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High-level computer programming language, the most popular language for writing CGI scripts and the premier scripting (or interpreted) language of the World Wide Web. Since it has roots in UNIX, its syntax is similar to C and it includes several UNIX utilities. Because of its excellent text-processing capability, it is widely used by system administrators (for writing administrative tasks) and is especially suited for developing prototype versions of programs. Because it is an interpreted language, its programs are highly portable across different operating systems. Originally developed by Larry Wall at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1986, it has since been improved by hundreds of volunteer developers. Like Linux, it can be obtained free of charge.
Variants of PERL
Perl in full Practical Extraction and Reporting Language.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Perl, visit Britannica.com.