ActivePerl is a 'merge' of the two popular Perl ports. It has the best of both, plus more: a merge of ActiveState Perl Object technology into core Perl; support for standard extension mechanisms such as MakeMaker; easy installation and management of modules and extensions with Perl Package Manager; binaries for most CPAN modules, available from ActiveState's repository (including TK and GD); updated FAQs; and complete, integrated online help in HTML.
Perl is an interpreted language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from those text files, and printing reports based on that information. The ActivePerl package has all you'll need to get Perl up and running, even with a Web server. It includes Perl for Windows; the binary of the core Perl 5.8.0 distribution; Perl for ISAPI, an IIS plug-in that makes Perl CGI lightning fast; PerlScript, an ActiveX scripting engine with a Perl brain; and the Perl Package Manager, a Perl extension installer and manager. In Version 5.8 Support has been enabled for large file access on all platforms, meaning that file manipulation facilities within Perl can cope with files larger than 2GB or 4GB. Many new modules are included as a standard part of Perl.