Mike Gossland's Perl Tutorial Course for Windows

What's Perl | Task Examples | Running Perl | Variables | Flow Control | Simple Scripts

Chapter 1: Introduction

What is Perl and why is it so great?

Perl is a general purpose computer language ideally suited to handling words and text. Perl is admired for staying simple when you need to do simple things, but having the power to do nearly every chore that a system administrator might require. To quote the Perl gurus, "It makes the easy things easy, and the difficult things possible."

It's really a great language because once you get to know it you can express yourself very quickly and easily. Perl has a wonderful way about it that allows you to do a lot by writing very little. It dispenses with a lot of programming "clutter" that accompanies many other programming languages. This ability allows you to write things in a very natural and concise manner.

Another of Perl's strengths is that there are usually many ways of accomplishing any particular bit of programming. This strength inspires Perl programmers to quote the motto "TIMTOWTDI" (pronounced "timtoady") - the acronym of "There Is More Than One Way To Do It." This variety leads to different personal styles and preferences, as well as a great deal of fun, comfort, and joyful discovery as you learn the ins and outs of the language.