(This page is currently under construction--much more so than most web pages)
Perl is a general-purpose programming language originally developed to do what several other Unix languages or utility programs do (AWK, sed, C, and several shells, amongst others), only easier and in one place. It's since grown far beyond that. Pretty much anything you can do in C or DCL can be done directly in Perl, and easy mechanisms are in place to add C code or call DCL for anything that can't. For lots more detail, check out the perl docs, or the pages at Perl.Com.
Perl is a programming language, and as such can do pretty much anything you can do in another language, such as C or COBOL. Perl excels in text processing , and has many features designed specifically for parsing and changing character strings. For more detail and evangelism, head over to www.perl.com.
That's a very good question. Perl is used on most Unix boxes as a replacement for writing shell scripts, and VMS has a perfectly good scripting language, DCL, built right in. Right? Well, there are just a few good reasons.
$IF $STATUS.NE.%X00000001 THEN GOOT NOTIFY_OPERATORin your backup command procedure to really ruin your day when something fails. With Perl, that misspelled goto would be caught the first time you ran the script.
Last Update 06-September-1997
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