Perl, the first postmodern computer language

Larry Wall’s talk at Linux World on Wednesday, March 3. He
explains why Perl is a fitting language for the postmodern era. As
a member of the audience commented: “Another mindbender from

“When I was invited to talk here, it occurred to me that most of
the people here would be more interested in Linux than in Perl, so,
in the interests of universal harmonic convergence, I thought I
should talk about both Perl and Linux. To do that, I had to figure
out what Perl and Linux have in common. Besides the obvious, of

“Obviously, both Perl and Linux owe a lot to Unix culture, but
this is well documented. If I merely pointed out the obvious
commonalities, I’d have to talk the whole time about things you can
find out from the manuals. (Or should I say, things you ought to be
able to find out from the manuals? Whatever.)”

“I’m here to talk about why Perl and Linux have both been so
successful. Note that I’m measuring success here not so much in
terms of numbers of users, but in terms of satisfaction of