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2.2. Perl's Benefits

The following sections illustrate some of Perl's strong points.

2.2.1. Ease of Programming

Computer languages differ in which things they make easy. By "easy" I mean easy for a programmer to program. Perl has certain features that simplifies several common bioinformatics tasks. It can deal with information in ASCII text files or flat files, which are exactly the kinds of files in which much important biological data appears, in the GenBank and PDB databases, among others. (See the discussion of ASCII in Chapter 4; GenBank and PDB are the subjects in Chapter 10 and Chapter 11.) Perl makes it easy to process and manipulate long sequences such as DNA and proteins. Perl makes it convenient to write a program that controls one or more other programs. As a final example, Perl is used to put biology research labs, and their results, on their own dynamic web sites. Perl does all this and more.


  

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