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man : perlfaq3(1)

Command: man perldoc info search(apropos)  


PERLFAQ3(1)                                     Perl Programmers Reference Guide                                     PERLFAQ3(1)



NAME
       perlfaq3 - Programming Tools

DESCRIPTION
       This section of the FAQ answers questions related to programmer tools and programming support.

   How do I do (anything)?
       Have you looked at CPAN (see perlfaq2)? The chances are that someone has already written a module that can solve your
       problem.  Have you read the appropriate manpages? Here's a brief index:

       Basics
           perldata - Perl data types
           perlvar - Perl pre-defined variables
           perlsyn - Perl syntax
           perlop - Perl operators and precedence
           perlsub - Perl subroutines
       Execution
           perlrun - how to execute the Perl interpreter
           perldebug - Perl debugging
       Functions
           perlfunc - Perl builtin functions
       Objects
           perlref - Perl references and nested data structures
           perlmod - Perl modules (packages and symbol tables)
           perlobj - Perl objects
           perltie - how to hide an object class in a simple variable
       Data Structures
           perlref - Perl references and nested data structures
           perllol - Manipulating arrays of arrays in Perl
           perldsc - Perl Data Structures Cookbook
       Modules
           perlmod - Perl modules (packages and symbol tables)
           perlmodlib - constructing new Perl modules and finding existing ones
       Regexes
           perlre - Perl regular expressions
           perlfunc - Perl builtin functions>
           perlop - Perl operators and precedence
           perllocale - Perl locale handling (internationalization and localization)
       Moving to perl5
           perltrap - Perl traps for the unwary
           perl
       Linking with C
           perlxstut - Tutorial for writing XSUBs
           perlxs - XS language reference manual
           perlcall - Perl calling conventions from C
           perlguts - Introduction to the Perl API
           perlembed - how to embed perl in your C program
       Various
           <http://www.cpan.org/misc/olddoc/FMTEYEWTK.tgz>; (not a man-page but still useful, a collection of various essays on
           Perl techniques)

       A crude table of contents for the Perl manpage set is found in perltoc.

   How can I use Perl interactively?
       The typical approach uses the Perl debugger, described in the perldebug(1) manpage, on an "empty" program, like this:

           perl -de 42

       Now just type in any legal Perl code, and it will be immediately evaluated. You can also examine the symbol table, get
       stack backtraces, check variable values, set breakpoints, and other operations typically found in symbolic debuggers.

       You can also use Devel::REPL which is an interactive shell for Perl, commonly known as a REPL - Read, Evaluate, Print,
       Loop. It provides various handy features.

   How do I find which modules are installed on my system?
       From the command line, you can use the "cpan" command's "-l" switch:

           $ cpan -l

       You can also use "cpan"'s "-a" switch to create an autobundle file that "CPAN.pm" understands and can use to re-install
       every module:

           $ cpan -a

       Inside a Perl program, you can use the ExtUtils::Installed module to show all installed distributions, although it can
       take awhile to do its magic. The standard library which comes with Perl just shows up as "Perl" (although you can get
       those with Module::CoreList).

           use ExtUtils::Installed;

           my $inst    = ExtUtils::Installed->new();
           my @modules = $inst->modules();

       If you want a list of all of the Perl module filenames, you can use File::Find::Rule:

           use File::Find::Rule;

           my @files = File::Find::Rule->
               extras({follow => 1})->
               file()->
               name( '*.pm' )->
               in( @INC )
               ;

       If you do not have that module, you can do the same thing with File::Find which is part of the standard library:

           use File::Find;
           my @files;

           find(
               {
               wanted => sub {
                   push @files, $File::Find::fullname
                   if -f $File::Find::fullname && /\.pm$/
               },
               follow => 1,
               follow_skip => 2,
               },
               @INC
           );

           print join "\n", @files;

       If you simply need to check quickly to see if a module is available, you can check for its documentation. If you can read
       the documentation the module is most likely installed.  If you cannot read the documentation, the module might not have
       any (in rare cases):

           $ perldoc Module::Name

       You can also try to include the module in a one-liner to see if perl finds it:

           $ perl -MModule::Name -e1

       (If you don't receive a "Can't locate ... in @INC" error message, then Perl found the module name you asked for.)

   How do I debug my Perl programs?
       (contributed by brian d foy)

       Before you do anything else, you can help yourself by ensuring that you let Perl tell you about problem areas in your
       code. By turning on warnings and strictures, you can head off many problems before they get too big. You can find out
       more about these in strict and warnings.

