What is Perl? Features and History.
Perl 5 is a highly capable, feature-rich programming language with over 29 years of development. Perl 5 runs on over 100 platforms from portables to mainframes and is suitable for both rapid prototyping and large scale development projects.
"Perl" is a family of languages, "Perl 6" is part of the family, but it is a separate language which has its own development team. Its existence has no significant impact on the continuing development of "Perl 5".
White papers of Perl 5 technology at your disposal.
Used for mission critical projects in the public and private sectors.
Supports object-oriented, procedural and functional programming.
There are over 25,000 open source modules available from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN).
Perl includes powerful tools for processing text that make it ideal for working with HTML, XML, and all other mark-up and natural languages.
Supports Unicode version 6 (from Perl 5.14).
Perl interfaces with external C/C++ libraries through XS or SWIG.
Perl is an ideal web programming language due to its text manipulation capabilities and rapid development cycle.
There are many web frameworks written in Perl, a leading one is Catalyst.
CPAN offers thousands of modules, so almost any task you need to accomplish will be made easier, from URL or image manipulation, to Amazon EC2 APIs and much more.
Perl has long been known as "the duct-tape of the Internet", however many large web based applications are also written solely in Perl.
Perl can handle encrypted Web data, including e-commerce transactions.
Perl can be embedded into web servers to speed up processing by as much as 2000%, mod_perl allows the Apache web server to embed a Perl interpreter.