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introduction to Perl 5 for web developers
What is Perl 5  
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 interpreter from http://www.perl.com/.

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 Introduction 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.
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