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Java vs. Perl: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 19, 2023
Java is an object-oriented programming language; Perl is a versatile scripting language.

Key Differences

Java is a widely-used, object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle). Perl, on the other hand, is a dynamic, high-level programming language known for its text processing capabilities.
While Java is platform-independent due to its "write once, run anywhere" philosophy, Perl is more renowned for its power in string manipulation and regular expression capabilities.
In terms of performance, Java typically runs faster as it compiles into bytecode, which runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Perl, meanwhile, is an interpreted language and might not be as fast as Java for certain tasks.
Java is often the language of choice for building large-scale applications, especially in the enterprise context. Perl, though capable of building large applications, is commonly used for scripting, system administration tasks, and text processing.
When it comes to community and libraries, Java boasts a vast ecosystem with a plethora of libraries and frameworks. Perl also has a rich ecosystem, notably the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), which offers a vast array of modules.

Comparison Chart


Object-oriented programming
Scripting & general-purpose language


Compiles to bytecode for JVM
Interpreted language

Main Usage

Enterprise applications
Scripting, text processing


Typically faster (due to JVM)
Might be slower for certain tasks

Library Repository

Maven Central, JCenter
Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN)

Java and Perl Definitions


A slang term for coffee.
Let's grab a cup of Java before work.


Refers to the Perl community or enthusiasts.
The Perl community is active and supportive.


The software platform enabling applications to run on devices.
I need the latest version of Java to play this game.


Synonymous with small beads made of plastic.
She decorated her dress with shiny Perl beads.


A major island of Indonesia known for its rich history.
Bali is just east of Java.


An acronym for "Practical Extraction and Reporting Language."
Perl lives up to its name with excellent text extraction capabilities.


A popular object-oriented programming language.
Many mobile apps are developed using Java.


A play on words relating to the "pearl" gem.
The necklace had a mix of pearls and Perls.


A type of sparrow found in Hawaii.
The Java sparrow is a beautiful bird.


A dynamic programming language renowned for text processing.
I use Perl to parse large text files.


Brewed coffee.


Can Java run on any platform?

Yes, Java is platform-independent and can run on any device with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

What is Java primarily known for?

Java is known for its object-oriented programming capabilities and "write once, run anywhere" philosophy.

What's the primary repository for Java libraries?

Maven Central and JCenter are prominent repositories for Java libraries.

Can Java handle regular expressions like Perl?

While Java has regular expression capabilities, Perl is more renowned for its advanced and versatile regex features.

Is Perl suitable for web development?

Yes, Perl has frameworks like Catalyst and Dancer that facilitate web development.

What does JVM stand for in the context of Java?

JVM stands for Java Virtual Machine.

Who is the creator of Perl?

Perl was created by Larry Wall.

How do I execute a Java program?

Java programs are typically compiled to bytecode and then executed using the java command.

How do I execute a Perl script?

Perl scripts can be executed using the perl command followed by the script name.

Which language is older, Java or Perl?

Perl was first released in 1987, whereas Java was introduced in 1995.

Where can I find Perl modules?

CPAN, or the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, is the primary repository for Perl modules.

Is Java case-sensitive?

Yes, Java is case-sensitive.

Which company developed Java?

Java was developed by Sun Microsystems, which is now owned by Oracle.

Can Java be used for web development?

Yes, Java is widely used in web development, especially for backend services.

What's the learning curve for Java vs. Perl?

Java might have a steeper learning curve due to its strict syntax and object-oriented nature. Perl, while flexible, requires understanding its unique idioms.

Which has a more extensive standard library, Java or Perl?

While both languages have comprehensive libraries, Java's standard library is more extensive, but Perl's CPAN offers a vast array of additional modules.

What is Perl's strength?

Perl excels in text processing, scripting, and system administration tasks.

Is Perl compiled or interpreted?

Perl is an interpreted language.

What are popular frameworks in Java?

Some popular Java frameworks include Spring, Hibernate, and JavaFX.

How about Perl? Is it case-sensitive?

Yes, Perl is also case-sensitive.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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