The Perl Data Language (PDL) is a powerful package that uses C (and sometimes Fortran) to efficiently handle multidimensional data sets. This package has been successfully used in a variety of applications. To help you get started with (or to learn more about) this package, I collected a few references (in a question and answer format) that serve as a brief overview of PDL.
Q: I am curious: who created PDL?
A: Karl Glazebrook. He is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Johns Hopkins University.
Q: Ok. I want to get started with PDL, is there a Web Page for that project?
A: Yes, the PDL – The Perl Data Language Web Page
Q: Sounds interesting, where can I download it?
Q: I downloaded it. What should I read first, just to get started?
A: I suggest you to have a look at PDL for the Impatient
Q: I read it. What should I read now?
A: There is a very good article, in the Perl Journal, titled: PDL: The Perl Data Language
Q: Good. Is there any other source of documentation available?
Yes, there is a Table of Contents of PDL Documentation
Q: That is good. But I am interested in a book or a book chapter, where can I find those?
A: There are, at least, two books and one book chapter related to PDL.
- Beginning PDL (File Size: about 425 KB)
- PDL – Scientific Programming in Perl (File Size: about 2.1 MB)
- Chapter 7 of Mastering Algorithms with Perl
Q: Excellent! But I am curious, are there any other references available?
A: Yes, there are. For example, you might want to look at:
- Perl Data Language at the Wikipedia
- Using Perl for Statistics: Data Processing and Statistical Computing in the (Journal of Statistical Software):
- A lightning talk on Optimising Multi-Tasking in PDL
- A tutorial (in Spanish) titled: A Beginners Guide to PDL
- Lecture notes from (U.C. Berkeley) on the Perl Data Language
Q: Terrific! Now, if I have a question where can I ask for help?
Q: Great. Now I am wondering: are there any freely available examples?
A: Yes, there are. Here, I leave you a small list:
- pdl.perl.org: PDL Success Stories
- perlmonks.org: PDL-based Plotting Tool
- perlmonks.org: Sports Conference Rankings, Colley Matrix Style
- perlmonks.org: Number of unique ways to reach target sum
- perlmonks.org: OpenGL (PDL) JAPH
- perlmonks.org: Reading Files in PDL Matrix
- perlmonks.org: PDL Examples?
- perlmonks.org: Fuzzy Clustering
Q: Cool! Now, the next question is: are there any packages using PDL?
A: Yes, some of them are:
Q: One last question, is PDL going to be supported by Perl 6?
A: Yes. In fact, the plan is for the Perl 6 features to make it easier for the PDL folks to write numeric Perl. See for instance, perl6: Synopsis 9: Data Structures