Python and Perl: A comparison of the language basics

In this table I will compare some basic programming syntax and conventions between the Python and Perl programming languages.

Programming element Python Perl
Creating a variable that contains an int: age = 25 %age = 25;
Creating a variable that contains a float: probability = 0.62 %probability = 0.62;
Creating a variable that contains a string:
Python supports single, double, and triple quotes. Perl supports only double quotes.
state = 'North Dakota'
state = "North Dakota"
state = """North Dakota"""
%state = "North Dakota";
Denoting string literals:
Python uses an ‘r’ in front of the string. Single quotes always mean string literal in Perl. Double quotes in Perl allow for interpolations such as ‘\n’, ‘\t’, etc..
path = r'\path\to\some\files'
path = r"\path\to\some\files"
path = r"""\path\to\some\files"""
%path = '\path\to\some\files';
String Concatenation: greeting = "Hello" + " world" $greeting = "Hello" . " world";
Creating a list or array: fruit_list = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry'] @fruit_list = ("apple", "banana", "cherry");
Getting the length of a list or array: length = len(fruit_list) $length = @fruit_list;
Creating a dictionary or hash: fruit = {'a':'apple', 'b':'banana', 'c':'cherry'} %fruit = ("a", "apple", "b", "banana", "c", "cherry");
%fruit = ("a" => "apple", "b" => "banana", "c" => "cherry");
Getting keys and values from a dictionary or hash: fruit_keys = fruit.keys()
fruit_values = fruit.values()
@fruit_keys = keys %fruit;
@fruit_values = values %fruit;
Adding and deleting key-value pairs to a dictionary or hash: fruit['o'] = 'orange'
del fruit['c']
$fruit{'o'} = "orange";
delete $fruit{'c'};

Python was invented in the late 1980s (1989) by Guido van Rossum. Ideas for Python were adopted from Modula-3 and Lisp. Perl was also invented in the late 1980s (1987) by Larry Wall as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Perl is an acronym that stands for Practical Extraction Report Language.

Leave a Reply