Need Perl vs VBS guidance

LeeJend

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Have some programming projects I need to work on for complex manipulation of excel and dbase files (I can translate the Dbase to excel or other). Wintel platform.

What is the prefered tool these days? PERL, Visual Basic, other?

What is the recommended FREE (open source) compiler/interpreter?

Any other words of wisdom on the subject?

Big rep's in it for the rep needy.
 

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