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June 23, 2005, 3:03 am
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This message is one of several periodic postings to comp.lang.perl.misc
intended to make it easier for perl programmers to find answers to
common questions. The core of this message represents an excerpt
from the documentation provided with Perl.
3.10: Is there an IDE or Windows Perl Editor?
Perl programs are just plain text, so any editor will do.
If you're on Unix, you already have an IDE--Unix itself. The UNIX
philosophy is the philosophy of several small tools that each do one
thing and do it well. It's like a carpenter's toolbox.
If you want an IDE, check the following (in alphabetical order, not
order of preference):
The Eclipse Perl Integration Project integrates Perl
editing/debugging with Eclipse.
The website for the project is http://e-p-i-c.sf.net /
ActiveState's cross-platform (as of October 2004, that's Windows,
Linux, and Solaris), multi-language IDE has Perl support, including
a regular expression debugger and remote debugging (
Open Perl IDE
( http://open-perl-ide.sourceforge.net/ ) Open Perl IDE is an
integrated development environment for writing and debugging Perl
scripts with ActiveState's ActivePerl distribution under Windows
( http://www.optiperl.com/ ) is a Windows IDE with simulated CGI
environment, including debugger and syntax highlighting editor.
( http://www.solutionsoft.com/perl.htm ) is an integrated
development environment for Windows that supports Perl development.
( http://helpconsulting.net/visiperl/ ) From Help Consulting, for
( http://www.activestate.com/Products/Visual_Perl/ ) Visual Perl is
a Visual Studio.NET plug-in from ActiveState.
For editors: if you're on Unix you probably have vi or a vi clone
already, and possibly an emacs too, so you may not need to download
anything. In any emacs the cperl-mode (M-x cperl-mode) gives you perhaps
the best available Perl editing mode in any editor.
If you are using Windows, you can use any editor that lets you work with
plain text, such as NotePad or WordPad. Word processors, such as
Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, typically do not work since they insert
all sorts of behind-the-scenes information, although some allow you to
save files as "Text Only". You can also download text editors designed
specifically for programming, such as Textpad ( http://www.textpad.com /
) and UltraEdit ( http://www.ultraedit.com/ ), among others.
If you are using MacOS, the same concerns apply. MacPerl (for Classic
environments) comes with a simple editor. Popular external editors are
BBEdit ( http://www.bbedit.com/ ) or Alpha (
http://www.his.com/~jguyer/Alpha/Alpha8.html ). MacOS X users can use
Unix editors as well.
Jed http://space.mit.edu/~davis/jed /
or a vi clone such as
ftp://ftp.cs.pdx.edu/pub/elvis/ http://www.fh-wedel.de/elvis /
Vim http://www.vim.org /
For vi lovers in general, Windows or elsewhere:
nvi ( http://www.bostic.com/vi/ , available from CPAN in src/misc/) is
yet another vi clone, unfortunately not available for Windows, but in
UNIX platforms you might be interested in trying it out, firstly because
strictly speaking it is not a vi clone, it is the real vi, or the new
incarnation of it, and secondly because you can embed Perl inside it to
use Perl as the scripting language. nvi is not alone in this, though: at
least also vim and vile offer an embedded Perl.
The following are Win32 multilanguage editor/IDESs that support Perl:
There is also a toyedit Text widget based editor written in Perl that is
distributed with the Tk module on CPAN. The ptkdb (
http://world.std.com/~aep/ptkdb/ ) is a Perl/tk based debugger that acts
as a development environment of sorts. Perl Composer (
http://perlcomposer.sourceforge.net/ ) is an IDE for Perl/Tk GUI
In addition to an editor/IDE you might be interested in a more powerful
shell environment for Win32. Your options include
from the Cygwin package ( http://sources.redhat.com/cygwin/ )
Ksh from the MKS Toolkit ( http://www.mks.com/ ), or the Bourne shell of
the U/WIN environment ( http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/ )
ftp://ftp.astron.com/pub/tcsh/ , see also
Zsh ftp://ftp.blarg.net/users/amol/zsh/ , see also http://www.zsh.org /
MKS and U/WIN are commercial (U/WIN is free for educational and research
purposes), Cygwin is covered by the GNU Public License (but that
shouldn't matter for Perl use). The Cygwin, MKS, and U/WIN all contain
(in addition to the shells) a comprehensive set of standard UNIX toolkit
If you're transferring text files between Unix and Windows using FTP be
sure to transfer them in ASCII mode so the ends of lines are
On Mac OS the MacPerl Application comes with a simple 32k text editor
that behaves like a rudimentary IDE. In contrast to the MacPerl
Application the MPW Perl tool can make use of the MPW Shell itself as an
editor (with no 32k limit).
is a full Perl development enivornment with full debugger support (
is an editor, written and extensible in Tcl, that nonetheless has
built in support for several popular markup and programming
languages including Perl and HTML (
BBEdit and BBEdit Lite
are text editors for Mac OS that have a Perl sensitivity mode (
Pepper and Pe are programming language sensitive text editors for Mac OS
X and BeOS respectively ( http://www.hekkelman.com/ ).
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Re: FAQ 3.10 Is there an IDE or Windows Perl Editor?
PerlFAQ Server wrote:
Zeus for Window is another Win32 multi-language editor/IDE
that comes with support for Perl:
Some of the Zeus programming specific features include:
+ Code folding for Perl
+ Code completion and intellisensing
+ Integrated class browser
+ Project/workspace management
+ Fully configurable syntax highlighting
+ Seamless FTP editing
+ Integrated version control (including CVS)
+ Quick Help context sensitive help engine
Zeus is shareware and runs fully functional for 60 days.