           #!/usr/bin/perl
           use strict;
           use warnings;

       Beyond that, the simplest debugger is the "print" function. Use it to look at values as you run your program:

           print STDERR "The value is [$value]\n";

       The Data::Dumper module can pretty-print Perl data structures:

           use Data::Dumper qw( Dumper );
           print STDERR "The hash is " . Dumper( \%hash ) . "\n";

       Perl comes with an interactive debugger, which you can start with the "-d" switch. It's fully explained in perldebug.

       If you'd like a graphical user interface and you have Tk, you can use "ptkdb". It's on CPAN and available for free.

       If you need something much more sophisticated and controllable, Leon Brocard's Devel::ebug (which you can call with the
       "-D" switch as "-Debug") gives you the programmatic hooks into everything you need to write your own (without too much
       pain and suffering).

       You can also use a commercial debugger such as Affrus (Mac OS X), Komodo from Activestate (Windows and Mac OS X), or EPIC
       (most platforms).

   How do I profile my Perl programs?
       (contributed by brian d foy, updated Fri Jul 25 12:22:26 PDT 2008)

       The "Devel" namespace has several modules which you can use to profile your Perl programs.

       The Devel::NYTProf (New York Times Profiler) does both statement and subroutine profiling. It's available from CPAN and
       you also invoke it with the "-d" switch:

           perl -d:NYTProf some_perl.pl

       It creates a database of the profile information that you can turn into reports. The "nytprofhtml" command turns the data
       into an HTML report similar to the Devel::Cover report:

           nytprofhtml

       You might also be interested in using the Benchmark to measure and compare code snippets.

       You can read more about profiling in Programming Perl, chapter 20, or Mastering Perl, chapter 5.

       perldebguts documents creating a custom debugger if you need to create a special sort of profiler. brian d foy describes
       the process in The Perl Journal, "Creating a Perl Debugger", <http://www.ddj.com/184404522>; , and "Profiling in Perl"
       <http://www.ddj.com/184404580>; .

       Perl.com has two interesting articles on profiling: "Profiling Perl", by Simon Cozens, <http://www.perl.com/lpt/a/850>;
       and "Debugging and Profiling mod_perl Applications", by Frank Wiles,
       <http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2006/02/09/debug_mod_perl.html>; .

       Randal L. Schwartz writes about profiling in "Speeding up Your Perl Programs" for Unix Review,
       <http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/UnixReview/col49.html>; , and "Profiling in Template Toolkit via Overriding" for Linux
       Magazine, <http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/LinuxMag/col75.html>; .

   How do I cross-reference my Perl programs?
       The B::Xref module can be used to generate cross-reference reports for Perl programs.

           perl -MO=Xref[,OPTIONS] scriptname.plx

   Is there a pretty-printer (formatter) for Perl?
       Perl::Tidy comes with a perl script perltidy which indents and reformats Perl scripts to make them easier to read by
       trying to follow the rules of the perlstyle. If you write Perl, or spend much time reading Perl, you will probably find
       it useful.

       Of course, if you simply follow the guidelines in perlstyle, you shouldn't need to reformat. The habit of formatting your
       code as you write it will help prevent bugs. Your editor can and should help you with this. The perl-mode or newer cperl-
       mode for emacs can provide remarkable amounts of help with most (but not all) code, and even less programmable editors
       can provide significant assistance. Tom Christiansen and many other VI users swear by the following settings in vi and
       its clones:

           set ai sw=4
           map! ^O {^M}^[O^T

       Put that in your .exrc file (replacing the caret characters with control characters) and away you go. In insert mode, ^T
       is for indenting, ^D is for undenting, and ^O is for blockdenting--as it were. A more complete example, with comments,
       can be found at <http://www.cpan.org/authors/id/TOMC/scripts/toms.exrc.gz>;

   Is there an IDE or Windows Perl Editor?
       Perl programs are just plain text, so any editor will do.

       If you're on Unix, you already have an IDE--Unix itself. The Unix philosophy is the philosophy of several small tools
       that each do one thing and do it well. It's like a carpenter's toolbox.

       If you want an IDE, check the following (in alphabetical order, not order of preference):

       Eclipse
           <http://e-p-i-c.sf.net/>;

           The Eclipse Perl Integration Project integrates Perl editing/debugging with Eclipse.

