Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier.
Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions. Perl 6, which began as a redesign of Perl 5 in 2000, eventually evolved into a separate language and both languages continue to be developed independently by different development teams.
The Perl languages borrow features from other programming languages including
- shell script (sh),
- AWK, and
They provide powerful text processing facilities without the arbitrary data-length limits of many contemporary Unix commandline tools, facilitating easy manipulation of text files.
Perl 5 gained widespread popularity in the late 1990s as a CGI scripting language, in part due to its regular expression and string parsing capabilities.