Perl 1


Perl 1 vydal Larry Wall 18. prosince 1987[1].

31. ledna 1988 se na comp.sources.d oběvil příspěvek, který přinášel trochu více informací o Perlu a zajímavé kousky ukázkového kódu.

Hlavička vypadala takto:

Subject:  v13i013:  Forwarded posting of perl code
Newsgroups: comp.sources.unix
Sender: sources
Approved: rsalz@uunet.UU.NET

Submitted-by: Larry Wall <>
Posting-number: Volume 13, Issue 13
Archive-name: perl/sample

A tady je již samotný text:

As to what it is, here's the hype paragraph from the manual page:

     Perl is a interpreted language optimized for scanning arbi-
     trary text files, extracting information from those text
     files, and printing reports based on that information.  It's
     also a good language for many system management tasks.  The
     language is intended to be practical (easy to use, effi-
     cient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant,
     minimal).	It combines (in the author's opinion, anyway)
     some of the best features of C, sed, awk, and sh, so people
     familiar with those languages should have little difficulty
     with it.  (Language historians will also note some vestiges
     of csh, Pascal, and even BASIC-PLUS.) Expression syntax
     corresponds quite closely to C expression syntax.	If you
     have a problem that would ordinarily use sed or awk or sh,
     but it exceeds their capabilities or must run a little fas-
     ter, and you don't want to write the silly thing in C, then
     perl may be for you.  There are also translators to turn
     your sed and awk scripts into perl scripts.

That's all I wanted to put in the manual page, but I could tell you a little
more.  First of all, why I wrote it: I wanted to set up a distributed
configuration control system based on the news system, and I had to be
able to print reports based on scanning a bunch of articles.  Awk and sed
didn't permit me to navigate around the news system like I wanted to do
(following embedded references to other articles).  The shells can navigate,
but you can't do anything efficiently when you have to start up a new
process every time you turn around.  I could have done it in C, of course,
but text processing in C is an ungainly proposition at best.  On top of which,
C didn't have the picture-style report formats I wanted.  And I didn't want
to do a make every time I tweaked the program.

Somewhat later I realized that many systems programming problems deal with
text--the situation arises frequently that you want to take the output of
various status programs (either directly via a pipe or indirectly from a log
file) and massage the data to show you just what you want to know, or pick
out various bits of information to drive some other operation.  In the first
category is a set of LAN-wide status reporting scripts that deliver a report
to me each morning concerning anomalous conditions on any of the machines I'm
responsible for.  In the second category are programs like gsh and gcp, which
are just like rsh and rcp except that they work globally on some set of machines
defined in a system file.  In fact, I'll show you some of those programs to
give you a taste of perl:

Here's gsh:

$SIG{'QUIT'} = 'quit';			# install signal handler for SIGQUIT

while ($ARGV[0] =~ /^-/) {		# parse switches
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-h/ && ($showhost++,$silent++,shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-s/ && ($silent++,shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-d/ && ($dodist++,shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-n/ && ($n=' -n',shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-l/ && ($l=' -l ' . $ARGV[1],shift,shift,next);

$systype = shift;			# get name representing set of hosts

while ($ARGV[0] =~ /^-/) {		# we allow switches afterwards too
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-h/ && ($showhost++,$silent++,shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-s/ && ($silent++,shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-d/ && ($dodist++,shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-n/ && ($n=' -n',shift,next);
    $ARGV[0] =~ /^-l/ && ($l=' -l ' . $ARGV[1],shift,shift,next);

if ($dodist) {				# distribute input over all rshes?
    `cat >/tmp/gsh$$`;			#  get input into a handy place
    $dist = " </tmp/gsh$$";		#  each rsh takes input from there

$cmd = join(' ',@ARGV);			# remaining args constitute the command
$cmd =~ s/'/'"'"'/g;			# quote any embedded single quotes

open(ghosts, '/etc/ghosts') || die 'No /etc/ghosts file';
					# /etc/ghosts drives the rest

$one_of_these = ":$systype:";		# prepare to expand "macros"
if ($systype =~ s/\+/[+]/g) {		# we hope to end up with list of
    $one_of_these =~ s/\+/:/g;		#  colon separated attributes

line: while (<ghosts>) {		# for each line of ghosts

    s/[ \t]*\n//;			# trim leading whitespace
    if (!$_ || /^#/) {			# skip blank line or comment
	next line;

    if (/^([a-zA-Z_0-9]+)=(.+)/) {	# a macro line?
	$name = $1; $repl = $2;
	$repl =~ s/\+/:/g;
	$one_of_these =~ s/:$name:/:$repl:/;	# do expansion in "wanted" list
	next line;

