Is Perl back-end or front-end?

(Note:  We may earn commissions from products/services you click on.  This is at no extra cost to you.)

Table of Contents

You must be confused on whether Perl programming language is either back-end or front-end; isn’t that so? But before we discuss more about this question or topic, it’s really necessary to understand what these terms mean so that we can understand the question/topic first before attempting to answer it or discuss it.

In your own words, can you perfectly define what back-end and front-end are right? If you find this challenging, too, then we will cover this together by defining these terms so that you can confirm your answers or your doubts, right?
Both the terms front-end and back-end mainly refer to the place or where the code runs in the client-server model. And answering our question in brief, it’s right to say that in a traditional client-server application, Perl can be used to write both the client front-end and also the server back-end.

In other words, it’s true to say that Perl is both – front-end and back-end. If, for instance, you are running a Perl script so as to display something to a user and also taking the inputs from the keyboard, then its front. While, if you are simply triggering the script to perform tasks that will at one given time be used by another application, then it’s back.

With all that said, let’s now dive in and discuss everything touching on whether Perl is backed or front-end!

Is Perl back-end or front-end?
florian-olivo-JNz9bQD3Oio-unsplash

Perl web framework

Have you ever thought of the Perl web framework after trying out several solutions that don’t do what you particularly want done? Or do the solutions do too much of whatever simple task you want done? If so, you need to try out using Catalyst since it has all the required resources and features that let you build exactly what you need. 

Become a Perl expert.  Click this affiliate link to register for Mastering Perl Scripting Certification Training.  

There are several Perl web frameworks that you can choose from whenever you have a task to be done. Here, we are going to major in the Catalyst Web Framework since it’s the choice of many. So, what is the Catalyst web framework? Well, if you have no idea of whatever it is, then you need to know that it’s a comprehensive and flexible environment that enables the quick building of high-functionality applications and is also focused on medium to large-scale web projects that one may have in mind. 

Start your journey from novice to expert.  Click this affiliate link to register for Data Science Certification Training.

The Catalyst has been created with rapid development, scalability, extendability, and even maintenance all in mind. It doesn’t end there since there are strong beliefs in backwards-compatible deployment. Catalyst is mainly based on the MVC (Model, View, and Controller) design pattern, thus making all of its components clearly separated and also easily interchangeable. 

The model has aboard business logic and also interaction with any database and even other systems. The View is used to determine how your data is rendered; you can choose to use an HTML template or even choose to output the data as JSON. What about the Controllers? Well, they need to be lightweight and also be able to handle the interaction present between the user and the model (s), providing the results on the required view. 

Take your expertise to the next level.  Click this affiliate link to register for the Data Scientist Masters Program.

Another thing that you need to have in mind is that Catalyst doesn’t force you to given modules that need to be used for models and also viewers. However, are you aware that the current standard practice is to adopt the DBIx::Class for the database model and also Template Toolkit for the view? Regarding this issue, it’s very easy to add your desired or even choose too many available models or even views. Lastly, building JSON or RSS versions of your content simply needs another different view of your data. 

You can also choose other alternative Perl Web Frameworks such as:

  • Jiffy
  • Mojolicious (present on CPAN)
  • Dancer

Perl modern web frameworks

Just like earlier discussed, there are several Perl modern web frameworks that you can choose from where the Catalyst was our preferred pick. The old wave of web development might have made the CGI.pm module central; the modern Perl web programming is, however, different from the old one since it follows a stricter separation of the business logic, URL and request routing, and also output. 

Do you remember the days of slinging a string there, an array here, A Perl hash yonder, declaring any of the variables at the top of the program, and even making a subroutine? Count all those days as gone! Perl has taken a different turn where it values the abstraction and also ways of mechanizing away boilerplate. Amid all those, Perl has several frameworks and also toolkits that are created to aid in making web development easier. 

Since there are several frameworks out there, they are more likely to make your web development easier, but there are three giants that stand out in this particular field. You can choose to create websites and also web applications of higher value by making use of all three. 

Wondering about three giant options that are more likely to offer a better experience as compared to the rest? Try out these:

Catalyst

In the previous part of this article, we had discussed so much about Catalyst as a Perl modern web framework, isn’t that so? 

The Catalyst has been created with rapid development, scalability, extendability, and even maintenance all in mind. It doesn’t end there since there are strong beliefs in backwards-compatible deployment. Catalyst is mainly based on the MVC (Model, View, and Controller) design pattern, thus making all of its components clearly separated and also easily interchangeable. 

