Perl is an all- purpose script cross platform programming language that was originally developed for text manipulation by Larry Wall in 1987. It is now widely being used for other tasks like web development, network programming, system administration, GUI development and many other similar works.
Perl is also referred by many as an acronym for Practical Extraction and Report Language. It is an open-source application available under the GNU General Public License. Its latest release is the 5.16.2 version.
Features of Perl 5:
• It is a robust and highly stable script that runs over 100 platforms from portable devices to large mainframes.
• Perl database integration interface(DBI) supports third party databases like Oracle, Postgre, MySQL, Sybase and many more.
• It integrates with HTML, XML, and other mark-up languages.
• Perl offers over 25,000 third party modules that are available from the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network).
• The programming language is being widely adopted in both public and private sectors for their mission critical projects.
• It comes with the Perl Interpreter that can be implanted into other web servers and database servers.
• It can smoothly transact encrypted web data including those of large ecommerce stores with ease.
• Perl is a Unix based and popular on Linux machines. It syntax copies heavily from the Unix shell scripting languages, C and C++ languages. Perl versions are also available on Windows and Mac OSX.
• Perl has a huge community of developers and over 300 odd groups that are available over forums and discussion boards to assist users. Support is also available in the form of tutorials, mailing lists and chats provided the questions are relevant and solutions not available on forums and other platforms.
Perl is available on a later version Perl 6 too but it is independent and treated as a separate language. It has its own team of developers though it is part of the Perl hierarchy.