When you want to become the true programmer that you know you can be, you need to know and understand that there will be many obstacles that will try to prevent you from becoming that programmer.
These obstacles could be your own skills, other people who don’t want you to succeed or the program itself that may wear you out.
However, you need to face that wall and challenge it so that you may break through the barriers and show that wall what you are made of.
In today’s article post we will be talking about the Perl programming language
Perl can make you a better programmer when you learn this great programming language.
Perl was develop through a lot of time and effort that many computer scientists spent to transform Perl into an immensely powerful tool that is well established and is used by any operating system across the globe.
System administrators were the ones to first use Perl; however, over the years, Perl have gained the trust of many web-developers and programmers around the world, because this programming language grew to be an immensely robust language.
If you want to develop your own style of coding and learn great programming techniques, Perl is one of those programming languages that can help you achieve that goal.
Larry Wall was working at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs when he wrote Perl and everyone who is a Perl developer or programmer know him as an Internet legend.
Larry and his officemates only use Perl as a glue language, which allowed them to combine different tools together so that they may have available to them the best features of the different tools that were combined into one program.
The syntax of Perl is made out of C, Basic, UNIX languages and Pascal just to name a few of the programming languages that helped Perl gain its ultimate syntax.
The Perl syntax has gone through many changes and it has gained many extensions through the years as it goes from one version of the language to the other.
The word Perl
Perl is a language that you can use to do what you want to do, so when you think you can’t use Perl to accomplish your programming ambitions. You may want to think that over and really study the their programming language.
The word Perl is not an acronym, but according to its creator, the word Perl means Practical Extraction and Report Language although it has another meaning.
The Motto of Perl is “There’s More Than One Way To Do It”
This means that the Perl programming language is very flexible for you to do whatever it is that you want to accomplish and follow whatever path you think will best get you the results that you are looking to see.
The Perl programming language will help you get the job done, no matter how complicated the task may be.
You also don’t have to know Perl in its entirety to accomplish what you need to be done, you just have to learn that part of Perl that you want to use to accomplish your task.
However, if you want to become a master programmer you may want to learn all of Perl so that you don’t get caught by the surprises that your system or application will throw at you once it is done.
Perl is powerful
Perl is powerful because it is easy to learn, humans can easily develop applications with Perl because the syntax of the language is also easy for humans to understand.
You can also pick up a Perl program and carry it out between computers, which also means that Perl is very portable.
Perl is ideal for applications that you develop to transform text in many ways with speed and ease, due to the fact that it has a very useful regular expressions methods.
Perl’s powerful regular expressions
We won’t be able to cover Perl’s powerful regular expressions on this article post, but we do cover this subject in another post, if you can’t find it on our website please don’t hesitate to email us or comment below.
Anyhow back to the fact of the matter, Perl doesn’t see one character at a time or individual bytes, it instead thinks in terms of letters, words, and sentences.
Perl also sees files in terms of lines, and makes sure that you have enough memory to accomplish all your tasks and not have to worry about certain details that you would find in a low-level language such as C.
Common gateway interface (CGI) programming
Perl is mostly used for common gateway interface (CGI) programming, to dynamically generate web pages and their content.
So it would be a good idea to have a very in-depth knowledge of CGI if you want to program well using Perl.
Some of the most popular websites today in the cyber world use Perl as their driving engine to maintain their system working properly.
Very cool solutions and applications
You will be able to develop very cool solutions and applications with very minimal problems because Perl has many powerful constructs available to you.
If your computer doesn’t already have Perl, you can easily find it at the Perl website for free, downloaded and install it following the instructions for your Operating System (OS).
Perl scripts and execute them
Once you have Perl installed on your computer, you can then write Perl scripts and execute them through a terminal or a command prompt.
The Perl program you write will contain statements and definitions in a file, with this line #!/usr/bin/perl as the first line of your program.
The famous “Hello World” program would look something like this: #!/usr/bin/perl -w
print (“Hello, world!\n”);
As you can see the first line in the program tells your computer that it is a Perl program, and is also a way to let the program know that this line is a comment denoted with a pound sign.
The first line is a special type of comment though and it should always be included within your Perl program at the first line.
The -w you see at the end of the first line tells the Perl program to be strict about the warning and to produce any extra warning messages that it finds within your code.
Programs are well written
Get into the habit of using -w so that your programs are well written and you don’t have problems in the future that you won’t be able to for-see.
The executable part of the program above is the second line and it is using the built-in print function that has one argument followed by the \n character to denote a new line.
