• On a UNIX platform, I am quite impressed with it. On a Windows platform, not so much. I may be biased or have had unusual experiences, but most Windows centric programmers that I've worked with are not as experienced with command line programming.
  • Depends on what do you mean by "scripting language". If it means "small language which can't do what real programming languages do" - then Perl IS a real programming language, although you can use for small programs, just as you can use Java for small programs. Except that it is much easier to write a small program in Perl than in Java. If it means "a language for writing shell scripts for Unix" - then i think that it is indeed an excellent language for replacing bash, ksh, csh etc. If it means "a language for writing small Windows programs" - then i think that it is very good for writing console-based programs, and you also get a bonus: if you write it portably, then it will run Unix, Windows, Mac, etc. (see ). If you want to write programs with graphical user interface, you can do it very nicely in Perl using Perl/Gtk or Perl/Tk (Gtk looks much better, but Tk is more popular...)
  • I despise it. I've used it for a few small projects, but I find the syntax to be too taxing. I come from the standpoint of writing server-side scripts for web-based applications. That said, I much prefer PHP. I viewpoint is probably strongly affected by my background. I learned QBASIC, then X86 Assembly, then C++, then Delphi/Pascal, then Perl. I now program mostly in Java and for scripting I use PHP. Perl is a very different language syntacticly, and so I think it is one that suffers from a daunting learning curve. Perhaps there are improvements that could be made in the documentation as well, though I'm not very sure of that thought. (Of course, assembly is also very different syntacticly, and much more so, but I'm not sure that one has any real alternatives if one wants to work at that level. It's very much the way the processor "thinks". But then, we are talking about scripting languages...)

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