Welcome to the Western Montana Perl Mongers Group!

If you are a seasoned Perl programmer, or just starting out, and if you live in our Western Montana region, we'd love to have you join our community. Further down this page, you will find contact information and other links of interest.

Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions and has become widely popular amongst programmers. Larry Wall continues to oversee development of the core language, and its upcoming version, Perl 6.

Perl borrows features from other programming languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, and sed. The language provides powerful text-processing facilities without the arbitrary data length limits of many contemporary Unix tools, facilitating easy manipulation of text files. It is also used for graphics programming, system administration, network programming, applications that require database access and CGI programming on the Web. Perl is nicknamed "the Swiss Army chainsaw of programming languages" due to its flexibility and adaptability.

As of 2010, Perl is used for a wide range of tasks including system administration, web development, network programming, games, bioinformatics, and GUI development, just to name a few popular tasks.

The language is intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal). Its major features include support for multiple programming paradigms (procedural, object-oriented, and functional styles), reference counting memory management (without a cycle-detecting garbage collector), built-in support for text processing, and a large collection of third-party modules.

According to Larry Wall, Perl has two slogans. The first is "There's more than one way to do it", commonly known as TMTOWTDI. The second slogan is "Easy things should be easy and hard things should be possible".

For a more detailed look at Perl, please see the Wikipedia entry on Perl, as well as the many links, futher down on this page.

What is a Perl Monger?

One definition of 'Perl Monger' is that we're "a loose confederation of Perl hackers, coders, and accidental programmers whose goal is to develop the social community of Perl - after all, it's more than a language - it's a culture and a floor wax." Whatever.

We, in the Western Montana Perl Mongers Group, use Perl as a programming language, and like it, and think it makes our work/play/lives a little easier. Some of us are application programmers, sysadmins, or technically-inclined webmasters; and some of us use Perl recreationally. Some are fairly expert; some are just beginning and want to learn the language.

How often do we meet?

We don't meet very often at all, formally. Western Montana is a geographically-large area, making it difficult to always meet at a central location (such as in Missoula). When the weather permits, and job schedules allow, we meet in person as a group. Otherwise, we try to use technology to meet together. On the other hand, some of us get together informally to do things perl-centric, or even recreationally (sports, concerts, and so forth). You are more than welcome to subscribe to our mailing list and then suggest your favorite social activity. (Or just ask your Perl questions; that's okay too!)

The 'Headquarters' of the Western Montana Perl Mongers Group is Hamilton, Montana (113.99W, 46.55N) which is located in the Bitterroot Valley. When the whole group needs to meet, we often choose a location in Missoula, Montana. It just depends...

We have many ideas for events and projects. For instance, we think it might be cool to have a summer Perl retreat somewhere in our beautiful mountains, perhaps lasting a whole weekend.

If you want to join our community here in Western Montana . . .

If you have other questions about Perl or Perl Mongers, discover more here: Perl.org and, Perl Mongers.

Some really cool Perl stuff:

For your intellectual edification, here are general interest links related to Perl:

Perl News

Perl Object Orientation

Perl Presentations and Short Articles

Perl People

Perl Humor

Perl Wikis

Everything Else

If you find that a link is broken, would you be so kind as to let me know? You may drop me a quick note, using my online comment form.

URL: http://westernmontana.pm.org/
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