Earlier this year we sent out an on-line survey to our ActivePerl downloaders. A little over 350 users responded and shared insights into how long they've been using Perl as well as how they are using it. While some results were expected (such as over half of those respondents being in a developer role), one of the more unexpected results that caught our eye was how long people had been using Perl.
We expected the majority of respondents to have been using Perl "forever" (okay, really 10 years or more), but we found that almost half of the respondents reported being newcomers to Perl--using it for less than 5 years. For a language that people have said is "dying" this result was a bit surprising, even to us. While there was a gap in development between 5.10 and 5.12, in the past four years we've seen a steady release schedule. 5.24's release was just last month...and yes, ActivePerl 5.24 will be available very soon.
We also had some great feedback on why people were using ActivePerl...a couple of notable comments included:
"ActivePerl has the reputation of being the best; it's certainly easy to install, works well, and is well regarded."
"ActivePerl gives me a good Windows version of Perl without having to fiddle with implementation details or compiling it when I need to do something in Windows…"
We found that developers like using Perl because it's quick to develop in (no waiting on a compiler), flexible, performs very well, and has a great community. And for almost anything you want to do, you can find a CPAN module for it (usually more than one).
P.S. Don't miss the upcoming webinar "A Long-Time Perl Hacker's View of the Perl World: Past, Present and Future" with ActiveState Director of Engineering Tom Radcliffe and Jason MacIntosh, founder of Appleseed Software Consulting and co-author of the O'Reilly book "Perl & XML,” as they discuss all things Perl.