       Enginsite
           <http://www.enginsite.com/>;

           Perl Editor by EngInSite is a complete integrated development environment (IDE) for creating, testing, and  debugging
           Perl scripts; the tool runs on Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP or later.

       Kephra
           <http://kephra.sf.net>;

           GUI editor written in Perl using wxWidgets and Scintilla with lots of smaller features.  Aims for a UI based on Perl
           principles like TIMTOWTDI and "easy things should be easy, hard things should be possible".

       Komodo
           <http://www.ActiveState.com/Products/Komodo/>;

           ActiveState's cross-platform (as of October 2004, that's Windows, Linux, and Solaris), multi-language IDE has Perl
           support, including a regular expression debugger and remote debugging.

       Notepad++
           <http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/>;

       Open Perl IDE
           <http://open-perl-ide.sourceforge.net/>;

           Open Perl IDE is an integrated development environment for writing and debugging Perl scripts with ActiveState's
           ActivePerl distribution under Windows 95/98/NT/2000.

       OptiPerl
           <http://www.optiperl.com/>;

           OptiPerl is a Windows IDE with simulated CGI environment, including debugger and syntax-highlighting editor.

       Padre
           <http://padre.perlide.org/>;

           Padre is cross-platform IDE for Perl written in Perl using wxWidgets to provide a native look and feel. It's open
           source under the Artistic License. It is one of the newer Perl IDEs.

       PerlBuilder
           <http://www.solutionsoft.com/perl.htm>;

           PerlBuilder is an integrated development environment for Windows that supports Perl development.

       visiPerl+
           <http://helpconsulting.net/visiperl/index.html>;

           From Help Consulting, for Windows.

       Visual Perl
           <http://www.activestate.com/Products/Visual_Perl/>;

           Visual Perl is a Visual Studio.NET plug-in from ActiveState.

       Zeus
           <http://www.zeusedit.com/lookmain.html>;

           Zeus for Windows is another Win32 multi-language editor/IDE that comes with support for Perl.

       For editors: if you're on Unix you probably have vi or a vi clone already, and possibly an emacs too, so you may not need
       to download anything. In any emacs the cperl-mode (M-x cperl-mode) gives you perhaps the best available Perl editing mode
       in any editor.

       If you are using Windows, you can use any editor that lets you work with plain text, such as NotePad or WordPad. Word
       processors, such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, typically do not work since they insert all sorts of behind-the-scenes
       information, although some allow you to save files as "Text Only". You can also download text editors designed
       specifically for programming, such as Textpad ( <http://www.textpad.com/>; ) and UltraEdit ( <http://www.ultraedit.com/>;
       ), among others.

       If you are using MacOS, the same concerns apply. MacPerl (for Classic environments) comes with a simple editor. Popular
       external editors are BBEdit ( <http://www.barebones.com/products/bbedit/>; ) or Alpha (
       <http://www.his.com/~jguyer/Alpha/Alpha8.html>; ). MacOS X users can use Unix editors as well.

       GNU Emacs
           <http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/windows/ntemacs.html>;

       MicroEMACS
           <http://www.microemacs.de/>;

       XEmacs
           <http://www.xemacs.org/Download/index.html>;

       Jed <http://space.mit.edu/~davis/jed/>;

       or a vi clone such as

       Vim <http://www.vim.org/>;

       Vile
           <http://dickey.his.com/vile/vile.html>;

       The following are Win32 multilanguage editor/IDEs that support Perl:

       Codewright
           <http://www.borland.com/codewright/>;

       MultiEdit
           <http://www.MultiEdit.com/>;

       SlickEdit
           <http://www.slickedit.com/>;

       ConTEXT
           <http://www.contexteditor.org/>;

       There is also a toyedit Text widget based editor written in Perl that is distributed with the Tk module on CPAN. The
       ptkdb ( <http://ptkdb.sourceforge.net/>; ) is a Perl/Tk-based debugger that acts as a development environment of sorts.
       Perl Composer ( <http://perlcomposer.sourceforge.net/>; ) is an IDE for Perl/Tk GUI creation.

