Actually, i was thinking of starting up my PERL training. So I'd like to know this: what are it's most common uses? How efficient is it compared to C++? What are the strengths and weaknesses? (This is kind of a repeat of what I said in the Python forum)
It's a very powerful language for text and data processing. It's a higher-level language than C++, so it allows you to work on doing stuff with the information rather than doing stuff with the data type.
Perl is interpreted, so it's bound to be less efficient than C++. That's not to say it can't be compiled, it just usually isn't.
One of the things that Perl offers is the idea that "There's more than One way to do it." I consider it both a strength and weakness. It's really a higher level language than C++ so as stated above you're not doing things TO the data TYPE you're doing thing with the data.
For the record, I'm new to Perl, and have just finished reading the first chapter of the Camel book.
All that puckdropper said.
Plus short time to implementation.
I was happy with Korn Shell and sed, having abandonded awk for that combination long before.
Then I began needing IPC and got into the world of perl mods.
If you don't need a GUI (it's there in a couple of forms but meh!) and you are not serving thousands of asynchronous tasks this might be the way to go.
One of the most impressive capabilities is the ability to use regular expressions with assignment operators to load arrays, hashes and nested combinations of those two in flexible contol loops.
There are many ways to do IO in perl. And opening pipes to external processes is far superior to Korn Shell's coprocess facility.
I'm going to agree strongly with both of the above... very good language for limited access web usage, great for data stream forks (sifting for useful data using reg expressions), bad for M$ folks - they just don't get it!
From my experience as an edjucator, people with strong C, shell and or unix backgrounds pick it up quickly, others tend to go bald.