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The Perl Glossary



Abigail is an enigmatic Perl programmer who is quite fond of regular expressions and obscure JAPHs.


A commercial Perl distribution, primarily for Win32 architectures, created, released and maintained by ActiveState, See also cygwin.


These are articles on detailing the design of Perl 6. Larry Wall writes them, and each Apocalypse is designed to correspond with a chapter in the Programming Perl book. Each Apocalypse is followed by an Exegesis.


To write out an entire file in one step.

Camel book

Programming Perl published by O'Reilly & Associates, which has a camel on the cover. The first edition has a pink spine, and is known as "the pink camel". The second and third editions have a blue spine and are known as "camel2" and "camel3".


The Common Gateway Interface for creating dynamic web pages. CGI is a general purpose interface that can be used with any programming language, including Perl. See also and mod_perl.

Standard Perl module that handles HTML form interaction, written by Lincoln Stein. It is included in the standard Perl distribution.


comp.lang.perl.misc, a usenet newsgroup.

The Cookbook

The Perl Cookbook. See also The Ram Book.


The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, modeled after CTAN, the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network. CPAN is a central repository for core and third-party Perl software and modules. See

A standard module for managing installation of modules from CPAN. A common way to use the CPAN module is by using the command perl -MCPAN -e shell, or using the cpan script, if it is provided on your system.


A more modern replacement for the CPAN Perl module, which provides command-line access to the CPAN.


A portability layer for Windows that provides many UNIX tools from the GNU toolchain. A very popular technique for installing Perl on Windows systems.


A DataBase Driver for DBI. The DBD provides the connection between a particular database server product (e.g. Oracle) and the abstract interface. To change database products (e.g. from mysql to Oracle), one simply uses a different DBD.


Perl's abstract DataBase Interface which supports any database product with a database driver (DBD).


A detailed article on that explains an Apocalypse. These articles are written by Damian Conway, and go into extreme depth to help us understand the why and how of Perl 6's design.


A semi-competitive game to rewrite a Perl program by using fewer keystrokes. Usually conducted online.


The German Perl Workshop. See


A utility for creating a new Perl module, possibly interfacing with a pre-existing C library. See also Module::Build and XS.

Hip Owls Book

Mastering Regular Expressions, 2nd Ed, published by O'Reilly & Associates.


Happy Fun Ball - Elaine Ashton.


Ingy döt Net's Inline module for embedding foreign code in a Perl program. The most popular use of Inline is Inline::C, which provides a cleaner and simpler way to interface with C programs, compared to h2xs or SWIG.


[1] "Just another Perl hacker" - popularized by Randal L. Schwartz.

[2] A small Perl program that prints the phrase "Just Another Perl Hacker" using some combination of possibly obscure Perl features.

Llama book

This is Learning Perl published by O'Reilly & Associates, which has a llama on the cover. The first edition has a pink spine, and is known as "the pink llama". The second and third editions have a blue spine and are known as "llama2" and "llama3".


Library for interfacing with the World Wide Web from Perl. This distribution provides many modules for interacting with HTTP, FTP, and email. Look for Bundle::LWP on CPAN.


The HTML::Mason module, a Perl framework for dynamic web development. See


The Apache server plug-in that embeds a perl in the web server for super-fast performance and increased flexibility.

Nutty Camel

Perl in a Nutshell, published by O'Reilly and Associates.


A library of CGI programs designed to be easy replacements for buggy programs available from Matt's Script Archive. The NMS programs are actively developed, work with standard Perl distributions (no extra modules required), and are written to avoid standard security bugs. The programs that they replace have not been actively developed since the mid 1990s and are well known for containing a litany of security bugs.

O'Reilly book covers

In general, O'Reilly books have animals on the covers (although not for Java or all Unix books). The books are often referred to by the animal on their cover. If someone says something like "the Ram book", he is referring to an O'Reilly book.


O'Reilly & Associates.


Open Source Conference. This conference encompasses many others, including TPC, and is run by O'Reilly & Associates.


Open Source Software. Perl is open source and is often mentioned in connection with the OSS movement.


See perl5-porters.


A Perl Archive Toolkit. This allows distribution and use of Perl modules from a portable archive.


Parrot is a virtual machine used to efficiently execute bytecode for interpreted languages - specifically, Perl 6.


Perl Authors Upload Server - how software gets into CPAN. See


The language itself, as opposed to the interpreter, "perl", with a lowercase "p".


The program which interprets Perl and makes the computer do what it says.


A dead camel carcass. This is the version of Perl that pre-dated the current major release. It should not be used for any new development.


The mailing list for perl 5 developers.


Mailing list for Perl6 and parrot code development.


A lively list for the discussion of the Perl 6 language design. Not for the faint of heart.


The modern major release of Perl.


A long-term project to reinvent the Perl language. This project is still in the early stages of development.


Perl's cross-platform I/O layer that replaces the paradoxically non-standard stdio C interface.


The perldoc utility to view Perl documentation. Also, the Perldoc website for viewing Perl documentation,

Perl Mongers

Perl Mongers is a world-wide organization devoted to the social and technical nature of Perl. Composed of geographically localized groups, Perl Mongers brings Perl to the masses.

The Perl Review

An electronically published Perl magazine supported and developed by the community.


A Perl project coordinator

Ram book

This is The Perl Cookbook published by O'Reilly & Associates.


A regular expression.


An alternate spelling of regex.


To read in an entire file in one step.


An interface for allowing Perl to use C/C++ libraries and code.


There's More Than One Way To Do It - a major philosophy in the design of Perl. Language constructs can be expressed in more than one way, just as in natural language.


An old, exploratory project by Chip Salzenberg to rewrite Perl in C++. This project predates the Perl 6 project and is now dead.


The Perl Conference, hosted by O'Reilly & Associates. It is held concurrently with OSCON.


The Perl Foundation. Coordinates a number of projects to further the growth and development of the Perl community. Such projects include YAPC, Perl 6 and parrot, Perl Mongers, and PerlMonks.


The Perl Institute (now defunct).


The Perl Journal.


The Perl Review.


The Template Toolkit.

use Perl;

A Slash web site for Perl, maintained by Slash developer Chris Nandor. This web site is the center for Perl news and information, as well as many online Journals (blogs) of people in the Perl community.

White Camel

An award given out by Perl Mongers for significant nontechnical contribution to the Perl community.


An interface for allowing Perl to use C/C++ libraries and code.


Yet Another Society, the umbrella organization that includes the Perl Foundation, and YAPC events worldwide. YAS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the USA.


Yet Another Perl Conference, created by Kevin Lenzo as a low-cost, less-lavish alternative to TPC. There are several YAPC conferences held each year. These events are detailed at