In computer programming, Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall, a linguist working as a systems administrator for NASA, in 1987, as a general purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier.Perl borrows features from other programming languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, sed and Lisp.The language provides powerful text processing facilities without the arbitrary data length limits of many contemporary Unix tools,facilitating easy manipulation of text files. It is also used for graphics programming, system administration, network programming, applications that require database access and CGI programming on the Web. Perl is nicknamed "the Swiss Army chainsaw of programming languages" due to its flexibility and adaptability.Learning a programming language like Perl can seem quite daunting. It's a complex and powerful language, however, it's not that difficult to pick up. With the right tutorials and expert guidance in programming forums, you will be on your way to writing complex and even profitable Perl programs.Lets get started ..
- Download and install a Perl interpreter - ActivePerl is a good choice for Windows users. If you are using Linux or Mac OS X, Perl may already be installed on your system. To check, open a terminal and type perl -v into the command line. If you get a message stating the current version of Perl, then Perl is installed on your system. If you get a "Command not found" error, you will have to install Perl yourself, either by installing a package for your operating system, or by building from source.
- Find some good tutorials that teach the basics of Perl - There are many books and online references that will teach the basics of Perl. Learning Perl is a good choice for those who are unfamiliar with Perl, or even programming in general. People who already know the basics of programming may want to look at Programming Perl, which is designed for those who are already experienced programmers. Programming Perl is also a good book to read after reading Learning Perl.
- Read the documentation - In addition with tutorials, Perl comes with many pages worth of documentation that can be accessed inside your terminal with the perldoc command. You can also browse the documentation online by visiting http://perldoc.perl.org/
- Practice! - Unfortunately, just reading the books will not make you a good programmer. In order to really learn Perl, you need to write it. Many books and tutorials have example code to try out, as well as exercises to solve. Even though it can be tedious writing sample programs, it builds a good foundation which more advanced programming techniques can use.
- Give back to the Perl community - One of the best ways to help people out and improve your programming skills is to give back to the Perl community. One way is by writing modules for CPAN. This allows you to release your Perl modules to the world, help others out by writing libraries that make their lives easier, and learn a bit about packaging software too!
- In addition to being a command-line language, Perl can also be used to write Web applications (also known as CGI scripts). However, this requires the additional knowledge of HTML, CGI, and general server programming, so it is not covered here.
- When reading tutorials, try not to jump ahead of yourself, don't get overwhelmed at long blocks of code, go one step at a time, and focus. Do the examples until you understand them before moving on.
- Have fun! It takes a while to become really good at it, so pace yourself.
- If you really like the language and want to meet other local programmers, try seeing if there is an active Perl Mongers group near your hometown.
- Check your local library and see whether they have any Perl books. Since programming books can sometimes cost $30-50, it can save you money in the long run.
Till then,Keep programming and keep learning.
posted by XERO . Wikihw,Wikipedia and wiki community. A Zillion thanks to perl community and programmers out there.