Practical Extraction and Report Language (Perl) is another programming language that deserves mention, since it has received significant attention in the bioinformatics and proteomics communities. Perl was developed in the mid-1980s and was once the most common language used for Web development. The strength of Perl lies in its ability to process text and to find patterns. As such it has been utilized in the bioinformatics community in the form of the BioPerl project, an open-source international collaborative resource with object-based bioinformatics libraries [89,90]. There have been reports of the use of Perl in peptide-fragment ion screening and other pro-teomic mass spectrometry applications [91-94]. ActiveState (Vancouver, BC, Canda) has created ActivePerl, currently in version 5.8, for the development of Perl applications for Microsoft Windows. In addition, ActiveState has recently released Visual Perl and similarly, Visual Python, which allows for integrated programming of these popular open-source languages within the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET IDE.
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