Ahhh, Perl!  Once upon a time, its power and entertainment value were reserved solely for Unix administrators. A long line of Windows programmers have labored to bring the Perl toolset to Win32; in doing so, they’ve added some nifty features not present in other platforms’ Perl implementations. ActiveState Perl is an implementation of Perl for Win32 platforms and is available at http://www.activestate.com . In addition to the Perl core, ActiveState Perl also includes complete support for the Registry, COM, OLE, and Win32 security.
Throughout the rest of this section, I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with Perl syntax and semantics, particularly the Perl implementation of objects and modules. (If you’re not, I highly recommend Learning Perl On Win32 Systems by Randal L. Schwartz, Erik Olson, and Tom Christiansen from O’Reilly & Associates.)
Even if you don’t use the Win32-specific extensions, you can write plain-vanilla Perl and it works fine, but the extensions let you use Perl’s expressive power to make short work of tasks such as creating batches of user accounts (as described in Windows NT User Administration by Ashley J. Meggitt and Timothy D. Ritchey; O’Reilly & Associates). Note that all the examples in this section were developed under and tested with ActivePerl Version 5.6.0.
Before Perl Version 5 hit the streets, when people wanted to extend Perl, they actually had to change the core language itself. This resulted in products such as ...