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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       perl - Practical Extraction and Report Language

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       perl [ -sTuU ] [ -hv ] [ -V[:configvar] ]
	   [ -cw ] [ -d[:debugger] ] [ -D[number/list] ]
	   [ -pna ] [ -Fpattern ] [ -l[octal] ] [ -0[octal] ]
	   [ -Idir ] [ -m[-]module ] [ -M[-]'module...' ]
	   [ -P ] [ -S ] [ -x[dir] ]
	   [ -i[extension] ] [ -e 'command' ] [ -- ] [ programfile ] [ argu-
       ment ]...

       For ease of access, the Perl manual has been split up into several sections:

	   perl 	       Perl overview (this section)
	   perlfaq	       Perl frequently asked questions
	   perltoc	       Perl documentation table of contents
	   perlbook	       Perl book information

	   perlsyn	       Perl syntax
	   perldata	       Perl data structures
	   perlop	       Perl operators and precedence
	   perlsub	       Perl subroutines
	   perlfunc	       Perl builtin functions
	   perlreftut	       Perl references short introduction
	   perldsc	       Perl data structures intro
	   perlrequick	       Perl regular expressions quick start
	   perlpod	       Perl plain old documentation
	   perlstyle	       Perl style guide
	   perltrap	       Perl traps for the unwary

	   perlrun	       Perl execution and options
	   perldiag	       Perl diagnostic messages
	   perllexwarn	       Perl warnings and their control
	   perldebtut	       Perl debugging tutorial
	   perldebug	       Perl debugging

	   perlvar	       Perl predefined variables
	   perllol	       Perl data structures: arrays of arrays
	   perlopentut	       Perl open() tutorial
	   perlretut	       Perl regular expressions tutorial

	   perlre	       Perl regular expressions, the rest of the story
	   perlref	       Perl references, the rest of the story

	   perlform	       Perl formats

	   perlboot	       Perl OO tutorial for beginners
	   perltoot	       Perl OO tutorial, part 1
	   perltootc	       Perl OO tutorial, part 2
	   perlobj	       Perl objects
	   perlbot	       Perl OO tricks and examples
	   perltie	       Perl objects hidden behind simple variables

	   perlipc	       Perl interprocess communication
	   perlfork	       Perl fork() information
	   perlnumber	       Perl number semantics
	   perlthrtut	       Perl threads tutorial

	   perlport	       Perl portability guide
	   perllocale	       Perl locale support
	   perlunicode	       Perl unicode support
	   perlebcdic	       Considerations for running Perl on EBCDIC platforms

	   perlsec	       Perl security

	   perlmod	       Perl modules: how they work
	   perlmodlib	       Perl modules: how to write and use
	   perlmodinstall      Perl modules: how to install from CPAN
	   perlnewmod	       Perl modules: preparing a new module for distribution

	   perlfaq1	       General Questions About Perl
	   perlfaq2	       Obtaining and Learning about Perl
	   perlfaq3	       Programming Tools
	   perlfaq4	       Data Manipulation
	   perlfaq5	       Files and Formats
	   perlfaq6	       Regexes
	   perlfaq7	       Perl Language Issues
	   perlfaq8	       System Interaction
	   perlfaq9	       Networking

	   perlcompile	       Perl compiler suite intro

	   perlembed	       Perl ways to embed perl in your C or C++ application
	   perldebguts	       Perl debugging guts and tips
	   perlxstut	       Perl XS tutorial
	   perlxs	       Perl XS application programming interface
	   perlclib	       Internal replacements for standard C library functions
	   perlguts	       Perl internal functions for those doing extensions
	   perlcall	       Perl calling conventions from C
	   perlutil	       utilities packaged with the Perl distribution
	   perlfilter	       Perl source filters (package: libfilter-perl)
	   perldbmfilter       Perl DBM filters
	   perlapi	       Perl API listing (autogenerated)
	   perlintern	       Perl internal functions (autogenerated)
	   perlapio	       Perl internal IO abstraction interface
	   perltodo	       Perl things to do
	   perlhack	       Perl hackers guide

	   perlhist	       Perl history records
	   perldelta	       Perl changes since previous version
	   perl5005delta       Perl changes in version 5.005
	   perl5004delta       Perl changes in version 5.004

	   perlaix	       Perl notes for AIX
	   perlamiga	       Perl notes for Amiga
	   perlbs2000	       Perl notes for POSIX-BC BS2000
	   perlcygwin	       Perl notes for Cygwin
	   perldos	       Perl notes for DOS
	   perlepoc	       Perl notes for EPOC
	   perlhpux	       Perl notes for HP-UX
	   perlmachten	       Perl notes for Power MachTen
	   perlmacos	       Perl notes for Mac OS (Classic)
	   perlmpeix	       Perl notes for MPE/iX
	   perlos2	       Perl notes for OS/2
	   perlos390	       Perl notes for OS/390
	   perlsolaris	       Perl notes for Solaris
	   perlvmesa	       Perl notes for VM/ESA
	   perlvms	       Perl notes for VMS
	   perlvos	       Perl notes for Stratus VOS
	   perlwin32	       Perl notes for Windows

       (If you're intending to read these straight through for the first time,
       the suggested order will tend to reduce the number of forward references.)

       On Debian systems, you need to install the perl-doc package which contains
 the majority of the standard Perl documentation and the perldoc

       Extensive additional documentation for Perl modules is available, both
       those distributed with Perl and third-party modules which are packaged
       or locally installed.

