Your first PerlNET program

What you need to know for programming in Perl for the .NET environment.


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Your first PerlNET program
Yevgeny Menaker, Robert Oberg, and Michael Saltzman

You think that if you want to write a program in Perl for .NET, it should work just the same way that Perl works every else, right? Well, not exactly. Turns out you have to do some extra things. This tip, excerpted from InformIT, shows what you need to know for programming in Perl for the .NET environment.


As a first step in PerlNET programming, we write a simple program to introduce you to the basics of the new language. Our program outputs a single line of text. Here is the code for the first sample.

#
# Hello.pl
#
use namespace "System";
use PerlNET qw(AUTOCALL);

Console->WriteLine("Hello from Perl!");
... You can just type the program in your favorite editor. ...

It is commonly known that Perl is a script language and as such is processed by Perl interpreter. So, the first reaction ("Perl instinct") is to type the following line:

perl Hello.pl

and to get a "Hello from Perl!" line as an output. If you decided to try it, you got the following probably familiar but unpleasant response:

can't locate namespace.pm in @INC (@INC contains: . . .) at Hello.pl line 4
BEGIN failed – compilation aborted at Hello.pl line 4.

Well, this is the moment to remind ourselves that from now on we will use Perl language (or more precisely, its extended version, PerlNET) to target our programs to the .NET environment. Therefore, we should be able to map any Perl program into MSIL (Microsoft Intermediate Language) assembly, which in turn can be executed by the .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime).

The work of compiling and building an assembly is done by plc.exe (PerlNET compiler), which comes with the PerlNET distribution. Simply run the following command from your command prompt in the Hello directory:

plc Hello.pl

As a result, Hello.exe will be created. Now, you can test your first PerlNET program by executing Hello.exe. You should get the following output:

Hello from Perl!

Congratulations! You've just written, built, and executed your first fully functional PerlNET program. Reward yourself with a cup of coffee, and let's move on to the program discussion.


To read the entire article from which this tip is excerpted, click over to InformIT. You have to register there, but the registration is free.

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This was first published in March 2003

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