Hear ye, hear ye. This most honourable session on Perl Frequently Asked Questions is hereby called to order. Please stand and show your respect for those that have gone before us. Let us honour Larry Wall*, the father of Perl who unselfishly spends vast amounts of time reviewing this document for veracity and accuracy. Let us also honour Tom Christiansen* without whom this document would not exist. Finally, let us collectively honour the members of comp.lang.perl who have offered much advice and corrections to this list.
This article details the contents of the most Frequently Asked Questions in comp.lang.perl, a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the Perl programming language. There are five pieces following this, the general information questions in part1, part2 and part3 and the programming ones in part4 and part5.
If this is your first exposure to Perl, please read this document and the perl(1) man page before asking questions in comp.lang.perl. If you're using v4 perl, that page contains all you need to know (or at least enough to get started). If you're using v5 perl, that page will show you where to look for specific information. When we refer to perlmod(1), it means the "perlmod" man page in section "1" of the manual, just as Foo(3pm), that means it's the "Foo" man page in section "3pm" (perl modules) of the library. The perl install does NOT automatically install the module man pages for you, however.
Hopefully the questions herein are asked enough that considerable net bandwidth can be saved by looking here before asking. Also, hopefully there is enough information contained here that someone who has never heard of Perl can read this and at least have some sort of idea as to what Perl is. If this is your first exposure to Perl, please read this and the Perl(1) man page before asking questions in comp.lang.perl.
Some questions in this group aren't really about Perl, but rather about system-specific issues. You might also consult the Most Frequently Asked Questions list in comp.unix.questions for answers to this type of question.
The current version of perl is 5.000, which emerged into the world on 16 October, 1994. The previous non-beta version was 4.036 (version 4, patchlevel 36). Many of these questions were written for perl4, however a lot of perl5 information has also been added. Perl5 only features will be clearly marked as such, so as not to cause confusion for those still using perl4. You should upgrade to perl5 as soon as possible though (see below).
This list was initially written, and still hacked upon, by Tom Christiansen*. However, due to his erratic schedule, it is currently maintained by Stephen P Potter*. First person singular pronouns, when not in quoted postings, generally are Tom talking.
This FAQ is archived on ftp.cis.ufl.edu [220.127.116.11] in the file pub/perl/doc/FAQ, as well as on rtfm.mit.edu [18.104.22.168] in /pub/usenet/comp.lang.perl. If you have any suggested additions or corrections to this article, please send them to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.