Perl, The Hackers' Favorite Language Celebrates 25th Birthday

Bangalore: It’s been 25 years since Larry Wall, a programmer at Unisys released the first version of Perl, the high level, dynamic programming language. The language, whose whole intention was to make report processing easier, with its flexibility and power later came to know as "the Swiss Army chainsaw of scripting languages."

Eventhough the language is later overshadowed by others like python and PHP, its widespread popularity in the 1990s also gave it the definition “duct tape that holds the Internet together.” It became best known for its use of regular expressions, which is a blessing if one has to scan huge data for strings or text patterns.

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According to Wall, the creator of this language, Perl offers more than one way to do something and says that, through Perl, “Easy things should be easy and hard things should be possible.” The image of Camel, which usually linked with Perl, actually appeared in the cover of ‘Programming Perl’, the first complete reference book for the language published by O'Reilly Media. The symbol later became a general hacker emblem.

After its journey over the last quarter decade, Perl stands at latest major stable revision 5.16, released in May.

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