FAQ 1.4 What are perl4, perl5, or perl6?

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1.4: What are perl4, perl5, or perl6?

    (contributed by brian d foy)

    In short, perl4 is the past, perl5 is the present, and perl6 is the

    The number after perl (i.e. the 5 after perl5) is the major release of
    the perl interpreter as well as the version of the language. Each major
    version has significant differences that earlier versions cannot

    The current major release of Perl is perl5, and was released in 1994. It
    can run scripts from the previous major release, perl4 (March 1991), but
    has significant differences. It introduced the concept of references,
    complex data structures, and modules. The perl5 interpreter was a
    complete re-write of the previous perl sources.

    Perl6 is the next major version of Perl, but it's still in development
    in both its syntax and design. The work started in 2002 and is still
    ongoing. Many of the most interesting features have shown up in the
    latest versions of perl5, and some perl5 modules allow you to use some
    perl6 syntax in your programs. You can learn more about perl6 at
    http://dev.perl.org/perl6 / .

    See perlhist for a history of Perl revisions.


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