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Slides showing history of Perl and why I can write perl as a People Per Hour Hourly for you

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Slides showing history of Perl and why I can write perl as a People Per Hour Hourly for you

  1. 1. What is Perl and why is it so good? Martin Houston, Deluxe Technology Ltd Perl is a language that has been in wide use for over 1/4 of a century. Where did it come from? What has it been used for? Why it is still relivant in 2017?
  2. 2. Some History ● Perl was begun in 1987 by brilliant programmer Larry Wall. ● By the early 90s was available for wide variety of Unix systems over the Internet. ● Way better than writing in shell, sed & awk! ● In 1994 the new massivley more powerful Perl5 version released. ● Turned out it was the perfect tool to work with the rapidly developing World Wide Web – fast turnaround.
  3. 3. Perl & the Internet ● Perl already established as the easiest way to write software FAST for Unix systems. ● Early web servers mostly ran on such systems so initial explosive growth of the WWW on the back of Perl. ● Some manufacturers like Sun Microsystems started using Perl to write much of their OS software. ● When Linux came along Perl was already so well established it is a part of every Linux build.
  4. 4. Internet brings new challengers ● There are more Perl like languages today: ● Python ● Ruby ● PHP ● All borrow features from Perl – in particular the Regular Expressions. ● Perl5 is still the dominant version of Perl! ● New releases introduce improvments without breaking compatability. ● Decades of stability means huge existing software base!
  5. 5. Perl designed for quick fixes ● It was designed to solve the practical problems of keeping big computers running day-to-day. ● Not really for the construction of huge sooftware engineering projects by thousand man teams. ● Many very useful things can be done by one liners and programs that fit on a sheet of paper. ● Try that with BASIC or Java!
  6. 6. But good for big projects too! ● Although the newer languages like Python are a little more suited Perl has been used for some really big pieces of software such as: ● Twiki ● Bugzilla Bioinformatics (gene sequencing) ● Many websites using one of the modern OO frameworks. ● Or plain old CGI. ● Perl interfaces to countless databases with ease of course!
  7. 7. Why Perl remains a good choice ● No size limits – if you have a 128GB memory machine perl will make use of it. Handling data in memory always fast! ● The default variables of $_ and @_ make many common operations much less wordy ● The object orentation model is lightweight and easy to understand. You are not forced into using it. ● HUGE existing library if tested solutions called CPAN ● Unit testing of code has been part of Perl development for decades
  8. 8. Why Perl is best choice for data conversion ● Can work with huge amounts of data types uncluding binary thanks to pack/unkack operators ● Lots of useful work – like bulk editing of files to fix 1 mistake can be done as one liners. ● Leveraging the CPAN library means even small programs can do very complex things – like web page scraping or xml parsing. ● No separate compilation. The source is all you need to keep around.
  9. 9. Why choose Deluxe Technology ● Over 25 years experince in using Perl to solve huge variety of computer problems. ● This gives faster turnaround than having to learn everything from scratch. ● Which enables data conversion projects to be handled on a fixed price basis. ● Think of it as computer plumbing! ● Thank you for watching.
  10. 10. Why choose Deluxe Technology ● Over 25 years experince in using Perl to solve huge variety of computer problems. ● This gives faster turnaround than having to learn everything from scratch. ● Which enables data conversion projects to be handled on a fixed price basis. ● Think of it as computer plumbing! ● Thank you for watching.

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