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# 1  
Old 03-31-2002
Question Perl question

Hi everyone,

Is Perl compiled? I keep running into references to Perl being compiled which is drivin me nuts because I thought it was an interpreted language. I am tired of the confusion, I am obviously misunderstanding something. Would someone mind explaining to me the exact order of events starting from saving my perl script to the end of its execution?

Thanks in advance
# 2  
Old 04-01-2002
Please refer to "man perlfaq1"

A computer scientist will correctly explain that all programs are interpreted, and that
the only question is at what level. But if you ask this question of someone who isn't a
computer scientist, they might tell you that a program has been compiled to physical
machine code once, and can then be run multiple times, whereas a script must be
translated by a program each time it's used.

Perl programs are (usually) neither strictly compiled nor strictly interpreted. They can
be compiled to a byte-code form (something of a Perl virtual machine) or to completely
different languages, like C or assembly language. You can't tell just by looking at it
whether the source is destined for a pure interpreter, a parse-tree interpreter, a byte-
code interpreter, or a native-code compiler, so it's hard to give a definitive answer
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