The heart of any programming language is it's ability to manipulate data
. Computers and computer programs would be of very little use if there was no way to introduce our own data
to them so that we can do some actual computing. Even something as outwardly simple as a calculator requires an interface so that you can provide it with some data
to do computations (i.e. numbers and operators).
Programming in Perl is no different - Perl provides three basic data types that you can use to feed your program various types of data. Find out about scalars, lists, and hashes in the next lesson from the Absolute Beginners Guide.