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FAQ 3.10 Is there an IDE or Windows Perl Editor?

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This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq3.pod, which
comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
perlfaq is at .


3.10: Is there an IDE or Windows Perl Editor?

Perl programs are just plain text, so any editor will do.

If you're on Unix, you already have an IDE--Unix itself. The Unix
philosophy is the philosophy of several small tools that each do one
thing and do it well. It's like a carpenter's toolbox.

If you want an IDE, check the following (in alphabetical order, not
order of preference):


The Eclipse Perl Integration Project integrates Perl
editing/debugging with Eclipse.


Perl Editor by EngInSite is a complete integrated development
environment (IDE) for creating, testing, and debugging Perl scripts;
the tool runs on Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP or later.


ActiveState's cross-platform (as of October 2004, that's Windows,
Linux, and Solaris), multi-language IDE has Perl support, including
a regular expression debugger and remote debugging.


Open Perl IDE

Open Perl IDE is an integrated development environment for writing
and debugging Perl scripts with ActiveState's ActivePerl
distribution under Windows 95/98/NT/2000.


OptiPerl is a Windows IDE with simulated CGI environment, including
debugger and syntax highlighting editor.


Padre is cross-platform IDE for Perl written in Perl using wxWidgets
to provide a native look and feel. It's open source under the
Artistic License.


PerlBuilder is an integrated development environment for Windows
that supports Perl development.


From Help Consulting, for Windows.

Visual Perl

Visual Perl is a Visual Studio.NET plug-in from ActiveState.


Zeus for Window is another Win32 multi-language editor/IDE that
comes with support for Perl:

For editors: if you're on Unix you probably have vi or a vi clone
already, and possibly an emacs too, so you may not need to download
anything. In any emacs the cperl-mode (M-x cperl-mode) gives you perhaps
the best available Perl editing mode in any editor.

If you are using Windows, you can use any editor that lets you work with
plain text, such as NotePad or WordPad. Word processors, such as
Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, typically do not work since they insert
all sorts of behind-the-scenes information, although some allow you to
save files as "Text Only". You can also download text editors designed
specifically for programming, such as Textpad (
) and UltraEdit ( ), among others.

If you are using MacOS, the same concerns apply. MacPerl (for Classic
environments) comes with a simple editor. Popular external editors are
BBEdit ( ) or Alpha ( ). MacOS X users can use
Unix editors as well.

GNU Emacs




or a vi clone such as




For vi lovers in general, Windows or elsewhere:

nvi ( , available from CPAN in src/misc/) is
yet another vi clone, unfortunately not available for Windows, but in
Unix platforms you might be interested in trying it out, firstly because
strictly speaking it is not a vi clone, it is the real vi, or the new
incarnation of it, and secondly because you can embed Perl inside it to
use Perl as the scripting language. nvi is not alone in this, though: at
least also vim and vile offer an embedded Perl.

The following are Win32 multilanguage editor/IDEs that support Perl:





There is also a toyedit Text widget based editor written in Perl that is
distributed with the Tk module on CPAN. The ptkdb ( ) is a Perl/tk based debugger that acts as
a development environment of sorts. Perl Composer ( ) is an IDE for Perl/Tk GUI

In addition to an editor/IDE you might be interested in a more powerful
shell environment for Win32. Your options include

from the Cygwin package ( )

Ksh from the MKS Toolkit ( ), or the Bourne
shell of the U/WIN environment ( )

Tcsh , see also


MKS and U/WIN are commercial (U/WIN is free for educational and research
purposes), Cygwin is covered by the GNU General Public License (but that
shouldn't matter for Perl use). The Cygwin, MKS, and U/WIN all contain
(in addition to the shells) a comprehensive set of standard Unix toolkit

If you're transferring text files between Unix and Windows using FTP be
sure to transfer them in ASCII mode so the ends of lines are
appropriately converted.

On Mac OS the MacPerl Application comes with a simple 32k text editor
that behaves like a rudimentary IDE. In contrast to the MacPerl
Application the MPW Perl tool can make use of the MPW Shell itself as an
editor (with no 32k limit).

is a full Perl development environment with full debugger support ( ).

is an editor, written and extensible in Tcl, that nonetheless has
built in support for several popular markup and programming
languages including Perl and HTML ( ).

BBEdit and BBEdit Lite
are text editors for Mac OS that have a Perl sensitivity mode ( ).


The perlfaq-workers, a group of volunteers, maintain the perlfaq. They
are not necessarily experts in every domain where Perl might show up,
so please include as much information as possible and relevant in any
corrections. The perlfaq-workers also don't have access to every
operating system or platform, so please include relevant details for
corrections to examples that do not work on particular platforms.
Working code is greatly appreciated.

If you'd like to help maintain the perlfaq, see the details in
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