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PERL - Downloading and Installing

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Usman55
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Posts: 2821

PERL - Downloading and Installing

Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:30 pm

I'm completely new to Perl myself but I'm going to share with you what I learnt today. The best way to start off with a new programming language is to make a Hello World app and that's what we're going to do today, of course after learning how to download and install it first. ;)

Introduction:
To begin with, let me give you a brief introduction of PERL. PERL stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language and it was developed by Larry Wall. It is a widely supported language and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
PERL was initially introduced for text manipulation but now has a wide range of uses, especially web-based. It can be used for programming, system administration, making graphical user interfaces and a lot more.

Installation:
For Windows, two distributions of PERL are present, Activestate and Strawberry. Strawberry is open-source while Activestate is industrial-grade material. However, Activestate allows the installation of alternative repositories (packages) through a ppm installer and it comes with offline documentation too. But at this point in my learning, I can't suggest to choose one. But I can say Activestate was more appealing to me.

You can download the language from the official website:
http://www.perl.org/get.html

Or you can go to the distributions' sites separately:
Activastate: http://www.activestate.com/activeperl/downloads
Strawberry: http://strawberryperl.com/

You can choose from 32-bit or 64-bit depending on your system and requirements. After downloading it, you should be able to install it like you do any other application. I've noticed one thing, though. PERL cannot be installed to a directory containing spaces in it's name. So instead of installing it in Program Files, you'll have to install it in "C:".

PERL Editor:
Once installed, you can run it from the Command Prompt by typing "perl" and pressing enter. But what is this, the 1980s? If you're not comfortable with using the cmd interface (I wasn't) then you can use it from a graphics user interface by downloading an editor.

The most widely used PERL editor is Padre, the PERL IDE. You can download it from here:
http://padre.perlide.org/download.html
Again, installing it should be as easy as any other app's installation. Installing the editor shouldn't be a problem, only the language has to be installed in 'C:'.

Once both are installed, head over to the next tutorial for creating your very first app in Perl. :geek:
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