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 ::   ISAPI Perl Primer
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introduction to web programming
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 like "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 should go and read through that tutorial first.
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