David M. Dickerson
Please see my commend for the reasons. Cordially -- M. Dickerson
David M. Dickerson
I have been using Perl since O'Reilly's first edition of 'Learning Perl' (circa 1990-1991), when the very awkware Perl 4 was the standard. MacPerl was my only option locally, which made Perl 4 more frustrating, but I was able use telnet to access "real" Perl 4 on a SunOS UNIX system. Perl 5 was a welcome relief, although I started using Perl 4 to create CGI scripts for Web sites hosted on a SunOS UNIX server. ActiveState has done Window users a great service by creating native versions of powerful languages previously available on UNIX and Linux only. I use ActivePerl for all of my Windows system administration scripting, and ActivePerl is very useful for forensics when I am analyzing "cracked" Windows systems (although "a postmortem never brings back a patient"). Batch files are crude and limited, and VBScript suffers from the same flaws and bugs that made Visual Basic so horrible (so I wrote shell-based programs in ANSI C instead). CPAN at cpan.perl.org, THE repository for Perl modules (all free and open source), offers an amazing and overwhelming variety and quantity of Win32 Perl modules. If you want to perform a given task with ActivePerl, check the Win32 section of CPAN before you "reinvent the wheel." Thanks to ActiveState and the fact that ActivePerl is the standard version of Perl for Windows, although it is relatively simple to compile Perl from source using 'gcc' and Cygwin or MinGW, developers have embraced ActivePerl and CPAN is a wonderful resource -- not to mention the many free Perl scripts written for Windows that are available for specific tasks, and easy to find via a patient search of the Web. I evaluated ActiveState's PerlSDK, which includes the Komodo IDE, and was very impressed: I especially liked the ability to create self-contained, "compiled" Perl scripts that can run on a Windows system that does not have ActivePerl (or any Perl environment) installed. Unfortunately, I was unable to afford ActiveState's PerlSDK -- but it is worth every dollar if you do serious work with Perl on Windows. Despite the focus on PHP (and Ruby) for writing code to interact with Apache and databases, I still use Perl -- perhaps because I am so accustomed to the quirks that scare off many potential Perl users after they first see Perl code, but "There is more than one way to do it" IS Perl's motto -- and Perl's power and flexibility do take time, and do give you enough proverbial rope to hang yourself -- but there are many printed and electronic resources on "best practices" for Perl, and ActivePerl is one of the first items I download and install for Windows.
New Version out!!