Beginner’s Introduction to PERL in Web Development
PERL is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted and dynamic programming language. It comes in multiple versions to support different platforms and has been used by many developers to automate most things as per their industry needs.
PERL is officially not an acronym, but it is renowned as being “Practical Extraction and Reporting Language”. It was coined in the year 1987 by Larry Wall. It provides an amazing range of text processing features, some of them include — text extraction of any size file while getting the best level of performance, having no arbitrary data length restrictions and provides hassle-free manipulation.
I have been working on a product called APM developed by Ringmaster which is powered by Suneratech. PERL was used extensively to develop their EBS product called Automatic Patch Management. In this article, I will present you some of the basic information about this popular programming language along with its strengths and the latest trends.
Strengths of PERL
PERL exhibits the best in:
• Text processing and parsing
• Networking and Administration
• CGI Programming/CGI scripting
• Graphical User Interface programming
• System and Application Security
• Text extraction
• Data Mining
• Statistical Programming
• Active User Community
There is a Comprehensive PERL Archive Network (CPAN), which is a repository of over 250,000 software modules accompanying documentation for 39,000 distributions, written in the PERL programming language by over 12,000 contributors.
Trends of PERL in Web Application Development
PERL is an open source scripting language having a decent number of contributors, and its User Groups support and make changes to develop, enhance the web frameworks and CGI Programming.
Recently there was a survey done by w3techs to broadcast the usage of PERL in web application development. For more information on this you can visit this link — https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/pl-perlPERL/all/all
As per the Github, there are thousands of active users working for PERL, web development and there exists both Public and Private repositories as well. While I was working on one of the projects based on PERL at Sunera, I have gained a huge knowledge. PERL scripting and programming are my favorite concepts that I always love to work at Sunera.
PERL Scripting and CGI Programming
In parallel to other languages, PERL is the most used Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripting. The CGI scripts are programs that are written specifically for web applications. It is used as a popular web server logic as it allows users to complete a request, response lifecycle over the World Wide Web effectively. The Script also allows reading a request and sending a file back to the browser. Every web container has a directory Structure that contains website files. For example, when you type in a URL with a “/index.html” at the end of it, the server sends back the file marked “. index.html.”, but with CGI scripts, when a server receives a request for something more dynamic than just a pre-written page, it actually executes the request via the CGI script and returns the output to the browser. CGI programming makes servers more than file directories — they’re adaptable as well as very smart file processors.
Now PERL has been used by different chronological users who are more like system administrators, database managers, and server-side software engineers. People with other programming experience, resources also tend to favor this language because of its ease. There are a lot of applications around the web written in PERL that requires maintenance, and a lot of Experienced and Middle Level Experienced developers at a small scale and enterprise level are still actively using it for the core web application development.