Perl is a programming language mainly designed for text processing. It was developed by Larry Wall. It runs on a variety of platforms like Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The language can also be considered a general-purpose language used for a wide range of tasks including system administration, web development, network programming and GUI development. Perl is not officially an acronym but few people used it as Practical Extraction and Report Language.
Perl supports both procedural and object-oriented programming and has an impressive collection of third-party modules. Perl 5 added some new features that support complex data structures, first-class functions, which means, closures as values, and an object-oriented programming model. These features include references, packages, class-based method dispatch, and compiler directives. Another major additional feature introduced with Perl 5 was the ability to package code as reusable modules. According to Larry Wall "The whole intent of Perl 5’s module system was to encourage the growth of Perl culture rather than the Perl core."

All versions of Perl do automatic data-typing and automatic memory-management. 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.

Perl derives from the C programming language and to a lesser extent from sed, awk, the Unix shell, and many other tools and languages.


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