What is Strawberry Perl?
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|Strawberry Perl is a distribution of the
Perl programming language designed specifically for Microsoft Windows.
The distribution contains everything needed in order to write and run
Perl scripts, as well as various tools designed to increase
compatibility with various packages and online official and unofficial
The distribution has been receiving constant updates and its developers work tirelessly in order to solve any issues that may appear at one point or another. Also, the developers offer versions for 32 and 64 bit machines, and have also begun releasing portable versions in ZIP format, as well as ones that come packaged with PD related modules and external libraries.
In essence, the Strawberry Perl distribution contains everything that a user would need in order to run and develop applications based on Perl.
All versions also contain extensive documentation, and the developers are always ready to offer support to anyone who may have questions or encounter difficulties during the installation process.
The software contains a unique mix of distributions, packages and tools meant to ensure full compatibility between the Perl programming language and the MS Windows Environment.
The package contains a Perl distribution, a mingw distribution that consists of a compiler required to create scripts, a linker, the Make automation tool needed to build executable programs and libraries automatically and several other GNU Binary Utilities.
The Strawberry Perl software also comes with all the windows installations scripts that allow the software to be easily installed and removed, and several custom modules designed to allow the easy integration of extensions from the CPAN repository.
CPAN consists of over 250.000 software modules written by over 12.000 contributors. The repository was created in order to help Perl users locate modules and programs that are not normally included in a standard distribution of the programming language.
Access to the repository also means that users have the ability to share newly created modules in a matter of moments. Also, most of the software found on CPAN is open source and does not require any kind of permission to download or use.
As far as the installation of various modules is concerned, the built-in compatibility of the distribution allows the Perl program to not only act as an interface to the network but also as a software installation tool.
In terms of tools, the software also comes with Perl Archive Toolkit and Perl package manager.
The most important feature of this distribution is the fact that it is extremely user friendly and if facilitates the deployment of Perl without having to worry about various compatibility issues.
The distribution has been specifically designed in order to be as similar as possible to a normal Perl environment that would run on an UNIX system. This has been done not only to allow programmers and administrators who already know it to simply jump in, but also in order to eliminate any potential learning curb.
Strawberry Perl is currently the only distribution that allows users to access and install modules found in the official repository. The creators have built in compatibility with the CPAN shell in order to allow users to freely install any XS modules that they see fit. Also, there already are passionate developers who have also made it possible to install the entire distribution on a thumb drive, thus ensuring a level of portability that cannot be found anywhere else.
A distribution that solves problems
Strawberry Perl offers programmers the benefit of being able to run the Perl language in a MS Windows environment, while keeping the full functionality of a UNIX distro.
The ability to run Perl under Windows is invaluable for all those who normally use it for data mining and statistical analysis. Although it is slightly outdated, it is still good to use for simple tasks. Also, most security experts are used to it as it allows for efficient prototyping.
As a programing language, Perl has been continuously updated over the years and has been made reliable an efficient.
Perl is, by all intents and purposes, a programming language that refuses to fade away into oblivion due to the fact that it is integrated into a large number of systems. Most IT specialists are very familiar with it and continue to use it in UNIX system administration, and network prototyping.
Strawberry Perl offers those specialists the option to continue working with Perl while allowing them to use a Windows machine.
The fact that Windows offers great compatibility with many forms of software is undeniable. It has become the most widely used OS in the world. Still, it is not the only one. There are a lot of machines that run UNIX and a lot of systems built on this OS.
A distribution such as this one allows two largely different forms of software to come together in order to increase the efficiency of the users. It allows programmers that have been using Perl for years to continue to use it while also benefiting from the flexibility of a win32 or a win64 environment.
Unlike other programming languages, Perl receives constant support and is becoming better and better. Since the year 2005, it has been receiving dramatic updates with regard to both core releases and CPAN structure. The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network is continually growing and the modules stored in it go to extensive testing and troubleshooting.
Another benefit of using Perl is that it does many of the things that Java, Pyton and Ruby do more efficiently due to the fact that it is, as a programming language a lot more mature and more stable.
The sheer number of users and uses that Perl has makes it essential to programmers and system administrators everywhere. Before the development of the Strawberry Perl distribution, they would have had to work on two different machines or operating systems. Now they have must no longer make a choice.
Furthermore, the usefulness of being able to access a repository such as CPAN makes both the distribution and the language essential to anyone who is trying to build a career in the IT business. It is simply impossible to escape the need to work with Perl, considering the fact that most servers that host different sites and systems still run UNIX.
Strawberry Perl is a tool that every programmer should consider adding to his arsenal confronting the need to split between the functionalities offered by two very different operating systems. Also, it is an extremely easy way for those who want to learn how to use Perl to do so without having to change their OS.