Perl 4 vs Perl 5
The current versions of Perl are: 4.036 and 5.001n.
Perl 4.036 is the most common version of Perl included in Linux (and *BSD)
distributions, while Perl 5.001n is the latest version of Perl.
Why are there two versions floating around, and why not just use version 5?
From a practical viewpoint, Perl 4 has three advantages over Perl 5:
- It's most likely the version of Perl on your Linux box
- The Llama and Camel books cover Perl 4 not Perl 5
- It's much easier to compile on some platforms!
Perl 5 was essentially a complete write of Perl from the ground up and
has a number of significant advantages of previous versions of Perl:
- Faster execution
- OOP - classes, multiple inheritance and virtual handles
- Readily extensible through C/C++
- POSIX compliance
- Enhanced DBM support
- Dynamic loading
- Vastly simplified grammar
- Improved error/warning/diagnostic messaging
- Superior regexp handling, data structure support and lexical
Perl & Linux
Updated: 5 December, 1995