This topic describes some of the basics and benefits of Perl, why it was chosen to integrate with 3B2 and some of the integration details.

The scripting abilities of 3B2 are already incredibly useful as an automation tool. They are so successful that automated document production makes up a large proportion of the market area of 3B2.

If you couple 3B2's own scripting together with Perl, the possibilities for automated solutions are endless. For more information see 3B2 Scripting and Showstrings. For more information on automation in 3B2 see Automation

What is Perl?

Perl is an acronym, short for Practical Extraction and Report Language. It was designed by Larry Wall as a tool for writing programs and is continually being updated and maintained by a range of people.

The definition below is taken from

Perl is a programming language written by Larry Wall. Perl's process, file, and text manipulation facilities make it particularly well-suited for tasks involving quick prototyping, system utilities, software tools, system management tasks, database access, graphical programming, networking, and World Wide Web programming.

These strengths make it especially popular with system administrators and CGI Script Authors, but even Mathematicians, Geneticists, Journalists, and Managers also use Perl.’

Why Perl?

Many scripting languages were considered for use with 3B2, with the eventual choice being Perl. In the end this choice was made easier because Perl has such great potential now and in the future.

Reasons for choosing Perl include:

Integration of Perl with 3B2

This section provides an overview of the integration of Perl with 3B2. 3B2 embeds and uses Perl in a simple way, without the need to change how you think or work with 3B2. Perl scripting abilities make it possible to communicate from the Perl script directly with the rest of 3B2.

Now that the advantages of Perl have been incorporated with 3B2 you can:

Integration Details

Overall Benefits

In summary, Perl is an exceptionally good language for handling text, but it is also flexible and extensible enough for you to use for virtually any task, from one-line file-processing tasks to large, elaborate systems. Presently Perl offers solutions to many complex problems and looks set to continue developing in the future. For example, although text processing is an area that Perl excels in, it also enables data interchange in Web applications.

3B2 and Perl provide two sets of tools for programming and implementing automated solutions. 3B2 and Perl complement each other; when combined they provide a useful, efficient, powerful method of manipulating many different types of data.

Further information and references

You can find out more about Perl by visiting:

General and in-depth information about Perl, sources, mailing lists etc:

Perl advocacy, Perl news:

The Perl Journal:

See also