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File Extensions

PL and PM File Formats

SUMMARY: A brief explanation of Perl scripts found in .PL and .PM files.

The PL file extension often refers to scripts of applications written in the Perl programming language. Perl scripts are used on many websites to handle interactive feautres such as search engines, polls and surveys, order purchasing, and more.

PL scripts are written in plain-text and as such can be viewed in text editors such as Windows Notepad. However, they may contain a fair share of slashes, apostrophes, quotes, and other symbols, making it even difficult for other Perl programmers to read a piece of code.

Here is an example Perl program that displays "Hello, world!" on the screen:

#!/usr/bin/perl

print "Hello, world!\n";


The Perl interpreter is available for a multitude of computing platforms.

You may also notice files with the PM extension near other files with a PL extension. Files with a PM extension are called "Perl modules" and are usually components of a larger Perl application.

NOTE that unless you have configured your computer with the file extension viewing tweak, it is possible that a filename that looks like it ends with ".pl" or ".pm", especially one attached to an e-mail message, actually has a hidden OTHER extension, meaning that if you double-click the file, it may actually run a computer virus!

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.