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Lesson 2Perl Course Expectations
ObjectiveExplore key course features.

Perl Course Expectations

Course downloads

You can download a compressed file that contains
  1. Any code you will need to complete all course exercises
  2. Sample code for the example programs explained in Module 6

Click the Resources button on the toolbar to download the compressed file.

Diagram Example

Whenever you see the MouseOver graphic below, a figure appear that explains or dissects several lines of Perl code follows it.

foreach loop nested within a while loop in Perl
This is shorthand for while(<STDIN>), which means "while there is input from the keyboard."

Perl While Loop
A Slide Show is a Carousel that presents a series of images you can traverse, either forward or backward. In this course, we will be using SlideShows to explain certain aspects of the Perl language.
Perl grew out of the Unix programming community. Though it did not formally appear until the late 1980s, the technical components and motivations for Perl were developed in the two decades prior to that. Here are the main events in the "genealogy of Perl:
  1. 1969 Unix is created at Bell Labs
  2. 1977 awk is invented by Aho, Weinberger, and Kernighan
  3. 1978 "sh" shell is developed for Unix
  4. 1987 Perl is created
  5. 1995 (March) Perl 5.001 released, the most recent major version;
  6. as of this writing, Perl version 5.8.0 is the newest download at
The Unix philosophy of software construction, at least in the early days of that operating system, was to provide users with a large toolbox of useful “filters”— programs that could do one small task well—and then compose a larger program from the smaller ones. The shell script notations sh and csh were the means by which composition was done; sed, awk, tr, and other programs were some of the more commonly used filters. Perl was developed ostensibly to solve a problem in text processing that awk was not good at and has continued to evolve from there.

Course glossary

Many of the terms used in the course are in a glossary. The terms from the glossary can be obtained from the following glossary link.

Quizzes and exercises

At regular intervals throughout the course, you will find exercises and multiple-choice quizzes. These learning checks will allow you to assess what you've learned and, if necessary, what to go back and review. Most of the exercises involve modifying or writing code and then submitting the code to your mentor for grading.
If an exercise involves modifying code, you will be given "starter" code to work with. You can either cut and paste the code directly from the Web page or use the code included in the compressed download file.