What is Perl?

The programming language Perl has been described as a 'glue' language. This is because, being fairly flexible and available on many operating systems, it is often used to link different kinds of applications to each other.

In the context of the Internet, Perl has been used to provide server-side programming (ie code that runs on the web server rather than the user's web browser) via the Common Gateway Interface (CGI). For various reasons this technology is generally slower than alternatives like ASP, and can be taken to be superceded by them.

Why use Perl?

Despite being overtaken by newer server-side technologies, Perl is still useful in cases where speed is not at a premium; as a rapid prototyping tool; and as a glue between different applications. Lastly, Perl contains powerful text manipulation tools that make it of particular use in this field.

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