in reply to cgi or mod_perl
If this is your first time using Perl, don't trouble yourself with the added complexity of mod_perl. This advice holds doubly so if you've never done web development previously. It can be a tricky environment, so there's no sense in overwhelming yourself initially. The mod_perl environment is great and I use it all the time, but if you're doing something simple whose aims are largely pedagogical, then you don't need the configuration niceties and run-time speed-up of mod_perl. That being said, if you're scrupulous about initializing stuff, then you should be able to migrate over to a mod_perl environment later when you need it.