PDL (“Perl Data Language”) gives standard perl the ability to
COMPACTLY store and SPEEDILY manipulate the large N-dimensional data
arrays which are the bread and butter of scientific computing.
The idea is to turn perl in to a free, array-oriented, numerical
language in the same sense as commerical packages like IDL and
MatLab. One can write simple perl expressions to manipulate entire
numerical arrays all at once. For example, using PDL the perl variable
$a can hold a 1024×1024 floating point image, it only takes 4Mb of
memory to store it and expressions like $a=sqrt($a)+2 would manipulate
the whole image in a few seconds.
A simple interactive shell (perldl) is provided for command line use
together with a module (PDL) for use in perl scripts.