I'd always thought it was compiled into a bytecode state, similar to java. Was I off in this?
One thing I've never understood is exactly why spitting out something in that intermediate step is apparently such a nuisance. If perl could plunk out the intermediate "compiled" bytecode (or optree or whatever it is), and then pick that up later, I think it'd be keen.
First off, it would skip re-building the blasted tree every time. Yes, yes, I know that it's fast, but if we don't need to do it, we should skip it. But mainly, it'd clarify that yes, perl does compile, and stop the people that claim it's just glorified shell scripting. I'd say perl is as much a compiled language as java is.
But, apparently, that's rather difficult to do, I guess. Can anybody explain why?