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The overall structure of Perl derives broadly from C. Perl is procedural in nature, with variablesexpressionsassignment statementsbrace -delimited blockscontrol structuresand subroutines. Perl also takes features from shell programming. All variables are marked with leading sigilswhich allow variables to be interpolated directly into strings.
However, unlike the shell, Perl uses sigils on all accesses to variables, and unlike most other programming languages that use sigils, the sigil doesn't denote the type of the variable but the type of the expression. Perl also has many built-in functions that provide tools often used in shell programming although many of these tools are implemented by programs external to the shell such as sortingand calling operating system facilities.
Perl takes lists from Lisphashes "associative arrays" from AWKand regular expressions from sed.
These simplify and facilitate many parsing, text-handling, and data-management tasks. Also shared with Lisp are the implicit return of the last value in a block, and the fact that all statements have a value, and thus are also expressions and can be used in larger expressions themselves.
Perl 5 added features that support complex data structuresfirst-class functions that is, closures as valuesand an object-oriented programming model. These include referencespackages, class-based method dispatchand lexically scoped variablesalong with compiler directives for example, the strict pragma.
A major additional feature introduced with Perl 5 was the ability to package code as reusable modules. Wall later stated that "The whole intent of Perl 5's module system was to encourage the growth of Perl culture rather than the Perl core. The interpreter knows the type and storage requirements of every data object in the program; it allocates and frees storage for them as necessary using reference counting so it cannot deallocate circular data structures without manual intervention.
Legal type conversions — for example, conversions from number to string — are done automatically at run time ; illegal type conversions are fatal errors. Design[ edit ] The design of Perl can be understood as a response to three broad trends in the computer industry: Many earlier computer languages, such as Fortran and C, aimed to make efficient use of expensive computer hardware.
In contrast, Perl was designed so that computer programmers could write programs more quickly and easily.
Perl has many features that ease the task of the programmer at the expense of greater CPU and memory requirements. These include automatic memory management; dynamic typing ; strings, lists, and hashes; regular expressions; introspection; and an eval function.
Perl follows the theory of "no built-in limits,"  an idea similar to the Zero One Infinity rule.
Wall was trained as a linguist, and the design of Perl is very much informed by linguistic principles. Examples include Huffman coding common constructions should be shortgood end-weighting the important information should come firstand a large collection of language primitives.
Perl favors language constructs that are concise and natural for humans to write, even where they complicate the Perl interpreter. Perl's syntax reflects the idea that "things that are different should look different. Array indices and hash keys use different kinds of braces.
Strings and regular expressions have different standard delimiters. This approach can be contrasted with a language such as Lispwhere the same basic syntax, composed of simple and universal symbolic expressionsis used for all purposes.
Perl does not enforce any particular programming paradigm proceduralobject-orientedfunctionalor others or even require the programmer to choose among them. There is a broad practical bent to both the Perl language and the community and culture that surround it. The preface to Programming Perl begins: It includes many features, tolerates exceptions to its rules, and employs heuristics to resolve syntactical ambiguities.
Because of the forgiving nature of the compiler, bugs can sometimes be hard to find. Perl's function documentation remarks on the variant behavior of built-in functions in list and scalar contexts by saying, "In general, they do what you want, unless you want consistency.
There has been only one implementation of the interpreter, and the language has evolved along with it. That interpreter, together with its functional tests, stands as a de facto specification of the language. Perl 6however, started with a specification,  and several projects  aim to implement some or all of the specification.
Applications[ edit ] Perl has many and varied applications, compounded by the availability of many standard and third-party modules. Perl has chiefly been used to write CGI scripts: Perl is often used as a glue languagetying together systems and interfaces that were not specifically designed to interoperate, and for " data munging ,"  that is, converting or processing large amounts of data for tasks such as creating reports.
In fact, these strengths are intimately linked. The combination makes Perl a popular all-purpose language for system administratorsparticularly because short programs, often called " one-liner programs ," can be entered and run on a single command line.
Perl code can be made portable across Windows and Unix; such code is often used by suppliers of software both COTS and bespoke to simplify packaging and maintenance of software build- and deployment-scripts.
Graphical user interfaces GUIs may be developed using Perl.Animal Wellness Magazine. This is a magazine for pet owners interested in raising pets naturally and holistically.
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A code-completion engine for Vim. Contribute to Valloric/YouCompleteMe development by creating an account on GitHub. Huffman encoding is a way to assign binary codes to symbols that reduces the overall number of bits used to encode a typical string of those symbols.
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