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.
- 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.
- It’s platform independent. A utility written in Windows can be run on UNIX with little or no changes.
- It’s a high level language. You do not have to work about low level stuff such as memory, addresses, etc.
- 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.