PCs will still common. Because so many senior network professionals learned PERL when it was more popular, they often use it for network prototyping and proofs-of-concept functions. Additionally, many security professionals need fast prototyping and quick automated fixes, so they use PERL. The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) collection is extremely useful when dealing with prototypes.
Pros vs. Cons
PERL resembles a shell language that uses traditional brace-based loops and functions. It is a versatile, mature and multipurpose and extremely powerful programming language. Depending on need, it may offer object, imperative, procedural or functional orientated programming approaches. PERL is an older programming language that comes with certain limitations and disadvantages. First, PERL offers weak object support and argument handling. Second, the versatility means that there are endless ways to achieve the same results, which means zero standardization. It is challenging to understand other programmer’s logic and code. Codes that are larger than 200 lines may experience technical difficulties.
Python vs. PERL
Python is one of the most popular general-purpose programming language available today. It boasts highly readable codes that achieve a variety of goals with only a few code lines. It offers dynamic typing, classes, modules, exceptions and high-level data types. Python is preferred over PERL because it integrates well with C and Java. Python offers excellent stability, reusable mechanisms and support for objects and modules. Like PERL, it is open source and freely available for download. Python’s intuitive design makes easier than PERL for beginner programmers to use. Python comes with its own challenges, such the lack of multiprocessor support and prepackaging.
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PERL is a somewhat outdated, but still useful programming language. It is often referred to as “the duct-tape of the Internet.” The PERL programming language offers great text manipulation capabilities and rapid development cycles.