Why use PERL?

PERL was originally written by Larry Wall while he was working at NASA’s jet prepulsion laboratories. It’s syntax is a combination of many different languages. While PERL is not a acryonymn, one of Larry’s favorites is ‘Pratical Extraction and Reporting Language’. The first version of PERL was release in December, 1987.

Getting to the main question, ‘Why use PERL?’. Here are a few reasons why people use the language.

  1. It’s free! The PERL language can be installed on any UNIX box for free. The community version of Active State Perl for Windows is free.
  2. It’s platform independent. A utility written in Windows can be run on UNIX with little or no changes.
  3. It’s a high level language. You do not have to work about low level stuff such as memory, addresses, etc.
  4. It has a large user group following. There is a large user group that is continuously extending the language through modules. These modules can be used to solve day-to-day technical problems that a developer come accross.

I like to use PERL because it is portable between operating systems and has a large number of free modules. I will be using Active State PERL version 5.12.3 to interpret my coding examples. I will try to leverage the PERL modules to solve common data mining problems.

The key points to remember from this article is that PERL is free, portable, and extendable.

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