PERL; Practical Extracting and Reporting Language

... also known as the "Pathalogically Eclectic Rubbish Lister".


Perl is a language which has gained much usage recently due to its power and simplicity.

Perl is primarily used as a text manipulation tool, performing much of the tasks that shell scripts and standard unix tools (such as sed and awk) normally perform. However, Perl is much more powerful than simple shell scripts, using complicated data structures such as associative arrays, pipes, sockets and other tools normally reserved for fully blown C/C++ programs (or other compiled programs in other languages).

In short, Perl fills the gap between shell scripts and "proper" compiled programs. While it give the impression of being an interpreted language, it is actually compiled at start up on the fly and then run.

It is mostly used in a unix environment where text manipulation is commonly used to handle log/configuration files. It is less commonly used in a DOS/Windows environment (although Perl is available for Win32) since most admin of Windows workstations has tended to be through the use of GUI's (Graphical User Interfaces). It is also commonly used to write CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts for the Web since they tend to be more secure than shell scripts (and in some situations, C program files).

PERL resources on the web

Some of my scripts

These are links to some scripts I have written in perl to perform some admin tasks around our network:

  •, a script to automatically update patches on Solaris workstations

File last modified: Saturday, 06-Mar-2004 14:12:08 GMT