Perl, the Practical Extraction and Reporting Language, has long been a critical tool for building dynamic Websites and automating various Internet-related tasks. Unfortunately its use has largely been limited to those working on Unix-based systems (where Perl originated) or serious hackers willing to go through the contortions necessary to run Unix-based software under MS Windows. With the release of ActivePerl, this is no longer true. ActivePerl is a free version of Perl created to install and run easily under Microsoft Windows 95, 98, and NT, and interface well with most Windows NT Web servers. ActivePerl can be used to write CGI scripts for interactive Websites or system administration scripts that automate routine tasks. The Perl language is particularly well suited for scripts that analyze server or system logs and generate email or HTML reports to present the information in human-readable form. Many add-on Perl modules are available at the CPAN archive
for interfacing with a very wide variety of software packages, languages, and protocols, including DCOM, XML, X11, TCL/Tk, and SQL, and performing a wide array of common software tasks. ActiveState also maintains an archive of Perl modules
packaged specifically for use with ActivePerl.