       In addition to an editor/IDE you might be interested in a more powerful shell environment for Win32. Your options include

       Bash
           from the Cygwin package ( <http://sources.redhat.com/cygwin/>; )

       Ksh from the MKS Toolkit ( <http://www.mkssoftware.com/>; ), or the Bourne shell of the U/WIN environment (
           <http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>; )

       Tcsh
           <ftp://ftp.astron.com/pub/tcsh/>; , see also <http://www.primate.wisc.edu/software/csh-tcsh-book/>;

       Zsh <http://www.zsh.org/>;

       MKS and U/WIN are commercial (U/WIN is free for educational and research purposes), Cygwin is covered by the GNU General
       Public License (but that shouldn't matter for Perl use). The Cygwin, MKS, and U/WIN all contain (in addition to the
       shells) a comprehensive set of standard Unix toolkit utilities.

       If you're transferring text files between Unix and Windows using FTP be sure to transfer them in ASCII mode so the ends
       of lines are appropriately converted.

       On Mac OS the MacPerl Application comes with a simple 32k text editor that behaves like a rudimentary IDE. In contrast to
       the MacPerl Application the MPW Perl tool can make use of the MPW Shell itself as an editor (with no 32k limit).

       Affrus
           is a full Perl development environment with full debugger support ( <http://www.latenightsw.com>; ).

       Alpha
           is an editor, written and extensible in Tcl, that nonetheless has built-in support for several popular markup and
           programming languages, including Perl and HTML ( <http://www.his.com/~jguyer/Alpha/Alpha8.html>; ).

       BBEdit and TextWrangler
           are text editors for Mac OS that have a Perl sensitivity mode ( <http://www.barebones.com/>; ).

   Where can I get Perl macros for vi?
       For a complete version of Tom Christiansen's vi configuration file, see
       <http://www.cpan.org/authors/Tom_Christiansen/scripts/toms.exrc.gz>; , the standard benchmark file for vi emulators. The
       file runs best with nvi, the current version of vi out of Berkeley, which incidentally can be built with an embedded Perl
       interpreter--see <http://www.cpan.org/src/misc/>; .

   Where can I get perl-mode or cperl-mode for emacs?
       Since Emacs version 19 patchlevel 22 or so, there have been both a perl-mode.el and support for the Perl debugger built
       in. These should come with the standard Emacs 19 distribution.

       Note that the perl-mode of emacs will have fits with "main'foo" (single quote), and mess up the indentation and
       highlighting. You are probably using "main::foo" in new Perl code anyway, so this shouldn't be an issue.

       For CPerlMode, see <http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/wiki/CPerlMode>;

   How can I use curses with Perl?
       The Curses module from CPAN provides a dynamically loadable object module interface to a curses library. A small demo can
       be found at the directory <http://www.cpan.org/authors/Tom_Christiansen/scripts/rep.gz>; ; this program repeats a command
       and updates the screen as needed, rendering rep ps axu similar to top.

   How can I write a GUI (X, Tk, Gtk, etc.) in Perl?
       (contributed by Ben Morrow)

       There are a number of modules which let you write GUIs in Perl. Most GUI toolkits have a perl interface: an incomplete
       list follows.

       Tk  This works under Unix and Windows, and the current version doesn't look half as bad under Windows as it used to. Some
           of the gui elements still don't 'feel' quite right, though. The interface is very natural and 'perlish', making it
           easy to use in small scripts that just need a simple gui. It hasn't been updated in a while.

       Wx  This is a Perl binding for the cross-platform wxWidgets toolkit ( <http://www.wxwidgets.org>; ). It works under Unix,
           Win32 and Mac OS X, using native widgets (Gtk under Unix). The interface follows the C++ interface closely, but the
           documentation is a little sparse for someone who doesn't know the library, mostly just referring you to the C++
           documentation.

       Gtk and Gtk2
           These are Perl bindings for the Gtk toolkit ( <http://www.gtk.org>; ). The interface changed significantly between
           versions 1 and 2 so they have separate Perl modules. It runs under Unix, Win32 and Mac OS X (currently it requires an
           X server on Mac OS, but a 'native' port is underway), and the widgets look the same on every platform: i.e., they
           don't match the native widgets. As with Wx, the Perl bindings follow the C API closely, and the documentation
           requires you to read the C documentation to understand it.

       Win32::GUI
           This provides access to most of the Win32 GUI widgets from Perl.  Obviously, it only runs under Win32, and uses
           native widgets. The Perl interface doesn't really follow the C interface: it's been made more Perlish, and the
           documentation is pretty good. More advanced stuff may require familiarity with the C Win32 APIs, or reference to
           MSDN.

