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Tuesday January 14, 2003
07:07 PM

Perl Applications

[ #9974 ]

In my previous post I mentioned the The Year In Scripting Languages: Lua/Perl/Python/Ruby/Tcl 2002.

As I read it again, I noticed that Python and Tcl had a long list of applications---things written in those languages that non-programmers could use. Nothing was listed for Perl (or Ruby or Lua).

I know that some end-user applications (i.e. people use it and never look at the code, or even know it is in Perl) have been written in Perl, but I cannot name any.

Bricolage is some sort of content-management thingy, but I have never looked at it.




I bet I am using these things all the time without knowing it. That I do not know what most of what I use is written in is actually a good thing---I should not have to know. As a person who teaches Perl for a living, I feel like an idiot for not have a handful of things I can point to.

What are some major applications written in Perl and targeted at end users? Does someone want to write a survey of all of those for The Perl Review ?

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  • How about SlashCode [] which powers [] and Slashdot [].
    • How 'bout Koha [] (a library server)? I'm sure there are a lot of other apps that could be cited.


  • [] []

    And many others. Some of Perl's most-visible major applications are websites that people use daily.



    • I wouldn't call those applications. I know plenty of places that use Perl, but what I can't seem to point at is anything made in Perl that is a consumer level product type thing.
  • Radiator - a RADIUS server... iator/index.html
  • We have
    • Request Tracker RT at
    • Spamassasin
    • Infobot
    • Bugzilla
    • Debian Configuration :-)
    • gotmail
    • Nagios uses perl plugins and embeds perl for faster checks
    • Wembin
    • MisterHouse
    • AWStats
    • Fink
    Hopes this makes someone happier :-)


    • Moveable Type is also written in perl
    • Most of these have no use to a mere mortal. I am looking for applications that do something that people want to do (other than futz with computers). I want to find the stuff that non-techie people would want to use.

      • Tools for programming---RT, bugzilla
      • System admin---Spamassasin, Fink, nagios, Debian configuration, awstats
      • Computer hobbyist wanking---infobot, misterhouse

      gotmail might qualify, but it looks complicated to use.
      • If you compare the list to the python list, the python list is with the exception of the PIM all geared towards developers.

        I disagree when you say RT is only for programmers, we use RT for a lot of different stuff and a lot of non programmers use it.

        Moveable type seems also to be used by alot of non programmers.


        • What else do you use RT for? Anything that is not software development?

          I'm not especially interested in the list Python made, and I'm not making my list to show that Perl beats Python.

          I want to know if Perl is useful to anyone other than techies. Moveable Type seems to be a good example of that. Are there others?
          • We basicly pipe all our client related email through RT, if it has to do with a support issue, general questions, specification just about everything so we can keep track off all in and outgoing communication with every customer.

            Since we are a software shop just about everything is ofcourse related to software development, but it is not only used by us programmers, in fact the bugs and change queues seems to be the least used ones.

            Sorry for that python list reference, I missunderstood you as if you were

            • Anyone else using RT for anything? I saw some examples on the Best Practical website, but they were pretty lame, and the screenshots had tickets dealing with Perl stuff.

              Still, I count RT as an enterprise application. :)
              • So. RT gets used at thousands of companies for all sorts of things. People use it to: track customer support requests, track abuse complaints, track marketing leads and yes, to track bugs. I know of at least one counselling service that uses it to track patient records. Many sites have an administrator who manages the product, but 99+% of users don't know that it's written in perl and never touch a line of code. (And yes, soon, 3.0 will be done and the screenshots will be revved to look prettier)
  • Apparently there are few end-user general desktop applications written in scripting languages. I can think about SpamAssassin and pronto [], a GTK mail client.
  • Eprints [] is an application for building an eprints archive's written in Perl, and available for use under the GNU License. An Eprint Archive is a collection of digital documents and metadata whose contentst are interoperable with other eprints archives. Metadata can then be harvested into global "virtual" archives that are seamlessly navigable by any user (just as a commercial index or abstract database is navigable, but with full-text access.

    The Eprints software is being used quite heavily:

    • AKT []
  • I've written pVoice and pType [] to name some applications. Not useable for *anyone*, but what application is useable for every mortal?

    pVoice and pType are (respectively) Perl/Tk and wxPerl applications for disabled children. pVoice is under heavy reconstruction and will be wxPerl-based in the next version...