9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2007 11:14 PM by Bill Scott
Mitesh Patel1 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

I've just started to program in Perl and I was wondering which is the best Perl IDE to use. Preferably freeware.



Power Mac G5 Dual 1.8 GHz CTO, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • Michael Bradshaw Level 5 Level 5 (4,135 points)
    BBEdit isn't free - but it's generally the best if XCode's free editor isn't for you.

    People that do a lot of java programming tend to like IDE's like Eclipse and such, but for perl - basic syntax coloring and customizable keycommands are generally all one needs...
  • Charles Minow Level 6 Level 6 (9,180 points)

    It's not really an IDE, but for freeware, you could try TextWrangler. It has syntax coloring, and can run the scripts directly from the application. But there's no integrated debugger.

    If you're looking for an IDE, including a step-thru debugger, there's Affrus. It's not free, but I bought it because I do a lot of Perl coding for work, and it saved me so much time it was worth it.

  • dave42 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I use Vim (comes with OS X)
  • Bill Scott Level 6 Level 6 (11,445 points)
    I second vim. It is a delight to use.

    However, I also let some folks here talk me into purchasing TextMate for OS X. It took a lot to get me to pay for an editor. But I got my money's worth (despite the current exchange rate).

    Another option is to use IDLE, which comes with python. Then you can write programs in python instead of perl, which will make the $ key on your keyboard last a lot longer.
  • Boyd Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    I use vim also (actually, gvim, or vim -g) and have a series of mapped keys to run the script, etc. Also take a look at ddd - the gnu debugger which works with perl - lets you hover the mouse over a variable and see the current value, for example. I guess I got ddd from fink since it is in my /sw/bin directory.

    One other item: Komodo www.activestate.com/Products/Komodo/
    gives a really nice IDE for Perl - it costs $30 or so for individual, but has a 30 day free trial of the full blown tool. My friend on the train uses it to manage the CPAN tools, as well as all the other features that a real IDE has.

  • Boyd Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    There is a new review of Komodo at


    entitled: Award-winning Komodo IDE Deserves Its Acclaim
    by Cameron Laird

  • Wade Peeler Level 6 Level 6 (10,905 points)
    Emacs, of course. And it comes with OS X. I think the OS X version only runs in the shell window though.

    Here's a couple of places to get different binaries and source:


  • Mitesh Patel1 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks for the suggestions, sorry it took so long to read them.

    I have been using Vim, but it gets a bit difficult to use when you're tired late at night!

    I think that I might just splash out on TextMate, as a PhD student in our department also recommended it.
  • Bill Scott Level 6 Level 6 (11,445 points)
    Textmate had a 30 day trial, and its not too difficult to figure out how to keep it running. But then I realized what I was doing and bought it. I'm not sorry I bought it.