       CamelBones
           CamelBones ( <http://camelbones.sourceforge.net>; ) is a Perl interface to Mac OS X's Cocoa GUI toolkit, and as such
           can be used to produce native GUIs on Mac OS X. It's not on CPAN, as it requires frameworks that CPAN.pm doesn't know
           how to install, but installation is via the standard OSX package installer. The Perl API is, again, very close to the
           ObjC API it's wrapping, and the documentation just tells you how to translate from one to the other.

       Qt  There is a Perl interface to TrollTech's Qt toolkit, but it does not appear to be maintained.

       Athena
           Sx is an interface to the Athena widget set which comes with X, but again it appears not to be much used nowadays.

   How can I make my Perl program run faster?
       The best way to do this is to come up with a better algorithm. This can often make a dramatic difference. Jon Bentley's
       book Programming Pearls (that's not a misspelling!)  has some good tips on optimization, too. Advice on benchmarking
       boils down to: benchmark and profile to make sure you're optimizing the right part, look for better algorithms instead of
       microtuning your code, and when all else fails consider just buying faster hardware. You will probably want to read the
       answer to the earlier question "How do I profile my Perl programs?" if you haven't done so already.

       A different approach is to autoload seldom-used Perl code. See the AutoSplit and AutoLoader modules in the standard
       distribution for that. Or you could locate the bottleneck and think about writing just that part in C, the way we used to
       take bottlenecks in C code and write them in assembler. Similar to rewriting in C, modules that have critical sections
       can be written in C (for instance, the PDL module from CPAN).

       If you're currently linking your perl executable to a shared libc.so, you can often gain a 10-25% performance benefit by
       rebuilding it to link with a static libc.a instead. This will make a bigger perl executable, but your Perl programs (and
       programmers) may thank you for it. See the INSTALL file in the source distribution for more information.

       The undump program was an ancient attempt to speed up Perl program by storing the already-compiled form to disk. This is
       no longer a viable option, as it only worked on a few architectures, and wasn't a good solution anyway.

   How can I make my Perl program take less memory?
       When it comes to time-space tradeoffs, Perl nearly always prefers to throw memory at a problem. Scalars in Perl use more
       memory than strings in C, arrays take more than that, and hashes use even more. While there's still a lot to be done,
       recent releases have been addressing these issues. For example, as of 5.004, duplicate hash keys are shared amongst all
       hashes using them, so require no reallocation.

       In some cases, using substr() or vec() to simulate arrays can be highly beneficial. For example, an array of a thousand
       booleans will take at least 20,000 bytes of space, but it can be turned into one 125-byte bit vector--a considerable
       memory savings. The standard Tie::SubstrHash module can also help for certain types of data structure. If you're working
       with specialist data structures (matrices, for instance) modules that implement these in C may use less memory than
       equivalent Perl modules.

       Another thing to try is learning whether your Perl was compiled with the system malloc or with Perl's builtin malloc.
       Whichever one it is, try using the other one and see whether this makes a difference.  Information about malloc is in the
       INSTALL file in the source distribution. You can find out whether you are using perl's malloc by typing "perl
       -V:usemymalloc".

       Of course, the best way to save memory is to not do anything to waste it in the first place. Good programming practices
       can go a long way toward this:

       Don't slurp!
           Don't read an entire file into memory if you can process it line by line. Or more concretely, use a loop like this:

               #
               # Good Idea
               #
               while (my $line = <$file_handle>) {
                  # ...
               }

           instead of this:

               #
               # Bad Idea
               #
               my @data = <$file_handle>;
               foreach (@data) {
                   # ...
               }

           When the files you're processing are small, it doesn't much matter which way you do it, but it makes a huge
           difference when they start getting larger.

       Use map and grep selectively
           Remember that both map and grep expect a LIST argument, so doing this:

                   @wanted = grep {/pattern/} <$file_handle>;

           will cause the entire file to be slurped. For large files, it's better to loop:

                   while (<$file_handle>) {
                           push(@wanted, $_) if /pattern/;
                   }

       Avoid unnecessary quotes and stringification
           Don't quote large strings unless absolutely necessary:

                   my $copy = "$large_string";

           makes 2 copies of $large_string (one for $copy and another for the quotes), whereas

                   my $copy = $large_string;

           only makes one copy.