       You should be able to view Perl's documentation with your man(1) program
 or perldoc(1).

       If something strange has gone wrong with your program and you're not
       sure where you should look for help, try the -w switch first.  It will
       often point out exactly where the trouble is.

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       Perl is a language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files,
       extracting information from those text files, and printing reports
       based on that information.  It's also a good language for many system
       management tasks.  The language is intended to be practical (easy to
       use, efficient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal).

       Perl combines (in the author's opinion, anyway) some of the best features
 of C, sed, awk, and sh, so people familiar with those languages
       should have little difficulty with it.  (Language historians will also
       note some vestiges of csh, Pascal, and even BASIC-PLUS.)  Expression
       syntax corresponds closely to C expression syntax.  Unlike most Unix
       utilities, Perl does not arbitrarily limit the size of your data--if
       you've got the memory, Perl can slurp in your whole file as a single
       string.	Recursion is of unlimited depth.  And the tables used by
       hashes (sometimes called "associative arrays") grow as necessary to
       prevent degraded performance.  Perl can use sophisticated pattern
       matching techniques to scan large amounts of data quickly.  Although
       optimized for scanning text, Perl can also deal with binary data, and
       can make dbm files look like hashes.  Setuid Perl scripts are safer
       than C programs through a dataflow tracing mechanism that prevents many
       stupid security holes.

       If you have a problem that would ordinarily use sed or awk or sh, but
       it exceeds their capabilities or must run a little faster, and you
       don't want to write the silly thing in C, then Perl may be for you.
       There are also translators to turn your sed and awk scripts into Perl

       But wait, there's more...

       Begun in 1993 (see perlhist), Perl version 5 is nearly a complete rewrite
 that provides the following additional benefits:

       o   modularity and reusability using innumerable modules

	   Described in perlmod, perlmodlib, and perlmodinstall.

       o   embeddable and extensible

	   Described in perlembed, perlxstut, perlxs, perlcall, perlguts, and

       o   roll-your-own magic variables (including multiple simultaneous DBM

	   Described in perltie and AnyDBM_File.

       o   subroutines can now be overridden, autoloaded, and prototyped

	   Described in perlsub.

       o   arbitrarily nested data structures and anonymous functions

	   Described in perlreftut, perlref, perldsc, and perllol.

       o   object-oriented programming

	   Described in perlobj, perltoot, and perlbot.

       o   compilability into C code or Perl bytecode

	   Described in B and B::Bytecode.

       o   support for light-weight processes (threads)

	   Described in perlthrtut and Thread.

       o   support for internationalization, localization, and Unicode

	   Described in perllocale and utf8.

       o   lexical scoping

	   Described in perlsub.

       o   regular expression enhancements

	   Described in perlre, with additional examples in perlop.

       o   enhanced debugger and interactive Perl environment, with integrated
	   editor support

	   Described in perldebug.

       o   POSIX 1003.1 compliant library

	   Described in POSIX.

       Okay, that's definitely enough hype.

AVAILABILITY    [Toc]    [Back]

       Perl is available for most operating systems, including virtually all
       Unix-like platforms.  See "Supported Platforms" in perlport for a listing.

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

       See perlrun.

AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]

       Larry Wall <larry@wall.org>, with the help of oodles of other folks.

       If your Perl success stories and testimonials may be of help to others
       who wish to advocate the use of Perl in their applications, or if you
       wish to simply express your gratitude to Larry and the Perl developers,
       please write to perl-thanks@perl.org .

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

	"@INC"		       locations of perl libraries

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

	a2p    awk to perl translator
	s2p    sed to perl translator

	http://www.perl.com/	   the Perl Home Page
	http://www.perl.com/CPAN   the Comprehensive Perl Archive

DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]

       The "use warnings" pragma (and the -w switch) produces some lovely

       See perldiag for explanations of all Perl's diagnostics.  The "use
       diagnostics" pragma automatically turns Perl's normally terse warnings
       and errors into these longer forms.

       Compilation errors will tell you the line number of the error, with an
       indication of the next token or token type that was to be examined.
       (In a script passed to Perl via -e switches, each -e is counted as one

       Setuid scripts have additional constraints that can produce error messages
 such as "Insecure dependency".  See perlsec.

       Did we mention that you should definitely consider using the -w switch?

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

       The -w switch is not mandatory.

       Perl is at the mercy of your machine's definitions of various operations
 such as type casting, atof(), and floating-point output with

       If your stdio requires a seek or eof between reads and writes on a particular
 stream, so does Perl.  (This doesn't apply to sysread() and

       While none of the built-in data types have any arbitrary size limits
       (apart from memory size), there are still a few arbitrary limits:  a
       given variable name may not be longer than 251 characters.  Line numbers
 displayed by diagnostics are internally stored as short integers,
       so they are limited to a maximum of 65535 (higher numbers usually being
       affected by wraparound).

       You may mail your bug reports (be sure to include full configuration
       information as output by the myconfig program in the perl source tree,
       or by "perl -V") to perlbug@perl.org .  If you've succeeded in compiling
 perl, the perlbug script in the utils/ subdirectory can be used to
       help mail in a bug report.

       Perl actually stands for Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister, but
       don't tell anyone I said that.

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

       The Perl motto is "There's more than one way to do it."	Divining how
       many more is left as an exercise to the reader.

       The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness, Impatience,
       and Hubris.  See the Camel Book for why.

3rd Berkeley Distribution	  2004-12-24			       PERL(1)
[ Back ]
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