Chapter 1: Introduction
What's Perl >
Task Examples >
Running Perl >
Variables & Types >
Flow Control >
Some Simple Scripts
What is Perl and why is it so great?
Perl is a general purpose computer language ideally suited to handling
words and text. Perl is admired for staying simple when you need to do simple
things, but having the power to do nearly every chore that a system
administrator might require. To quote the Perl gurus, "It makes the easy
things easy, and the difficult things possible."
It's really a great language because once you get to know it you can
express yourself very quickly and easily. Perl has a wonderful way about it
that allows you to do a lot by writing very little. It dispenses with a lot
of programming "clutter" that accompanies many other programming
languages. This ability allows you to write things in a very natural and
Another of Perl's strengths is that there are usually many ways of
accomplishing any particular bit of programming. This strength inspires Perl
programmers to quote the motto "TIMTOWTDI" (pronounced
"timtoady") - the acronym of "There Is More Than One Way To Do
It." This variety leads to different personal styles and preferences, as
well as a great deal of fun, comfort, and joyful discovery as you learn the
ins and outs of the language.
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