Perl is a high-level programming language with roots in C, sed, awk
and shell scripting. Perl is good at handling processes and files,
and is especially good at handling text. Perl's hallmarks are
practicality and efficiency. While it is used to do a lot of
different things, Perl's most common applications (and what it excels
at) are probably system administration utilities and web programming.
A large proportion of the CGI scripts on the web are written in Perl.
You need the perl package installed on your system so that your
system can handle Perl scripts.
You need perl-base to have a full perl.