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Legends of FOSS: Perl 5.10 is here

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Loved by sysadmins and webmasters worldwide – being a major scripting language as well as the basis for PHP – Perl has today seen its first major update in five years. Let’s walk through the main new features and why they're big news.

First, the good news: The Perl Foundation have committed to long-term support of Perl 5. Although Perl 5.10 introduces new features and at the same time Perl 6 is in the works, Larry Wall has stated that the large amount of working, production, Perl 5 code is recognised and the Foundation have no desire to break these.

Backwards compatibility

It’s possible for the brand new Perl 5.10 interpreter to be installed without harming existing code. The major new language features must be turned on or else the Perl interpreter will ignore them. This ensures scripts will run as usual without any modifications – but can also be progressively migrated to use the new constructs.

There’s three main ways to turn on the new features.

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