Two scripting languages refreshed

Two of the most widely used tools of the system administrator's toolbox have gotten recent updates.

Earlier this month, the Perl volunteer developer community released version 5.10 of its dynamic programming language. Also sporting some new features is the Tool Command Language and its associated toolkit (Tcl/Tk), the combined package of both is now up to version 8.5.

While Perl originator Larry Wall has been promising a major update to Perl for several years'the revamped version will be known as Perl 6'this newly-released version (marking the 20th anniversary of the language's birth) mostly tweaks the existing feature-set. New enhancements include a smart-match operator, a slimmed-down interpreter and the ability to maintain variables across different subroutines.

The new Tcl features reduced memory usage, faster list searches, improvements in specifying measurements in time, and support of arbitrary-precision integers. The latest version of the toolkit features an improved look-and-feel.

In conjunction with these new versions, software tool company ActiveState has productions versions of both languages. Version 8.5 of its ActiveTcl 8.5 is a production-ready distribution of Tcl for Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, and HP-UX. The company also released ActivePerl 5.10, a production version of Perl 5.10 used widely on Microsoft Windows, as well as on other operating systems.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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