Perl Programming

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  • Author: Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection
  • Format: HTML
  • Price: free

Perl is a programming language designed by Larry Wall, known today for its strong community and module archive CPAN. It was originally developed to process text and produce reports. As a result, a backronym has been formed from its name: Practical Extraction and Report Language. It makes extensive use of significant punctuation, and highly chaotic-looking code has been written in it. This has resulted in a less complimentary backronym (which is still embraced by Perl users): Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister (said to be a quote from the language designer himself).

Perl is Free Software, available under the Artistic License and the GPL. It was developed on Unix, and its Unix roots are pervasive. Perl is available for most operating systems but is particularly prevalent on Unix and Unix-like systems, and is growing in popularity on Microsoft Windows systems. However, it has been ported to a multitude of environments (some say as many as Java). It’s a popular systems administration tool in Windows. Most of the things done in Perl transfer well from one operating system to another (provided suggested conventions are followed).

The book is a work in progress, and there may be incomplete or missing chapters.

Chapters include:

  • Editors and IDEs
  • First Program
  • Basic Variables
  • Strings
  • Numbers
  • Making choices: if and else
  • Doing things over and over: while and for loops
  • Operators
  • Variables
  • Data Types
  • Scalar Variables
  • Array Variables
  • Hash Variables
  • User I/O
  • Advanced Output
  • Filehandles
  • Statement modifiers
  • Functions
  • Perl 5.10 Additions
  • Exercises
  • Programming Structure and style
  • References and Data Structures
  • Regular Expressions
  • Regular Expression Operators
  • Regular Expressions Reference
  • Code reuse (modules)
  • Perl Objects
  • GUI and desktop programming
  • CPAN
  • DBI – Perl Database Interface
  • CGI
  • FastCGI
  • mod_perl
  • HTML::Mason
  • Perl 6
  • Humour
  • First example code to get you started
  • Second example code to get you started
  • Function Reference
  • Concept Index
  • Useful Modules
  • Quick-reference cards
  • Websites

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