I started to give serious time to learning and using Perl this summer. It all started with my frustrations at Matlab. I am a graduate student in Physics and I was trying to analyze some data I had taken. My matlab scripts did an excellent job analyzing data, but I continually found new parameters that needed to be tweaked or held fixed. Since I believe my filenames should be descriptive, the names of my data files kept changing in nontrivial ways.
Those familiar with Perl are aware that Perl was built to process files. Though I did not know much about Perl at the time, I knew that Perl made so easy that which seems so horribly difficult in Matlab. As I beat my head more and more against Matlab's poor file globbing and even poorer regular expression handling, I began to think to myself, "If only I could do numerical programming in Perl..." Then I (re)discovered PDL.
That discovery came in June. Since that time I have aimed to master Perl as best I could. I read the Camel book and PBP, then I got through Perl Testing and just last night I finished reading Perl Hacks. I find myself in a peculiar situation: What do I do next?
The next book on my list will probably be Higher Order Perl, but I decided that the time has come for me to write about what I know. Since my focus is largely on PDL, I find myself drawn to writing about it. This will likely include editing and updating the POD documentation and the wiki, but I also decided that a blog is in order. So, I've signed up for an account on use Perl, and we'll see how it goes.