What do you intend on using it for?
Perl is definitely alive having enjoyed a renaissance recently with the Modern Perl "movement" if you will... It has had frequent and regular new releases and can match feature for feature the other scripting languages that you mentioned in your post. Now, I do use Python for some niche applications where it seems to have more mindshare (such as in scientific computing) but always enjoy coming back to Perl when I get the opportunity. I really think that it fits my brain!
Some new and cool developments in the Perl community include:
- Padre (The Perl IDE)
- Web development frameworks such as Catalyst, Mojolicious and Dancer
The other big advantage with Perl, of course, is CPAN and if you need commercial development the ActivePerl Pro Studio from ActiveState which allows you to generate .exe and .NET components from Perl, leveraging from CPAN and all the other open source resources which already exist for Perl!
In short, don't buy into the 'Perl is dead' meme that many advocates for other scripting languages would have you believe! Learn as much Perl as you can take in and enjoy the ride!
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