I haven;t even started learning perl yet, I know languages like java, c and python, but is perl even worth learning? I mean it's a preety old language (what am Isaying age dosen't matter, think of how much C is still used) but the thing that I meant is that other newer languages have other things that are better then perl, and some are faster than perl. So is perl even worth learning? I have thought about it but is it even worth it?

It would be hard to argue that any languge has a definate advantage over perl in terms of the language itself.

Generally every language has communities of people that use it for certian usages. This is generally one of the more important things to consider when choosing a language.

To illistrate my point, consider using Java for scientific computing. Java could technically do it, but most people in the scientific community don't use it, meaning that there is a lack of libraries, lack of help, and any work you do manage to do in java probably won't be used as much as if it were done in Python or FORTRAN say. Looking at the technical capabilities and design of a language are more secondary I would say.

So, let's take a look at what the Perl community uses Perl for.
Oh dear.

Perl is often being described as the "swiss army chainsaw of scripting languages", as well as "the duck tape that holds the internet togeather." It's community is rather diverse, and you can expect to see it used when you need to mix various tools togeather.

As a scripting language, it is often used as a "portable shell script", and is very Unix-like in nature. In fact, Perl is practically a part of Unix programming itself. So if you need something more powerfull then bash, and something that can easily be ported, perl is one of your best bets. You'll pretty much need to learn it if your planning on doing Unix programming.

You'll also see that a lot of network programmers will use it. You'll see it used for anything from testing protocol security, or streaming data over the network, or programming website backends.

It's also used quite a bit in bioinformatics. It's regex's make it especially good for the task. I've heard it being praised for how well it can be used to convert data as well from varioud in-house formats.

I've also heard it being used for graphics, though I have less experience in that field.

So is it worth learning? Yes. Especially if your working with Unix.

Perl is a great language for getting things done. Between CPAN and Perl Monks, you can find libraries and help to tackle a truly impressive array of tasks.

Perl looks like a good language for back-end development? Do you guys agree?

I assume you mean back-end web development. Why not? It's used for back-end web development in practice a lot, and the support is there.

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