           Ditto for stringifying large arrays:

               {
               local $, = "\n";
               print @big_array;
               }

           is much more memory-efficient than either

               print join "\n", @big_array;

           or

               {
               local $" = "\n";
               print "@big_array";
               }

       Pass by reference
           Pass arrays and hashes by reference, not by value. For one thing, it's the only way to pass multiple lists or hashes
           (or both) in a single call/return. It also avoids creating a copy of all the contents. This requires some judgement,
           however, because any changes will be propagated back to the original data. If you really want to mangle (er, modify)
           a copy, you'll have to sacrifice the memory needed to make one.

       Tie large variables to disk
           For "big" data stores (i.e. ones that exceed available memory) consider using one of the DB modules to store it on
           disk instead of in RAM. This will incur a penalty in access time, but that's probably better than causing your hard
           disk to thrash due to massive swapping.

   Is it safe to return a reference to local or lexical data?
       Yes. Perl's garbage collection system takes care of this so everything works out right.

           sub makeone {
               my @a = ( 1 .. 10 );
               return \@a;
           }

           for ( 1 .. 10 ) {
               push @many, makeone();
           }

           print $many[4][5], "\n";

           print "@many\n";

   How can I free an array or hash so my program shrinks?
       (contributed by Michael Carman)

       You usually can't. Memory allocated to lexicals (i.e. my() variables) cannot be reclaimed or reused even if they go out
       of scope. It is reserved in case the variables come back into scope. Memory allocated to global variables can be reused
       (within your program) by using undef() and/or delete().

       On most operating systems, memory allocated to a program can never be returned to the system. That's why long-running
       programs sometimes re- exec themselves. Some operating systems (notably, systems that use mmap(2) for allocating large
       chunks of memory) can reclaim memory that is no longer used, but on such systems, perl must be configured and compiled to
       use the OS's malloc, not perl's.

       In general, memory allocation and de-allocation isn't something you can or should be worrying about much in Perl.

       See also "How can I make my Perl program take less memory?"

   How can I make my CGI script more efficient?
       Beyond the normal measures described to make general Perl programs faster or smaller, a CGI program has additional
       issues. It may be run several times per second. Given that each time it runs it will need to be re-compiled and will
       often allocate a megabyte or more of system memory, this can be a killer. Compiling into C isn't going to help you
       because the process start-up overhead is where the bottleneck is.

       There are three popular ways to avoid this overhead. One solution involves running the Apache HTTP server (available from
       <http://www.apache.org/>; ) with either of the mod_perl or mod_fastcgi plugin modules.

       With mod_perl and the Apache::Registry module (distributed with mod_perl), httpd will run with an embedded Perl
       interpreter which pre-compiles your script and then executes it within the same address space without forking. The Apache
       extension also gives Perl access to the internal server API, so modules written in Perl can do just about anything a
       module written in C can. For more on mod_perl, see <http://perl.apache.org/>;

       With the FCGI module (from CPAN) and the mod_fastcgi module (available from <http://www.fastcgi.com/>; ) each of your Perl
       programs becomes a permanent CGI daemon process.

       Finally, Plack is a Perl module and toolkit that contains PSGI middleware, helpers and adapters to web servers, allowing
       you to easily deploy scripts which can continue running, and provides flexibility with regards to which web server you
       use. It can allow existing CGI scripts to enjoy this flexibility and performance with minimal changes, or can be used
       along with modern Perl web frameworks to make writing and deploying web services with Perl a breeze.

       These solutions can have far-reaching effects on your system and on the way you write your CGI programs, so investigate
       them with care.

       See also <http://www.cpan.org/modules/by-category/15_World_Wide_Web_HTML_HTTP_CGI/>; .

   How can I hide the source for my Perl program?
       Delete it. :-) Seriously, there are a number of (mostly unsatisfactory) solutions with varying levels of "security".

       First of all, however, you can't take away read permission, because the source code has to be readable in order to be
       compiled and interpreted. (That doesn't mean that a CGI script's source is readable by people on the web, though--only by
       people with access to the filesystem.)  So you have to leave the permissions at the socially friendly 0755 level.

       Some people regard this as a security problem. If your program does insecure things and relies on people not knowing how
       to exploit those insecurities, it is not secure. It is often possible for someone to determine the insecure things and
       exploit them without viewing the source. Security through obscurity, the name for hiding your bugs instead of fixing
       them, is little security indeed.

