By Curtis Jewell
You may have heard about a new and larger Perl distribution for
Windows called "Strawberry Perl Professional". The idea behind it
was known as "Chocolate Perl". You may have heard that name, too.
What does that mean for Strawberry Perl for Windows, and for Perl
Don't worry, Strawberry Perl
will still be maintained. In fact, Strawberry Perl Professional
would not be possible without Strawberry Perl as it has been for
the past few years, and is directly installable on top of Strawberry
Perl. The ideas behind Strawberry Perl and Strawberry Perl Professional
overlap, but are subtly different.
Strawberry Perl is made for the "intermediate-to-expert" Perl
programmer (although even newbies can use it), who is likely to be
coming over from Unix and is needing to write Perl scripts and
modules in the Windows environment. The goal is to be as close to
the Perl experience on Unix as possible, and with a minimum of
problems, while still staying native to Windows.
The goals of the modules that Strawberry Perl includes,
To be able to install other Perl modules easier, whether from
CPAN, from .par files, or .ppm files.
To include hard-to-install modules (the databases, and the
Strawberry Perl Professional is made for the Perl programmer of
any (or even no) experience writing Perl in or for the Windows
environment, and includes in addition:
- Modules that significant segments of the Perl community use on
a regular basis (BioPerl, Catalyst.)
- Modules that help improve the quality and readability of the
Perl code being written, and make releasing Perl programs and
- Graphical programs to assist in maintenance and debugging of
Perl code, viewing Perl documentation, and installing Perl
To this end, Strawberry Perl Professional includes Padre as an IDE,
and also includes a graphical CPANPLUS shell and Plain Old Documentation
viewer. It also includes most of the modules in Task::Kensho, and
more links to websites for the Perl community, especially relating
to the installed modules, and introductions to programming Perl.
If you want to test out the first alpha version of Strawberry
Perl Professional, read the announcement (so
you know what you're getting into) and then go to the Strawberry Perl beta page and
download and install it. Suggestions for improvements, and bug
fixes to the component modules, are certainly welcome - I've
already been given quite a few.
Curtis Jewell has
been helping build and write Strawberry Perl for Windows for the
past year, and also reports bugs and sends patches to other Perl