The model has aboard business logic and also interaction with any database and even other systems. The View is used to determine how your data is rendered; you can choose to use an HTML template or even choose to output the data as JSON. What about the Controllers? Well, they need to be lightweight and also be able to handle the interaction present between the user and the model (s), providing the results on the required view. 

Dancer

What do you need to know about the Dancer framework? Well, it is vouched for as being minimal in syntax and scope, but at the same time boasts of a vibrant plugin ecosystem. Who really needs to use Dancer? If you are particularly concerned with smaller sites and applications, you need to choose Dancer as your most preferred. You also need to keep in mind that good programmers can still use it to come up with larger sites and even applications. 

Again, the first-ever produced version of the Dancer was considered by many to be very easy to use. But again, you also need to know that Dancer 2 still offers ease of use and the same time, heightening the internals and robustness of applications. 

Mojolicious 

Have you ever used the Mojolicious or Mojo framework before? If not, the simplest definition of this framework is that it has a real-time design based in terms of high-performance event handling. The main goals of this framework are to offer solutions to new and also interesting problems in the simplest and also most effective ways. This project has also added other new codes that help you do old things better and in simple ways. 

To cap it off, Mojolicious goes an extra mile in ensuring that it supports new web standards such as CSS 3, web sockets, and even HTTP 2. 

Using Perl with ReactJS

If you haven’t used Perl with ReactJS yet, then there are very many new things that you are about to learn. Firstly, can you define ReactJS? If you have no idea about it, then you need to know that ReactJS is an open-source front-end JavaScript library that is used in building user interfaces. 

Again, ReactJS is currently maintained by Facebook and also a community of individual developers and even companies. It’s mainly used as a base in creating single-page websites and even mobile applications. Many people find ReactJS as easy to use, and it also enables users to build reusable UI components. 

Features of ReactJS

Some of the features of ReactJS are not limited to:

  • JSX: JSX cab is best defined as an extension to Javascript. Again, you need to know that using JSX is react optional though it’s highly vouched for as one of the best features that are easy to use. 
  • Components: Components are simple things such as pure javascript functions that are used to aid in making the code to be easy by mainly splitting the logic into reusable independent code. One can use components as functions and also components as classes. Components also have aboard state, props that are used to make life easy. When in a class, the state of the props is maintained. 
  • Virtual DOM: React builds a virtual dom, such as an in-memory data structure cache.  
  • Javascript Expressions: You can use JS expressions in the jsx files via curly brackets. 

Advantages of Using ReactJS

What are some of the pros or even benefits of using ReactJS when executing your tasks? If you choose to use ReactJS, then you are more likely to enjoy all these:

  • It’s easy to debug and test since most of the coding is done in Javascript, excluding Html
  • It can be used to create the best UI for both desktop and mobile apps
  • Facebook is tasked to maintain ReactJS, the library, making it to be constantly updated and kept
  • It is famous and used by other several giant tech companies such as Apple and even Netflix
  • It’s an Open-source javascript library. Hence it’s a good option, to begin with
  • You are at liberty to create components of your choice if you use the react component feature. Those components can then be reused and are also helpful in maintaining your codes
  • It uses the in-memory data structure cache, and also the final changes are updated right in the browsers dom hence making the app to be faster when compared to others

Disadvantages of Using ReactJS

Some of the few disadvantages of using ReactJS include:

  • The size of the file of ReactJS is always large
  • Most of these codes are always written in JSX such as Html and CSS area also part of javascript making it sometimes to be confusing as many of the available frameworks do choose to keep the Html separate from the javascript code

Web front end for Perl script

Here, you need to use the Plack/PGSI whenever you want to perform this operation. This is because it acts as a middleware layer that allows you to run a Perl web application in several forms. Some people choose to use FastCGI, but again, there are several other options that you can choose from, such as mod_perl and also CGI. 

Become a Perl expert.  Click this affiliate link to register for Mastering Perl Scripting Certification Training.  

You can further use a framework to aid you in performing this task, such as Dancer or even Catalyst, which of course uses Plack under the hood, but again, they are described as overkill based on what your script is meant to do.

If, in any case, your wants are very basic, you can opt for using CGI without Plack, and also, the CGI module will make this entire task to be so easy. Besides that, you need to be aware that CGI is considered not to be so efficient but, on the other hand, very easy to configure. Keep in the back of your mind that you won’t easily notice the inefficiencies until you call the script frequently or even when the script has a higher startup time. 

