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Perl or perl?

 
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Perl or perl?

When you read this book and other works about Perl, you'll see an apparent inconsistency in capitalization: sometimes it's written as "Perl", and others as "perl". There's really no inconsistency; the authors are referring to two different things. Perl is the language itself; perl is the program that runs Perl programs. There is only one Perl, but there are many perls (one or more for each type of computer).

Sometimes this distinction gets a bit blurred: For instance, most people will write, "Perl objects to mismatched parentheses" when it is arguably the program that's doing the objecting and not the language. Just don't write "PERL"; Perl isn't an acronym, it doesn't stand for anything.[1] (Well, aside from standing for diversity of expression, freedom from artificial constraints, and the right to have fun in your work. But we'll get to those later.)

[1] "Practical Extraction and Reporting Language" is an ex post facto moniker of convenience. It's a term of endearment, not a formal title. Ditto for "Pathological Eclectic Rubbish Lister."

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