Difference Between Perl and Python

In the field of computer science, we have an ocean of programming languages that can be used for various purposes. A few of these programming languages are Java, C++, Python, Perl, PHP, and many more. There happen to be numerous differences in nuances, readability, and the purposes of these languages. Perl and Python are two entirely different languages, used in completely different fields of work.

Perl vs Python

The main difference between Perl and Python is that they are based on complete ideas, Perl is more robust and complicated, it is derivative of languages like C and Shell scripts, hence its readability is similarly based on semicolons, braces and indentations. On the other hand, from a very root level python is a very simple and explicit programming language, Python readability is only dependent on indentations.

Perl vs Python

Perl is a family of a pair of high-level languages which is interpreted in nature. It is a dynamic programming language used for general-purpose coding. The name Perl refers to the “Perl 5” coding language, it was also used to refer to “Perl 6” before it was renamed as Raku. The Perl language is derivative of C++ and shell scripting so it is easier for people to use, especially those who are used to C and C++. It is generally made use of in applications like networking and GUI designs.

Python is also a high-level language, just like Perl. However, the difference lies in the fact that its design philosophy revolves around the readability of code. Thus this language breaks away from the norm of large construction of codes which can be oftentimes confusing and frustrating to read. Python’s approach to this was breaking the code into smaller chunks with easy syntax and dividing the program based on indentation to form the proper hierarchy of commands.

Comparison Table Between Perl and Python

Parameters of ComparisonPerlPython
WhitespacesPerl does not care about whitespaces as its syntax doesn’t depend on whitespaces.Python uses whitespaces to deal with syntax so any misuse of proper whitespace will result in a syntax error.
PurposeIt is a general-purpose programming language and it is most commonly used in report generation and file scanning.It is a general-purpose programming language used for object-oriented programming and data structure design.
File extensionPerl scripts use a .pl file extension.Python scripts use a .py file extension.
Statement BlockPerl uses braces for defining statement blocks and dividing them into logically sound blocks.Python uses indentations for defining statement blocks and defining them properly.
End of StatementAt the end of every statement in Perl, a semicolon is necessary.Ending a statement with a semicolon is not necessary.

What is Perl?

Perl is a group of two high-level programming languages used for general-purpose coding. It is interpreted and a dynamic programming language. It has a rather robust syntax system that isn’t very readable and aesthetically pleasing, this nature of the language earned it the title of the duct tape that holds the internet together. It was released as an alternative to complex shell scripting, thus it bears resemblance to shell scripts and C language.

Perl was developed by Larry Wall in 1987 for a Unix scripting language to make processing reports easier. This is very derivative from languages like C and Shell scripts. In the late 1990s, it gained popularity as a CGI scripting tool because of its regular expression and string parsing capabilities. As a programming language, Perl is very expressive and a given algorithm can be short and highly compressible. It is available on most platforms be it Windows or Linux, it has been licensed under the GNU general public Licence. This has been developed implementing C. Perl is procedural, which means every variable, expression, assignment statement, and brace delimited blocks are all individually procedurally called during a program call.

What is Python?

Python is another high-level general-purpose programming language, but what makes it unique is its design philosophy. The philosophy behind its design is emphasized by code readability. This has been achieved by the usage of significant indentation. It supports multi-paradigm programming like structured, object-oriented, and functional programming. Python checks the program for its type safety at runtime and it is also garbage collected.

Python is a very easily readable language hence its formatting is aesthetically pleasing. To increase the readability of the language oftentimes English keywords where other languages use punctuation. Unlike most other programming languages it doesn’t use any kinds of braces to delimit the blocks of statements. Its syntax is very unique in comparison with older languages like C and Pascal. For indentation, Python uses white spaces rather than braces or keywords, unlike many other programming languages.

Python was made at Centrum Wiskunde & Infomatica by Guido Van Rossum in netherlands. It was developed as a successor ABC programming language. Its implementation began in December 1989. It was designed to be highly extensible rather than having all of its functionality built to its core. Many of its features make it a very accessible programming language and can be quite easily learned in comparison with C or Java that requires a considerable amount of time to learn to use properly.

Main Differences Between Perl and Python

  1. The main difference between the two languages is their design philosophy. Perl has a conservative way to deal with problems. Python however has a more concise and simple way to tackle problems while not giving up on any features.
  2. Perl is more akin to C, so it happens to be modifiable. Python has some decisive features that make it stand out from the crowd.
  3. Perl has a much more robust system of indentation and keywords and delimiters, more akin to languages like C or Java. Python is very beginner-friendly as it can be picked up easily because of its characteristic keywords.
  4. Perl uses braces as delimiter while python helps newcomers to take on problems easily through unique indentation system which is used as delimiters.
  5. Perl is used to managing networks and in CGI, but Python is used in artificial intelligence and data science.


Programming has become a very important part of everyday research as it can help us in our day-to-day life. Perl and Python are two programming languages that are worlds apart based on the implementation of their features and systems, each of which helps people in different fields in different ways.

Perl was created by Larry Wall in 1987 as a Unix scripting language to make the process of processing reports easier. This is based on languages such as C and Shell scripts. Because of its regular expression and string parsing features, it became popular as a CGI scripting tool in the late 1990s.

Guido Van Rossum created Python at Centrum Wiskunde & Infomatica in the Netherlands. It was created as a replacement for the ABC programming language. It went into effect in December 1989. Rather than having all of its functionality built into its core, it was designed to be highly extendable.


  1. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=fu5xnZhnzy4C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=perl+and+python&ots=Qrz3_ObnAz&sig=W0oETDJbmS6zhM1I1TRr0ZsDBTs

AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 61]