Best way to activate Perl script from Java application

Well, the best way that you can use to activate Perl script from Java application is well-supported by JPL, but you should also know that the process is considered many users to be complicated:

The JPL preprocessor parses the .jpl files and then generates C code wrappers for the Perl methods. From here, it will also generate Java and Perl source files.

The C compiler will then compile the wrapper and links it to the libPerIInterpreters.so shared library, offering a shared library for the wrapper. 

The Java compiler will then compile the Java source file, which in this process uses the native methods to load the wrapper. 

The wrapper will then connect the Java code to the Perl code present in the source file. 

Capping it off, by good luck, a generic Makefile.PL can be used to simplify the whole process. This is a Perl script that can be used to generate a Makefile.

Perl catalyst

The Catalyst Web Framework is the choice of many. So, what is the Catalyst web framework? Well, if you have no idea of whatever it is, then you need to know that it’s a comprehensive and flexible environment that enables quick building of high-functionality applications and is also focused on medium to large-scale web projects that one may have in mind. 

The Catalyst has been created with rapid development, scalability, extendability, and even maintenance all in mind. It doesn’t end there since there are strong beliefs in backwards-compatible deployment. Catalyst is mainly based on the MVC (Model, View, and Controller) design pattern, thus making all of its components clearly separated and also easily interchangeable. 

The model has aboard business logic and also interaction with any database and even other systems. The View is used to determine how your data is rendered; you can choose to use an HTML template or even choose to output the data as JSON. What about the Controllers? Well, they need to be lightweight and also be able to handle the interaction present between the user and the model (s), providing the results on the required view. 

Another thing that you need to have in mind is that Catalyst doesn’t force you to given modules that need to be used for models and also viewers. However, are you aware that the current standard practice is to adopt the DBIx::Class for the database model and also Template Toolkit for the view? Regarding this issue, it’s very easy to add your desired or even choose too many available models or even views. Lastly, building JSON or RSS versions of your content simply needs another different view of your data. 

Perl catalyst tutorial

Just like previously discussed, the Catalyst has been created with rapid development, scalability, extendability, and even maintenance, all in mind. It doesn’t end there since there are strong beliefs in backwards-compatible deployment. Catalyst is mainly based on the MVC (Model, View, and Controller) design pattern, thus making all of its components clearly separated and also easily interchangeable. 

The model has aboard business logic and also interaction with any database and even other systems. The View is used to determine how your data is rendered; you can choose to use an HTML template or even choose to output the data as JSON. What about the Controllers? Well, they need to be lightweight and also be able to handle the interaction present between the user and the model (s), providing the results on the required view. 

Another thing that you need to have in mind is that Catalyst doesn’t force you to given modules that need to be used for models and also viewers. However, are you aware that the current standard practice is to adopt the DBIx::Class for the database model and also Template Toolkit for the view? Regarding this issue, it’s very easy to add your desired or even choose too many available models or even views. Lastly, building JSON or RSS versions of your content simply needs another different view of your data. 

For a step-by-step guide on how to fix certain problems or even methods on how to perform certain functions using Perl catalyst, you need to related YouTube videos that will clearly show what you need to do. 

The best Perl catalyst tutorial needs to cover areas such as:

  • Introduction
  • 02_Catalyst Basics
  • Further Catalyst Basics
  • Basic CRUD
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Debugging
  • Testing
  • Advanced CRUD

What to use for web back-end development? Perl? 

PHP?

This is a very good question to ask. The first answer to this question is that if you know much about Perl, then you can choose to use Catalyst since it is a mature and also a modern framework that you can opt for whenever you want to develop applications. 

If you know much of PHP and have ideas about the Perl language, you can choose to use PHP, where you will then choose Zend Framework 2 since it is meant for an advanced web-based interface. At the same time, you can choose to use CakePHP since it is helpful when it comes to convention-over-configuration patterns and also speeds up the development. 

Keep in mind that using PHP can be a good choice since it’s one of the most mature and also powerful languages for back-end and has a bigger community support whenever you have queries or problems in your code. 

Conclusion

From this article, it’s right to say that Perl is both – front-end and back-end. If, for instance, you are running a Perl script so as to display something to a user and also taking the inputs from the keyboard, then its front. While, if you are simply triggering the script to perform tasks that will at one given time be used by another application, then it’s back. Best of luck!

Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.