       You can try using encryption via source filters (Starting from Perl 5.8 the Filter::Simple and Filter::Util::Call modules
       are included in the standard distribution), but any decent programmer will be able to decrypt it. You can try using the
       byte code compiler and interpreter described later in perlfaq3, but the curious might still be able to de-compile it. You
       can try using the native-code compiler described later, but crackers might be able to disassemble it. These pose varying
       degrees of difficulty to people wanting to get at your code, but none can definitively conceal it (true of every
       language, not just Perl).

       It is very easy to recover the source of Perl programs. You simply feed the program to the perl interpreter and use the
       modules in the B:: hierarchy. The B::Deparse module should be able to defeat most attempts to hide source. Again, this is
       not unique to Perl.

       If you're concerned about people profiting from your code, then the bottom line is that nothing but a restrictive license
       will give you legal security. License your software and pepper it with threatening statements like "This is unpublished
       proprietary software of XYZ Corp.  Your access to it does not give you permission to use it blah blah blah."  We are not
       lawyers, of course, so you should see a lawyer if you want to be sure your license's wording will stand up in court.

   How can I compile my Perl program into byte code or C?
       (contributed by brian d foy)

       In general, you can't do this. There are some things that may work for your situation though. People usually ask this
       question because they want to distribute their works without giving away the source code, and most solutions trade disk
       space for convenience.  You probably won't see much of a speed increase either, since most solutions simply bundle a Perl
       interpreter in the final product (but see "How can I make my Perl program run faster?").

       The Perl Archive Toolkit ( <http://par.perl.org/>; ) is Perl's analog to Java's JAR. It's freely available and on CPAN (
       <http://search.cpan.org/dist/PAR/>; ).

       There are also some commercial products that may work for you, although you have to buy a license for them.

       The Perl Dev Kit ( <http://www.activestate.com/Products/Perl_Dev_Kit/>; ) from ActiveState can "Turn your Perl programs
       into ready-to-run executables for HP-UX, Linux, Solaris and Windows."

       Perl2Exe ( <http://www.indigostar.com/perl2exe.htm>; ) is a command line program for converting perl scripts to executable
       files. It targets both Windows and Unix platforms.

   How can I get "#!perl" to work on [MS-DOS,NT,...]?
       For OS/2 just use

           extproc perl -S -your_switches

       as the first line in "*.cmd" file ("-S" due to a bug in cmd.exe's "extproc" handling). For DOS one should first invent a
       corresponding batch file and codify it in "ALTERNATE_SHEBANG" (see the dosish.h file in the source distribution for more
       information).

       The Win95/NT installation, when using the ActiveState port of Perl, will modify the Registry to associate the ".pl"
       extension with the perl interpreter. If you install another port, perhaps even building your own Win95/NT Perl from the
       standard sources by using a Windows port of gcc (e.g., with cygwin or mingw32), then you'll have to modify the Registry
       yourself. In addition to associating ".pl" with the interpreter, NT people can use: "SET PATHEXT=%PATHEXT%;.PL" to let
       them run the program "install-linux.pl" merely by typing "install-linux".

       Under "Classic" MacOS, a perl program will have the appropriate Creator and Type, so that double-clicking them will
       invoke the MacPerl application.  Under Mac OS X, clickable apps can be made from any "#!" script using Wil Sanchez'
       DropScript utility: <http://www.wsanchez.net/software/>; .

       IMPORTANT!: Whatever you do, PLEASE don't get frustrated, and just throw the perl interpreter into your cgi-bin
       directory, in order to get your programs working for a web server. This is an EXTREMELY big security risk. Take the time
       to figure out how to do it correctly.

   Can I write useful Perl programs on the command line?
       Yes. Read perlrun for more information. Some examples follow.  (These assume standard Unix shell quoting rules.)

           # sum first and last fields
           perl -lane 'print $F[0] + $F[-1]' *

           # identify text files
           perl -le 'for(@ARGV) {print if -f && -T _}' *

           # remove (most) comments from C program
           perl -0777 -pe 's{/\*.*?\*/}{}gs' foo.c

           # make file a month younger than today, defeating reaper daemons
           perl -e '$X=24*60*60; utime(time(),time() + 30 * $X,@ARGV)' *

           # find first unused uid
           perl -le '$i++ while getpwuid($i); print $i'

           # display reasonable manpath
           echo $PATH | perl -nl -072 -e '
           s![^/+]*$!man!&&-d&&!$s{$_}++&&push@m,$_;END{print"@m"}'

       OK, the last one was actually an Obfuscated Perl Contest entry. :-)

   Why don't Perl one-liners work on my DOS/Mac/VMS system?
       The problem is usually that the command interpreters on those systems have rather different ideas about quoting than the
       Unix shells under which the one-liners were created. On some systems, you may have to change single-quotes to double
       ones, which you must NOT do on Unix or Plan9 systems. You might also have to change a single % to a %%.

