Programmers who like Perl typically cite its power, expressiveness, and ease of use. Perl provides infrastructure for many common programming tasks, such as string and list processing. Other tasks, such as memory management, are handled automatically and transparently. Programmers coming from other languages to Perl often find that whole classes of problems that they have struggled with in the past just don't arise in Perl. As Larry Wall put it,
- What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the sound of a wall that people have stopped banging their heads against?
Besides its practical benefits, many programmers simply enjoy working in Perl. Early issues of The Perl Journal had a page titled "What is Perl?" that concluded:
- Perl is fun. In these days of self-serving jargon, conflicting and unpredictable standards, and proprietary systems that discourage peeking under the hood, people have forgotten that programming is supposed to be fun. I don't mean the satisfaction of seeing our well-tuned programs do our bidding, but the literary act of creative writing that yields those programs. With Perl, the journey is as enjoyable as the destination ...
Perl has a broad community of people who are passionate about the language. Several thousand people have contributed to CPAN, and a committed core of people continually work on Perl to improve and maintain it.