[Practical Extraction and Report Language, a.k.a. Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister] An interpreted language developed by Larry Wall, author of patch(1) and rn(1)). Superficially resembles awk, but is much hairier, including many facilities reminiscent of sed(1) and shells and a comprehensive Unix system-call interface. Unix sysadmins, who are almost always incorrigible hackers, generally consider it one of the languages of choice, and it is by far the most widely used tool for making ‘live’ web pages via CGI. Perl has been described, in a parody of a famous remark about lex(1), as the Swiss-Army chainsaw of Unix programming. Though Perl is very useful, it would be a stretch to describe it as pretty or elegant; people who like clean, spare design generally prefer Python. See also Camel Book, TMTOWTDI.