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2.5. Documentation

Perl documentation is written in a language known as pod (plain old documentation). Pod is a set of simple tags that can be processed to produce documentation in the style of Unix manpages. There are also several utility programs available that process pod text and generate output in different formats. Pod tags can be intermixed with Perl commands or can be saved in a separate file, which usually has a .pod extension. The pod tags and the utility programs that are included in the Perl distribution are described in Chapter 4, "The Perl Language".

2.5.2. The Perl Manpages

Perl comes with lots of online documentation. To make life easier, the manpages are divided into separate sections so you don't have to wade through hundreds of pages of text to find what you are looking for. You can read them with either the man command or perldoc. Run man perl or perldoc perl to read the top-level page. This page in turn directs you to more specific pages. Or, if you know which page you want, you can go directly there by using:

% man perlvar
or:
% perldoc perlvar

The following table lists the sections in a logical order for reading through them:

Section

Description

perl

Overview (the top level)

perldelta

Changes since previous version

perlfaq

Frequently asked questions

perltoc

Table of contents for Perl documentation

perldata

Data structures

perlsyn

Syntax

perlop

Operators and precedence

perlre

Regular expressions

perlrun

Execution and options

perlfunc

Built-in functions

perlvar

Predefined variables

perlsub

Subroutines

perlmod

How modules work

perlmodlib

How to write and use modules

perlmodinstall

How to install modules from CPAN

perlform

Formats

perllocale

Locale support

perlref

References

perldsc

Data structures introduction

perllol

Data structures: lists of lists

perltoot

OO tutorial

perlobj

Objects

perltie

Objects hidden behind simple variables

perlbot

OO tricks and examples

perlipc

Interprocess communication

perldebug

Debugging

perldiag

Diagnostic messages

perlsec

Security

perltrap

Traps for the unwary

perlport

Portability guide

perlstyle

Style guide

perlpod

Plain old documentation

perlbook

Book information

perlembed

Embedding Perl in your C or C++ application

perlapio

Internal I/O abstraction interface

perlxs

XS application programming interface

perlxstut

XS tutorial

perlguts

Internal functions for those doing extensions

perlcall

Calling conventions from C

perlhist

History records

perlreftut

Perl references short introduction

perlrequick

Perl regular expressions quick start

perllexwarn

Perl warnings and their control

perldebtut

Perl debugging tutorial

perlopentut

Perl open( ) tutorial

perlretut

Perl regular expressions tutorial

perlboot

Perl OO tutorial for beginners

perltootc

Perl OO tutorial, part 2

perlfork

Perl fork( ) information

perlnumber

Perl number semantics

perlthrtut

Perl threads tutorial

perlunicode

Perl unicode support

perlebcdic

Considerations for running Perl on EBCDIC platforms

perlnewmod

Perl modules: preparing a new module for distribution

perlfaq1

General questions about Perl

perlfaq2

Obtaining and learning about Perl

perlfaq3

Programming tools

perlfaq4

Data manipulation

perlfaq5

Files and formats

perlfaq6

Regexes

perlfaq7

Perl language issues

perlfaq8

System interaction

perlfaq9

Networking

perlcompile

Perl compiler suite intro

perldebguts

Perl debugging guts and tips

perlclib

Internal replacements for standard C library functions

perlutil

Utilities packaged with the Perl distribution

perlfilter

Perl source filters

perldbmfilter

Perl DBM filters

perlapi

Perl API listing (autogenerated)

perlintern

Perl internal functions (autogenerated)

perltodo

Perl things to do

perlhack

Perl hackers guide

perl5005delta

Perl changes in Version 5.005

perl5004delta

Perl changes in Version 5.004

perlaix

Perl notes for AIX

perlamiga

Perl notes for Amiga

perlbs2000

Perl notes for POSIX-BC BS2000

perlcygwin

Perl notes for Cygwin

perldos

Perl notes for DOS

perlepoc

Perl notes for EPOC

perlhpux

Perl notes for HP-UX

perlmachten

Perl notes for Power MachTen

perlmacos

Perl notes for Mac OS (Classic)

perlmpeix

Perl notes for MPE/iX

perlos2

Perl notes for OS/2

perlos390

Perl notes for OS/390

perlsolaris

Perl notes for Solaris

perlvmesa

Perl notes for VM/ESA

perlvms

Perl notes for VMS

perlvos

Perl notes for Stratus VOS

perlwin32

Perl notes for Windows

perl561delta.pod

What's new in Perl v5.6.x (added in 5.8)

perl56delta.pod

What's new in Perl v5.6.0 (added in 5.8)

perl570delta.pod

What's new in Perl v5.7.0 (added in 5.8)

perl571delta.pod

What's new in Perl v5.7.1 (added in 5.8)

perl572delta.pod

What's new in Perl v5.7.2 (added in 5.8)

perlapollo.pod

Perl on Apollo DomainOS (added in 5.8)

perlbeos.pod

Perl on BeOS (added in 5.8)

perlce.pod

Perl on Windows CE (added in 5.8)

perldgux.pod

Perl on DG/UX (added in 5.8)

perlhurd.pod

Perl on GNU Hurd (added in 5.8)

perlintro.pod

A brief introduction and overview of Perl (added in 5.8)

perliol.pod

C API for Perl's implementation of I/O in Layers (added in 5.8)

perlmint.pod

Perl on Atari MiNT (added in 5.8)

perlmodstyle.pod

Perl module style guide (added in 5.8)

perlnetware.pod

Perl on Netware 5.x (added in 5.8)

perlothrtut.pod

Old tutorial on threads in Perl (added in 5.8)

perlpacktut.pod

Tutorial on pack and unpack

perlplan9.pod

Perl on Plan-9 (added in 5.8)

perlpodspec.pod

Plain Old Documentation; format specification and notes (added in 5.8)

perlqnx.pod

Perl on QNX (added in 5.8)

perltooc.pod

Tom's OO Tutorial for Class Data in Perl (added in 5.8)

perltru64.pod

Perl Version 5 on Tru64 systems (added in 5.8)

perluniintro.pod

Perl Unicode introduction (added in 5.8)

perluts.pod

Perl under UTS (added in 5.8)



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