FAQ 1.1 What is Perl?

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This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq1.pod, which
comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .


1.1: What is Perl?

    Perl is a high-level programming language with an eclectic heritage
    written by Larry Wall and a cast of thousands. It derives from the
    ubiquitous C programming language and to a lesser extent from sed, awk,
    the Unix shell, and at least a dozen other tools and languages. Perl's
    process, file, and text manipulation facilities make it particularly
    well-suited for tasks involving quick prototyping, system utilities,
    software tools, system management tasks, database access, graphical
    programming, networking, and world wide web programming. These strengths
    make it especially popular with system administrators and CGI script
    authors, but mathematicians, geneticists, journalists, and even managers
    also use Perl. Maybe you should, too.


The perlfaq-workers, a group of volunteers, maintain the perlfaq. They
are not necessarily experts in every domain where Perl might show up,
so please include as much information as possible and relevant in any
corrections. The perlfaq-workers also don't have access to every
operating system or platform, so please include relevant details for
corrections to examples that do not work on particular platforms.
Working code is greatly appreciated.

If you'd like to help maintain the perlfaq, see the details in

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