Ruth Holloway at Red Hat's marketing site, OpenSource.com, has a retrospective on three decades of perl covering some history and a few of the top user groups. The powerful and flexible scripting language perl turns 30 at the end of this year [opensource.com]. It is a practical extraction and reporting language widely used even today and has a dedicated community. It's ease of use and power made it the go-to tool through the boom of the 90's and 00's when the WWW was growing exponentially. However, its flexible syntax, while often an advantage, also functions as a sort of Rorschach test. One that some programmers fail. Perhaps two of its main strengths are pattern matching and CPAN. The many, mature perl modules available from CPAN make it a first choice for many when needed to draft something quickly or deal with a quick task.