Definition of Perl in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Perl (in computer science)?

An acronym for Practical Extraction and Reporting Language, an interpreted scripting language that is often used on UNIX platforms to develop Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs. CGI scripts written in Perl are often used as input handlers for Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) forms because of Perl’s powerful string manipulation capabilities.

However, because Perl is an interpreted scripting language, applications such as form handlers for Web pages that are written in Perl run more slowly than if they were compiled programs written in C or some other high-level programming language.


You can use Microsoft’s Windows Script Host (WSH) to run administrative scripts written in Perl by installing a third-party ActiveX scripting engine for Perl. Administrators from UNIX backgrounds can do this to leverage their knowledge of Perl to administer Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000.