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Which Perl version shall I use?

by paragkalra (Scribe)
on Dec 10, 2009 at 06:20 UTC ( #812097=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
paragkalra has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hello All,

If I am not wrong current version of Perl is 5.10

I want to know which version of Perl shall I use on Windows. I mean I want to know the recommended version.

I don't have any specific requirement. Just a basic requirement that maximum modules should be available for it and all the modules (new/old) should be compatible with that version.

Also I would like to know whether I shall use Active state Perl or Strawberry Perl?

To be precise what advantage does one hold over other?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by cdarke (Prior) on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:22 UTC
    The current version of Perl is 5.10.1.

    To be precise what advantage does one hold over other?

    That's the problem, it is difficult to be precise because many of the differences are subjective.
    Strawberry Perl is more of a community project and Open Source, so if you want to support the community and Open Source then support Strawberry Perl. It has to be said though that the installation of ActiveState Perl is very polished and seemless.

    Installing or writing modules that have an XS (C) component can be an issue. If you have Microsoft Visual Studio C (MSVC) already installed then ActiveState is easy, but you do have to be careful with runtime library versions. If you do not have MSVC then you can download binary versions using ppm, but that is not complete and versons lag behind the latest.
    Using Strawberry Perl we get the GNU C compiler bundled, but there is no ppm equivalent, although cpanp is easy to use.

    Although it pains me to say this, if you are a begineer and for the maximum number of compatible modules I would go with ActiveState.
Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by CountZero (Bishop) on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:26 UTC
    I have just installed Perl 5.10.1 from ActiveState.

    The difference between the ActiveState and the Strawberry version is getting smaller each time.

    For AS, the first time you run cpan it offers you to install a C-compiler and dmake, so you can actually install XS modules as well. Strawberry Perl installs these right away.

    AS comes with the ppm utility which is great for quickly installing some modules which refuse cpan installation.

    I do not think there can be a good reason in general to install an older Perl version now. Perl 5.10.1 seems pretty stable (*famous last words*).


    A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

      The initial release for 5.10 has some serious defects. I don't consider 5.10 old enough yet to be fully vetted. The reality of the Perl releases are that 5.8.8 hung around for a long time, so the majority of modules work with this version and have not been updated since. In addition, a lot of the non-Microsoft operating systems come with 5.8.8 or near, echoing my sentiments.

        They come with 5.8.8 because they're slow and their software is generally outdated. 5.8.8 is very common because it was the newest stable release for a long time. It no longer is. Go with 5.10.1. There's many, many bug fixes in it that you WANT.

Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by Khen1950fx (Canon) on Dec 10, 2009 at 06:41 UTC
      perl will work fine with windows....
Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by Bloodnok (Vicar) on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:26 UTC
    Using Strawberry perl will, IMHO, give you the most satisfaction since, as Strawberry gives you the capability to be self-contained from a package build/make POV, you're not at the behest of a 3rd party for the availability of PPM packages (the AS method of handling perl modules).
    Neither do you have to shell out oodles of both money and disk space for the compiler/IDE ... or whatever M$ calls it/them these days.

    I have had no hesitation in recommending it [Strawberry perl], since I discovered it (via the esteemed brethren herein).

    A user level that continues to overstate my experience :-))
Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by jeffreyray (Sexton) on Dec 10, 2009 at 14:18 UTC
    I prefer to use camelbox. The primary advantage of this package his is that Gtk+/Gtk2-Perl is working and up to date. If you have never tried to get (a current version of) Gtk+/Gtk2-Perl working on windows, it can be quite a headache. Installation is as easy as ActivePerl and has the option to install lots of cool extras - like tools needed to compile other libraries.
Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by roboticus (Chancellor) on Dec 11, 2009 at 04:12 UTC


    While you didn't mention it, I thought I'd suggest the perl distribution in the Cygwin environment. If you're comfortable in a Unix/bash environment, then it's very straightforward. Of course, if you're not happy in a Unix/bash environment, it's still useful. But since it lacks all the frills, bells and whistles on other distributions, you'd be happier with another distribution.

    Since Cygwin also has compilers and such available, I find that most modules install with CPAN and no particular effort.

    Some of the systems I use are on restricted networks where I can't use CPAN. In those systems, I just copy the tarball over and use the standard:

    perl Makefile.PL make make test make install


Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by clp (Friar) on Dec 10, 2009 at 18:22 UTC
Re: Which Perl version shall I use?
by dwm042 (Priest) on Dec 10, 2009 at 23:47 UTC
    Which version you might use on a Windows platform depends on the nature of your use. If you're producing code for yourself you can be experimental and do whatever appeals to you. If you're producing Perl versions and code for, say, 50000 Windows based laptops and have very little time to do it in, then already assembled packages and ease of installation factor in a great deal.

    This is especially true if you're going to support it all after the installation, and perhaps even more so if you eventually intend to pass off the support to someone else.


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