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Perl Language Reference Manual
by Larry Wall and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 724 pages
ISBN 9781906966027
RRP £29.95 ($39.95)

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26.1.1 Documentation

The main interface to Perl's documentation is perldoc, although if you're reading this, it's more than likely that you've already found it. perldoc will extract and format the documentation from any file in the current directory, any Perl module installed on the system, or any of the standard documentation pages, such as this one. Use perldoc <name> to get information on any of the utilities described in this document.
pod2man and pod2text
If it's run from a terminal, perldoc will usually call pod2man to translate POD (Plain Old Documentation - see "The Plain Old Documentation format" (perlpod) in the Perl Library Reference Manual (Volume 6) for an explanation) into a manpage, and then run man to display it; if man isn't available, pod2text will be used instead and the output piped through your favourite pager.
pod2html and pod2latex
As well as these two, there are two other converters: pod2html will produce HTML pages from POD, and pod2latex, which produces LaTeX files.
If you just want to know how to use the utilities described here, pod2usage will just extract the "USAGE" section; some of the utilities will automatically call pod2usage on themselves when you call them with -help.
pod2usage is a special case of podselect, a utility to extract named sections from documents written in POD. For instance, while utilities have "USAGE" sections, Perl modules usually have "SYNOPSIS" sections: podselect -s "SYNOPSIS" ... will extract this section for a given file.
If you're writing your own documentation in POD, the podchecker utility will look for errors in your markup.
splain is an interface to 25 - paste in your error message to it, and it'll explain it for you.
The roffitall utility is not installed on your system but lives in the pod/ directory of your Perl source kit; it converts all the documentation from the distribution to *roff format, and produces a typeset PostScript or text file of the whole lot.
ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition