Perl 5 is the latest version in an ongoing
evolution of the Perl language. The Perl 5 interpreter and language
were released a few years ago to replace and upgrade the existing
Perl 4 that had become the staple of many web developers.
By and large, as of 1998, most Internet
Service Providers and systems administrators around the web
have upgraded to Perl 5 so it should be available to you for
web programming. If it has not been loaded onto your local system,
you should direct your systems administrator to get the
Perl 5 introduces a host of new features
that are allowing Perl developers to keep pace with the demands
of modern-day web applications development.
Specifically, Perl 5 introduces:
- A new data type: the reference
- A new localization tool: the my keyword
- Tools to allow object oriented programming in Perl
- An object oriented based library system focussed around "Modules"
- New shortcuts such as "qw" and "=>"
Letís take a look at each of this new functions:
- Note that Perl 4 is covered in
to Web Programming. If you are not already familiar
with Perl 4, you might want to go and read through that tutorial
first as it covers basic Perl syntax.