Perl Course Prerequisites
Since Perl is based on
sh, and C, if you know one or more of those languages,
you may be in a position to learn Perl faster, but it's not really necessary that you know them.
If your programming experience is limited, you might havfe to take a little more time with each lesson.
Because Perl was written for Unix (and has been ported to other operating systems), some knowledge of Unix is also helpful, but not necessary.
Again, if you have no Unix experience, some of the concepts may be foreign to you, but they should not be insurmountably so.
Several kinds of tasks occur repeatedly when working with text files. You might want to extract certain lines and discard the rest. Or you may need to make changes wherever certain patterns appear, but leave the rest of the file alone. Such jobs are often easy with awk. The awk utility interprets a special-purpose programming language that makes it easy to handle simple data-reformatting jobs.
The GNU implementation of awk is called gawk; if you invoke it with the proper options or environment variables, it is fully compatible with the POSIX specification of the awk language and with the Unix version of awk maintained by Brian Kernighan. This means that all properly written awk programs should work with gawk. So most of the time, we do not distinguish between gawk and other awk implementations.
Using awk you can:
- Manage small, personal databases
- Generate reports
- Validate data
- Produce indexes and perform other document-preparation tasks
- Experiment with algorithms that you can adapt later to other computer languages
In addition, gawk provides facilities that make it easy to:
- Extract bits and pieces of data for processing
- Sort data
- Perform simple network communications
- Profile and debug awk programs
- Extend the language with functions written in C or C++
This course is platform-independent and can be taken on any Win32, Mac, or Unix system. Platform-dependent instructions are provided throughout the course.
Perl Scripts can be developed on a Win32 platform and the best environment on which to run your Perl Scripts is a Linux/Unix environment.