    # we have a normal line

    @attr = split;			# a list of attributes to match against
					#   which we put into an array
    $host = $attr[0];			# the first attribute is the host name
    if ($showhost) {
	$showhost = "$host:\t";

    attr: while ($attr = pop(attr)) {			# iterate over gh array
	if (index($one_of_these,":$attr:") >=0) {	# is host wanted?
	    unless ($silent) { print "rsh $host$l$n '$cmd'\n"; }
	    $SIG{'INT'} = 'DEFAULT';
	    if (open(pipe,"rsh $host$l$n '$cmd'$dist |")) {	# start rsh
		$SIG{'INT'} = 'cont';
		while (<pipe>) { print $showhost,$_; }		# show results
	    } else {
		$SIG{'INT'} = 'cont';
		print "(Can't execute rsh.)\n";
	    last attr;				# don't select host twice

unlink "/tmp/gsh$$" if $dodist;

# here are a couple of subroutines that serve as signal handlers

sub cont {
    print "\rContinuing...\n";

sub quit {
    $| = 1;
    print "\r";
    $SIG{'INT'} = '';
    kill 2, $$;

Gsh (and gcp) runs off the /etc/ghosts file, which looks like this:
# This first section gives alternate sets defined in terms of the sets given
# by the second section.


# This second section defines the basic sets.  Each host should have a line
# that specifies which sets it is a member of.  Extra sets should be separated
# by white space.  (The first section isn't strictly necessary, since all sets
# could be defined in the second section, but then it wouldn't be so readable.)

devvax	8600	src
cdb0	sun3		sysdts
cdb1	sun3		sysdts
cdb2	sun3		sysdts
chief	sun3	src
tis0	sun3
manny	sun3		sysdts
moe	sun3		sysdts
jack	sun3		sysdts
disney	sun3
huey	sun3		nd
dewey	sun3		nd
louie	sun3		nd
bizet	sun2	src	sysdts
gif0	mc	src
mc0	mc
dtv0	mc

Enough of gsh.  How about you want to remove files with find, but don't want
to exec rm on every file?  I just did this today in some of my news directories.

	find . -mtime +14 -print | perl -n -e 'chop;unlink;'

I could have done the equivalent by running the find from within a perl script.
Note that the open statement opens up a pipe.

	open(goners,"find . -mtime +14 -print|");
	while (<goners>) {

How about transforming that into a tool that will remove anything older than
a specified number of days in a specified directory?


	die "Usage: euthanasia directory days" unless $#ARGV == 1;

	($dir, $days) = @ARGV;		# assign array to list of variables

	die "Can't find directory $dir" unless chdir $dir;

	open(goners,"find . -mtime +$days -print|") || die "Can't run find";
	while (<goners>) {

I mentioned my anomaly reporting system earlier.  Here is the script that scans
a particular system for filesystems that are almost full.  Note the use of
the C preprocessor to isolate Masscomp specific code.
#!/bin/perl -P

(chdir '/usr/adm/private/memories') || die "Can't cd.";
`df >newdf`;
open(Df, 'olddf');

while (<Df>) {
    ($fs,$kbytes,$used,$avail,$capacity,$mounted_on) = split;
    next if $fs =~ /:/;
    $oldused{$fs} = $used;

open(Df, 'newdf') || die "scan_df: can't open newdf";

while (<Df>) {
    ($fs,$kbytes,$used,$avail,$capacity,$mounted_on) = split;
    next if $fs =~ /:/;
    $oldused = $oldused{$fs};
    next if ($oldused == $used && $capacity < 99);	# inactive filesystem
    if ($capacity >= 90) {
#if defined(mc300) || defined(mc500) || defined(mc700)
	$_ = substr($_,0,13) . '        ' . substr($_,13,1000);
	$kbytes /= 2;		# translate blocks to K
	$used /= 2;
	$oldused /= 2;
	$avail /= 2;
	$diff = int($used - $oldused);
	if ($avail < $diff * 2) {
	    $mounted_on .= ' *';
	next if $diff < 50 && $mounted_on eq '/';
	$fs =~ s|/dev/||;
	if ($diff >= 0) {
	    $diff = '(+' . $diff . ')';
	else {
	    $diff = '(' . $diff . ')';
	printf "%-8s%8d%8d %-8s%8d%7s    %s\n",


Well, that's enough examples for now.  In terms of speed, perl almost always
beats awk and usually beats sed.  It's a superset of both awk and sed in
terms of capabilities.  (That certainly makes the awk-to-perl and sed-to-perl
translators work more easily--in fact, some of the features of perl are there
simply to ease the translation process.  I wasn't going to add a "goto" except
that the sed-to-perl translator needed one.  There's a way to make arrays
have either origin 0 like C, or origin 1 like awk.  Etc.)

As for reliability, perl has been in heavy use for over a year and a half.
Some of the design of perl facilitates adding new keywords without blowing
existing scripts out of the water.  Furthermore, perl has a regression test
suite so that I know immediately if I've destroyed a previously available
capability.  So you needn't worry too much about the next version of perl
blowing your old scripts out of the water.

Well, enough for now.

Larry Wall


  1. "Perl, a "replacement" for awk and sed."

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