I have been learning perl lately, and in doing so, I feel like I need to tell people about how wonderful it is. So here goes. It's wonderful. It makes perfect sense, it's organized perfectly, it's faster than anything I've ever used(though admittedly, I haven't used many programming languages), and it's fun! I am enjoying learning its use immensely, though it certainly does take some pretty serious concentration, for me, at least. The reward will be a much faster website for you, and much faster and more uniform scripts for me, in all that I do.
I decided to run a speed test of perl, using a very simple script that counts to ten, that can be found in the second chapter of Learning Perl. I duplicated its functionality with an equally unimpressive shell script. The perl script ran twenty two times faster. I was blown away. It's just a completely different approach to scripting than what I'm used to, and it all seems to be entirely designed to be easy to use.
I set learning perl as a developmental goal for work, in April, with the first step being the purchase of this book. An unofficial "deadline," for achieving this goal was set for December of this year. By that time, I expect to have been writing in perl exclusively for at least five months.
In other news, we just got access at work to the office printers. Talk about slow.