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Background of Perl

In this appendix, we introduce a brief historical, sociological and psychological reasons for why Perl works the way it does. We also include a brief history of Perl.

When learning a new language, it is often helpful to learn the history, motivations, and origins of that language. In natural languages such as English, this helps us understand the culture and heritage of the language. Such understanding leads to insight into the minds of those who speak the language. This newly found insight, obtained through learning culture and heritage, assists us in learning the new language.

This philosophy of language instruction can often be applied to programming languages as well. Although programming languages grow from a logical or mathematical basis, they are rarely purely mathematical. Often, the people who design, implement and use the language influence the language, based on their own backgrounds. Because of the influence the community has upon programming languages, it is useful, before learning a programming language, to understand its history, motivations, and culture. To that end, this chapter examines the history, culture, and heritage of the Perl language.