ActivePerl User Guide

Documentation and Support


Documentation and Support


ActivePerl Documentation and Support

Where can I get documentation on ActivePerl?

Documentation for ActivePerl is provided in HTML format in the Html directory in your perl directory. This has the documentation from the standard perl distribution, as well as the complete documentation for modules and extensions. For more information on Win32-specific extensions, see What modules come with the ActivePerl distribution?.

Note that the standard perl distribution documentation (perl*.html) has some UNIX-specific information, and lists some features/functions that will not work on the Windows version of ActivePerl. The perlwin32 and perlport pages discuss the portability issues under the Win32 platform.

You can also read the Perl documentation with the perldoc command. At the command prompt, type perldoc followed by the name of the document you want to read, as in:

    perldoc perlwin32
    perldoc perlfaq

Documentation is provided in the binary distributions (it is created during install), and can be created by install or it can be made by "make installhtml" in the source distribution.

What kind of documentation comes with ActivePerl?

ActivePerl comes with the standard Perl documentation, as well as documentation for all Core modules.

Is there formal support for ActivePerl or PerlIS?

Peer support is available from the Perl-related mailing lists that ActiveState hosts. You can find more information on these mailing lists at

For mission-critical support, please consult the Perl Clinic at

The Perl Clinic offers fee-based support for all of your Perl ailments.

PerlDirect offers corporate support solutions for Perl. PerlDirect provides the comprehensive support that an enterprise needs to deploy Perl.

Are there information sources available on ActivePerl on the World Wide Web?

There are several web pages devoted to ActivePerl. Here is a short listing:

Is there a mailing list for ActivePerl or Perl for ISAPI?

ActiveState hosts a variety of mailing lists for the ActivePerl community. More information can be found at

Archives of the mailing lists can also be found on the ActiveState web site.

You should check the archives or a FAQ like this (see Is there a FAQ for ActivePerl?) before posting a question to the mailing list. List members are mostly overworked programmers and admins like yourself. So, for best results, be courteous, specific, and show that you really have tried to figure out your problems for yourself.

Is there a Usenet newsgroup devoted to ActivePerl issues?

Not yet. You can use comp.lang.perl.misc for miscellaneous Perl questions; the members of most Usenet Perl newsgroups tend to concentrate on UNIX platforms.

Try the perl-win32-users mailing list (see Is there a mailing list for ActivePerl or PerlIS?) for more specific Win32 information.

For web server setup and CGI programming, try one of the following three newsgroups:

Is there a FAQ for ActivePerl?

You are reading one of them. Also, Perl is shipped with the main PerlFAQ inside the help system, which is over a hundred pages long and split into several parts.

Robin Chatterjee's Perl for Win32 page contains frequently asked questions and copies of the perl-win32-users mailing list responses to them:

How do I report a bug in ActivePerl?

The ActiveState bug reporting system can be found at

Before you report a bug to this location, you need to do several things:

Can I ask a question? ... or ... How do I ask a question?

The etiquette for asking questions is about the same whether you're working with mailing lists, newsgroups, chatrooms, or IRC channels. Here are some pointers that will help you get your questions answered.

Are there any live chats where I can talk about Perl stuff?

For UNIX or more general perl programming discussion, you can try out #perl on EFNet (the big one) and UnderNet. Be careful of EFNet #perl though. There are a number of discussion topics that are not tolerated there: Win32-specific Perl issues, non-programmer questions (e.g., I just downloaded this neat script - how do I make it work?), and CGI/WWW programming. EFNet #perl is a good place to meet some Perl masters, however, like Tom Christiansen (tchrist) and Randall Schwartz (q[merlyn]). I've never seen Larry on there but I'm told he does come on from time to time.

In any of these IRC channels, you need to do your own work, and try to solve your own problems. Don't go in expecting someone to look over some neat script you downloaded and want to get working if you "just want it to work and don't have time to learn perl". That kind of attitude is an easy way to get banned from the channel. The members of these channels are overworked Perl programmers with little tolerance for people who want others to do their work for them.

After you ask a question, you should stick around and chat for a while. It's polite, and a very good way to learn "perl style", or how perl programmers think about everyday things.


This FAQ was originally assembled and maintained by Evangelo Prodromou. It has been revised and updated by Brian Jepson of O'Reilly & Associates, David Grove, David Dmytryshyn and David Sparks of ActiveState.

This FAQ is in the public domain. If you use it, however, please ensure that you give credit to the original authors.

 ActivePerl FAQ - Documentation and Support