Every line in Perl must be terminated by a semi colon (;) that’s why you see it in the code above or else you’ll see a syntax error if you don’t terminate your lines in a Perl program with a semi colon (;).
Easy to use and able to get things done
Perl is extremely easy to use and is able to get things done, many programmers around the globe use this great programming language to develop very easy to develop applications and applications that are very complex to develop as well.
Perl is able to eliminate frustration also because it molds itself to serve your purpose.
As you grow in your programming career, Perl will grow with you, and you will learn to write real, useful programs that you will be able to provide to your users.
Perl is a code that is able to run as is, meaning that it is interpreted and does not need to be compiled.
When a programming language is not compiled, there is no executable program that is created or can’t be ported to other platforms.
When you run a program
What happens when you run a program is that the Perl file is first compiled into a byte code; once it is in a byte code format, it is then converted into machine instructions that your computer can understand.
You can use any normal and simple-text editor program to create a simple Perl script, depending on the OS you are using.
The name of your Perl script source file
Once you have your Perl code written then you would need to save that file with a .pl or .PL extension, so that it is recognized by your computer as a Perl script that is operable.
When you name your Perl script source file make sure that you do not use a space, instead use the underscore (_) for spaces.
The name of your Perl script source files can also contain numbers, symbols, and letters, but remember to use either lowercase or uppercase letters because your computer will make a difference between the two types of names.
Functions, module, variables, and other objects
Perl contains identifiers as well, which are used to denote functions, module, variables, and other objects.
Variable names in Perl start with a $, @ or % followed by zero or more letters, underscores, and digits (0 to 9) in Perl.
Perl is also case sensitive when you name your variables, thus $Manpower and $manpower are two different identifiers in Perl.
There are three types of variables in Perl, these are known as Scalars, Arrays, and Hashes
The dollar sign ($) is used for scalars, the @ sign is used to define arrays and Hashes are preceded by the % signs.
When you name two different types of variables, you can use the same name for them, meaning that $var and @var are two different variables that can be used in the same programming code in Perl.
You are going to have to learn to do something complex with your coding if you want to create an application that does something more than just say Hello World.
Essence of programming
The essence of programming in computation is to create something that your computer can learn to operate so that it brings real value to real people, once you master how to do that then you’ll be ready to change the world.
Perl is a general-purpose programming language originally developed for text manipulation and now used for a wide range of tasks including system administration, web development, network programming, GUI development, and more.
Easy to use, efficient, complete
The language is intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal). Its major features are that it’s easy to use, supports both procedural and object-oriented (OO) programming, has powerful built-in support for text processing, and has one of the world’s most impressive collections of third-party modules.
Different definitions of Perl are given in Perl, perlfaq1 and no doubt other places. From this, we can determine that Perl is different things to different people, but that lots of people think it’s at least worth writing about.
- Perl is a stable, cross platform programming language.
- Though Perl is not officially an acronym but few people used it as Practical Extraction and Report Language.
- It is used for mission critical projects in the public and private sectors.
- It is anOpen Sourcesoftware, licensed under itsArtistic License, or theGNU General Public License (GPL).
- Perl was created by Larry Wall.
- Perl 1.0 was released to usenet’s alt.comp.sources in 1987
- At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest version of Perl is 5.16.2
- Perl is listed in theOxford English Dictionary.
The best features from other languages
Perl takes the best features from other languages, such as C, awk, sed, sh, and BASIC, among others. Perl’s database integration interface DBI supports third-party databases including Oracle, Sybase, Postgres, MySQL, and others. HTML, XML, and other mark-up languages Perl support as well as Unicode. Perl is Y2K compliant.
The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN)
Perl supports both procedural and object-oriented programming. Perl interfaces with external C/C++ libraries through XS or SWIG. 1. INTRODUCTION Perl 3 Perl is extensible. There are over 20,000 third-party modules available from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN). The Perl interpreter can be embedded into other systems.
The most popular web programming language
The most popular web programming language was Perl due to its text manipulation capabilities and rapid development cycle. It is widely known as “the duct-tape of the Internet”.
Encrypted Web data, including e-commerce transactions Perl can handle. Perl can be embedded into web servers to speed up processing by as much as 2000%. Perl’s mod_perl allows the Apache web server to embed a Perl interpreter. Perl’s DBI package makes web-database integration easy.
Before you start practicing with various types of examples given in many online reference, we are making an assumption that you have prior exposure to C programming and Unix Shell.
Thank you for reading this article!!!