Perl's design goals include flexibility, expressiveness, and power.
Some languages limit expressiveness and power in an effort to be safe and curb bad choices by developers and there is something to be said for that. Perl empowers developers to make their own decisions about what is right for them.
Some common sayings in the Perl community:
- TIMTOWDI - There Is More Than One Way To Do It
- DWIM - Do What I Mean (aka The Principle of Least Astonishment)
- Easy things should be easy and hard things should be possible
"I realized at that point that there was a huge ecological niche between the C language and Unix shells. C was good for manipulating complex things - you can call it 'manipulexity.' And the shells were good at whipping up things - what I call 'whipupitude.' But there was this big blank area where neither C nor shell were good, and that's where I aimed Perl."
-- Larry Wall, author of Perl