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Perl's superior text parsing power

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Dave Tang
September 2, 2009 18:40
Perl's superior text parsing power
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Hi everybody,

I constantly read about Perl's powerful regular expression matching and  
string manipulation operators, and how it is superior to other programming  
languages in this aspect.

Furthermore, I read this in the wikipedia entry of Perl:

"The language provides powerful text processing facilities without the  
arbitrary data length limits of many contemporary Unix tools,[4]  
facilitating easy manipulation of text files."

My background is in biology, and learned Perl because people in my  
laboratory used Perl. As such I don't have experience with any other  
languages and core programming concepts elude me.

I wanted to ask why is Perl, in comparison to other programming languages,  
so powerful in text processing? I read, and that doesn't really  
explain to me the answer. My motivation for this question is primarily due  
to interest and if someday someone asks me how is Perl good for biology  
(most biological data is stored as flat files).

Many thanks,


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