|Born||September 27, 1954
|Religious beliefs||International Church of the Nazarene|
While in graduate school at UC Berkeley, Wall and his wife were studying linguistics with the intention afterwards of finding an unwritten language, perhaps in Africa, and creating a writing system for it. They would then use this new writing system to translate various texts into the language, among them the Bible. Due to health reasons these plans were canceled, and they remained in the U.S., where Larry instead joined the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory after he finished graduate school.
Wall is the author of the rn Usenet client and the nearly universally used patch program. He has won the International Obfuscated C Code Contest twice and was the recipient of the first Free Software Foundation Award for the Advancement of Free Software in 1998.
Beyond his technical skills, Wall is known for his wit and often sarcastic sense of humour  , which he displays in the comments to his source code or on Usenet. For example: "We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise," and:
For example, it's been several decades now since a certain set of Bible translations came out, and you'll notice a pattern: the New English Bible, the New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version, to name a few. It's really funny. I suspect we'll still be calling them “new this” and “new that” a hundred years from now. Much like New College at Oxford. Do you know when New College was founded. Any guesses? New College was new in 1379. 
He is the co-author of Programming Perl (often referred to as the Camel Book), which is the definitive resource for Perl programmers. He has edited the Perl Cookbook. His books are published by O'Reilly.
Wall's qualification as a linguist is apparent in his books, interviews, and lectures. He often compares Perl to a natural language and explains his decisions in Perl's design with linguistic rationale. He also often uses linguistic terms for Perl language constructs, so instead of traditional "variable", "function", and "accessor" he sometimes says "noun", "verb", and "topicalizer".
Wall's Christian faith has influenced some of the terminology of Perl, such as the name itself, a biblical reference to the "Pearl of great price" (Matthew 13:46).  Similar references are the function name bless, and the organization of Perl 6 design documents with categories such as apocalypse and exegesis. Wall has also alluded to his faith when he has spoken at conferences, including a rather straightforward statement of his beliefs at the August, 1997 Perl Conference and a discussion of Pilgrim's Progress at the YAPC (Yet Another Perl Conference) in June, 2000.
Wall continues to oversee further development of Perl and serves as the Benevolent Dictator for Life of the Perl project. His role in Perl is best conveyed by the so-called 2 Rules, taken from the official Perl documentation:
Please note that as the State of the Onion speeches are often primarily based on visual humour, the transcripts may seem confusing or nonsensical.
Quotations come from the source code to Perl version 4. Some may be present in more recent versions as well.
Configure script in the Perl source code is
generated by a tool called Metaconfig, which was also used in a
number of Larry Wall's other programs.
Taken from the transcript of the talk.
Taken from the transcript of the talk.
Taken from The State of the Onion 10
Note: On IRC, Wall uses the nickname "TimToady" (the phonetic equivalent of TIMTOWTDI, which are the initials of the Perl Motto "There is More Than One Way to Do it").
<TimToady> TimToady's Lament: The pain in reign falls mainly in the 'splain.
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