Can Perl Run from Shebang Line on BASH Shell on Windows 98 Computer?

James E Keenan
Thu Mar 2 19:04:00 GMT 2000

I am having 
problems running Perl on my Windows 98 machine using the Cygwin B-32 BASH shell. 
While I can run Perl from the command line, I cannot yet get "stand-alone" Perl 
programs to run, i.e., programs where Perl runs not because the command "perl 
-e" is evoked in the first position on the command line but rather because the 
".pl" file itself has information concerning the location of the Perl 
interpreter on the computer.
Installation :             
Perl version 5.005_03 built for MSWin32-x86-objec.   Binary build 522 from ActiveState Tool 
BASH shell downloaded from Cygwin, version B20. 

Objectives : I have 
multiple objectives in studying Perl. 
(1) Write 
CGI scripts for Web site am designing. Am working my way thru E. Castro's "Perl 
and CGI for the World Wide Web" (Peachpit Press). Have directory on a friend's 
server which I can use for practice purposes; server runs Apache web server with 
BASH-2.02 shell. Have learned enough Unix to Telnet to that server, get around 
it, change permissions, etc. So far so good. 
(2) On my 
job (hospital) I face problem of editing text files (client medication 
histories) so as to make them conform to a certain database format.   Friend with Perl expertise says this 
would be an ideal job for Perl.   
However, job would have to be done on PC rather than over network/Net to 
a file server.
arises:   Should I learn Perl thru an 
MS-DOS command line for this application, while learning Perl thru BASH command 
line for regular Web application?   
My thinking:   It would 
probably be simpler to learn one command line (BASH) first.   However, that means that I have to get 
the BASH shell to work on a Windows 9x machine -- and that I have to get Perl to 
work properly on that shell.
Hence the 
Cygwin and ActiveState downloads.   
But my Perl practice programs only seem to work when "perl -e" is called 
on the command line.   I can't get 
programs which start with the shebang line to run.   In addition, the command "which perl" 
doesn't work.   It generates the 
message:   "bash:   which:   command not 
Research :             
My research into this problem has generated contradictory 
information.   The ActivePerl FAQ 
( <> ) 
states:   "...Win32 platforms don't 
provide the shebang syntax, or anything like it.   The FAQ suggests (a) calling the perl 
interpreter directly (as in "perl"), (b) installing an Apache 
webserver on a Win32 system (which does accept the shebang syntax) or (c) 
converting Perl script into a batch file using the "pl2bat" utility distributed 
with Perl for Win32.   (b) and (c) 
seem overly complex, especially to a beginner like 
The O'Reilly 
book Learning Perl on Win32 Systems, 
however, says (p.9 fn.), "...there are Win32 ports of UNIX shells (e.g., tcsh, ksh, and bash ) that do understand shebang 
lines.   If you're using one of these 
shells, you can use shebang lines by specifying the path to your Perl 
Lowe’s Perl Programmer’s Interactive 
Workbook (Prentice Hall PTR) states that “For MS-DOS operation, you’ll need 
to make the program look like a batch file and have it start Perl for you.” 
(p.23)   However, it’s not clear 
whether this applies to any DOS-based system (including my Windows 98 
system) or just to the MS-DOS shell and command line.   If the former, then on a Windows 
computer I’ll have to learn Perl via the DOS command line; BASH would be 
useless.   If the latter, I should be 
able to learn Perl via the BASH command line, whether the installation is a 
Windows computer or Unix.
Can anybody 

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