August 18, 1998
NEW PERL INTEGRATES WIN32 SUPPORT INTO ITS CORE Popular Language for Internet and System Administration Programming Receives Major Upgrade
Sebastopol, CA -- Perl, the programming language which underlies most
dynamic Web sites, has been significantly upgraded in version
5.005, which was released recently by the Perl Porters. The Perl
Porters manage Perl development as open source software, freely
distributing source code and accepting feedback and bug fixes from
developers worlwide. With much improved Win32 support, Perl 5.005 has
the potential to attract the large market of Windows programmers,
according to O'Reilly & Associates, the company coordinating the
oneperl group and numerous other Perl-related projects. The oneperl
group played a significant role in the integration of divergent
platform ports in version 5.005.
Perl version 5.005 has dozens of significant new features and literally
hundreds of enhancements and bug fixes. While some of the new features
are considered experimental, all of them expand the range and power of
Perl in important ways. Perl is now capable of running threads if the
operating system supports them. It includes a new compiler to generate
native executables that cut down the startup overhead of scripts.
There is also a Perl Object C++ Application Programming Interface
(API), and vastly improved regular expressions. ActiveState Tool Corp.
of Vancouver, Canada, created the C++ Perl API now included with Perl.
Perl, which stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language, was
created in 1987 by Larry Wall, now senior programmer with O'Reilly. It
has been widely used by system administrators, has long been known for
its ability to process textual and other legacy data, and in recent
years has become ubiquitous with Web developers who rely on Common
Gateway Interface (CGI) to create dynamic sites.
This August 17-20, O'Reilly & Associates sponsors Perl Conference 2.0,
featuring a large gathering of Perl developers--last year's event drew
more than 1,000 to San Jose. The Perl Conference will be followed by
Open Source Developer Day and the Open Source Town Meeting on
Perl 5.005 Download
Open Source Software
O'Reilly & Associates
ActiveState Tool Corp.
PERL'S NUMBERING SYSTEM
Typical for an open source (freeware) software product, Perl does some
things differently from other programs. The numbering system for Perl
does not necessarily reflect the significance of the version changes;
5.005 is considered by Perl developers to be a major step over 5.004.
To give a sense of the longevity of Perl version numbers, in ten years,
there have been five major versions of Perl. Perl5, the fifth major
release, took place in October, 1994, and was a major rewrite of the
Perl source code. Perl4 took place more than three years earlier, in
1991. Perl1 was released more than 10 years ago, in January, 1988.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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