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1. As of 10/19/1999 the latest stable release of Perl is 5.005_03. Find modules here:

(look in for a list of FTP-based mirrors)
2. comp.lang.perl.misc is for questions on the Perl language. Try comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi for questions on the CGI part of CGI scripts. The two leading blocks of reusable code for CGI purposes are, at
and, at
You might also want to check out libwww-perl at
If you are having problems with a CGI script, look through

3. Are you using the following?
#!/usr/bin/perl -w use diagnostics; use strict; "-w" turns on all sorts of warnings about probable errors (see the perldiag manpage), "use diagnostics" causes the "-w" warnings to be explained in greater detail (with the explanations from the perldiag manpage), and "use strict" generates compile and run-time errors for certain unsafe variable, reference and subroutine constructs (see the strict manpage)

4. Are you checking the return values from the functions built in to perl? Most of the file and system functions set $! and have return values that you can test thus:
open(PASSWD, " &lbracket /etc/passwd") or die "error opening /etc/passwd: $!\n"; $! will contain an error message that will give you more information on where your program is going wrong. The perlfunc man page will give you more information on the return values from functions.

5. Have you read the Perl FAQ? Many questions on sockets programming, an important and common problem with Solaris, text manipulation and the jargon of perl are answered in the FAQ. As well as being posted regularly to comp.lang.perl.misc, the FAQ is on the web at:

6. Have you read the man pages? Here are some subjects and the man pages to look in:
Objects perltoot, perlref, perlmod, perlobj, perltie
Data Structures perlref, perllol, perldsc
Modules perlmod, perlsub
Regexps perlre, perlfunc, perlop (not a man-page but still useful)
Moving to perl5 perltrap, perl
Linking w/C perlxstut, perlxs, perlcall, perlguts, perlembed
The man page for "perltoc" provides a crude table of contents for the perl man page set.

7. Have you looked at ? This is a great online reference, with documentation, pointers to modules in the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), articles on the inner workings of many bits of Perl, and more.

7.5. Have you checked to see if a Perl module satisfies your needs? Many reusable modules are available for immediate download and use.
See for details.

8. Have you tried archives of Usenet? maintains an archive of postings to Usenet dating from March, 1995. Be sure to include "Perl" in your search.

9. The latest version of the "Camel Book" ("Programming Perl"), updated for version 5.003, is available from your bookstore or from