The Perl Resource Kit-Win32 Edition includes Perl version 5.005, which will consolidate Perl Object technology from ActiveState Tool Corp. into the standard Perl distribution when Perl 5.005 is released in August. The Kit includes tools from ActiveState including the graphical user interface (GUI) Perl Debugger and the Visual Perl Package Manager. The Debugger's graphical interface lets developers find and resolve bugs much more efficiently, so they spend less time searching for bugs. The Visual Perl Package Manager simplifies installation, management and removal of Perl modules and extensions, which previously could be a challenging task on the Win32 platform.
"The way I see it, the most popular scripting language for the Web is now combining its strengths with the most popular operating system," says Larry Wall, creator of Perl and senior software developer at O'Reilly & Associates. "We're multiplying strength times strength. And because Perl is open-source software with true cross-platform compatibility, we expect to see dramatic evolution and expansion in the use of Perl. Thousands of desperate programmers will find out how easy it is to use Perl for Web site development, for NT system administration, and most importantly, for things we haven't even thought of yet."
Another important development in the Perl Resource Kit-Win32 Edition is the ability for the first time to take advantage of Microsoft's focus on Component Object Model (COM). Now, for the first time, Perl programmers can use COM, thanks to two powerful utilities from ActiveState included with the Perl Resource Kit: PerlCOM and PerlCtrl. PerlCOM provides access to Perl scripts as COM objects, which allows programmers to create Perl and Perl modules within Visual Basic, Windows Scripting, and a broad range of other COM-friendly environments. PerlCtrl turns any Perl script into an ActiveX control, thus enabling development of COM automation servers in Perl.
The creation of the Perl version 5.005 release was made possible by the Perl Porters, an international cast of developers who are the driving force behind the evolution of Perl. In addition, the "oneperl" group, founded in an effort to stop the divergence of platform-specific ports of Perl, has contributed significant effort toward the timely release of Perl 5.005. The oneperl group came together following O'Reilly & Associates' first Perl Conference in August, 1997, and is coordinated by Gina Blaber, O'Reilly's Director of Software Products.
"Our intent with the integration of different versions of Perl for Win32 was to avoid fragmentation," said Gurusamy Sarathy, current Release Manager for Perl. "Perl for Win32 now offers a single powerful implementation of the language that offers unparalleled features and portability over other scripting languages for that platform. The tools in the Perl Resource Kit extend that power to allow developers to harness Windows and its component technologies."
About ActiveState Tool Corp.
Founded by Dick Hardt, ActiveState Tool Corp. is a privately-held corporation with investors that include O'Reilly & Associates. ActiveState leads the industry in providing professional tools for Perl developers, and introduced Perl 5 to the Win32 environment. ActiveState is committed to supporting both the open source and commercial development communities by contributing a wide range of free binary run-time products while providing professional tools for Perl developers.
Perl Resource Kit is a trademark of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. All other names may be trademarks of their respective companies.
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