       For example:

           # Unix (including Mac OS X)
           perl -e 'print "Hello world\n"'

           # DOS, etc.
           perl -e "print \"Hello world\n\""

           # Mac Classic
           print "Hello world\n"
            (then Run "Myscript" or Shift-Command-R)

           # MPW
           perl -e 'print "Hello world\n"'

           # VMS
           perl -e "print ""Hello world\n"""

       The problem is that none of these examples are reliable: they depend on the command interpreter. Under Unix, the first
       two often work. Under DOS, it's entirely possible that neither works. If 4DOS was the command shell, you'd probably have
       better luck like this:

         perl -e "print <Ctrl-x>"Hello world\n<Ctrl-x>""

       Under the Mac, it depends which environment you are using. The MacPerl shell, or MPW, is much like Unix shells in its
       support for several quoting variants, except that it makes free use of the Mac's non-ASCII characters as control
       characters.

       Using qq(), q(), and qx(), instead of "double quotes", 'single quotes', and `backticks`, may make one-liners easier to
       write.

       There is no general solution to all of this. It is a mess.

       [Some of this answer was contributed by Kenneth Albanowski.]

   Where can I learn about CGI or Web programming in Perl?
       For modules, get the CGI or LWP modules from CPAN. For textbooks, see the two especially dedicated to web stuff in the
       question on books. For problems and questions related to the web, like "Why do I get 500 Errors" or "Why doesn't it run
       from the browser right when it runs fine on the command line", see the troubleshooting guides and references in perlfaq9
       or in the CGI MetaFAQ:

           L<http://www.perl.org/CGI_MetaFAQ.html>;

       Looking in to Plack and modern Perl web frameworks is highly recommended, though; web programming in Perl has evolved a
       long way from the old days of simple CGI scripts.

   Where can I learn about object-oriented Perl programming?
       A good place to start is perlootut, and you can use perlobj for reference.

       A good book on OO on Perl is the "Object-Oriented Perl" by Damian Conway from Manning Publications, or "Intermediate
       Perl" by Randal Schwartz, brian d foy, and Tom Phoenix from O'Reilly Media.

   Where can I learn about linking C with Perl?
       If you want to call C from Perl, start with perlxstut, moving on to perlxs, xsubpp, and perlguts. If you want to call
       Perl from C, then read perlembed, perlcall, and perlguts. Don't forget that you can learn a lot from looking at how the
       authors of existing extension modules wrote their code and solved their problems.

       You might not need all the power of XS. The Inline::C module lets you put C code directly in your Perl source. It handles
       all the magic to make it work. You still have to learn at least some of the perl API but you won't have to deal with the
       complexity of the XS support files.

   I've read perlembed, perlguts, etc., but I can't embed perl in my C program; what am I doing wrong?
       Download the ExtUtils::Embed kit from CPAN and run `make test'. If the tests pass, read the pods again and again and
       again. If they fail, see perlbug and send a bug report with the output of "make test TEST_VERBOSE=1" along with "perl
       -V".

   When I tried to run my script, I got this message. What does it mean?
       A complete list of Perl's error messages and warnings with explanatory text can be found in perldiag. You can also use
       the splain program (distributed with Perl) to explain the error messages:

           perl program 2>diag.out
           splain [-v] [-p] diag.out

       or change your program to explain the messages for you:

           use diagnostics;

       or

           use diagnostics -verbose;

   What's MakeMaker?
       (contributed by brian d foy)

       The ExtUtils::MakeMaker module, better known simply as "MakeMaker", turns a Perl script, typically called "Makefile.PL",
       into a Makefile.  The Unix tool "make" uses this file to manage dependencies and actions to process and install a Perl
       distribution.

AUTHOR AND COPYRIGHT
       Copyright (c) 1997-2010 Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington, and other authors as noted. All rights reserved.

       This documentation is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

       Irrespective of its distribution, all code examples here are in the public domain. You are permitted and encouraged to
       use this code and any derivatives thereof in your own programs for fun or for profit as you see fit. A simple comment in
       the code giving credit to the FAQ would be courteous but is not required.



perl v5.20.2                                               2014-12-27                                                PERLFAQ3(1)


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