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I need help with Perl!

<Perl-fu> A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part.

Before asking anyone for help, answer this question:

Yes, I want to learn Perl!

Great. Put the project you're currently working on aside and read Beginning Perl. If it cannot wait, see the "No" answer below. Don't just read the introduction or the chapter you're interested in, but the entire book. Alternatively, read Learning Perl (the Llama book), Programming Perl (the Camel book) and Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules (the Alpaca book). Only Beginning Perl is freely available for download.

If you're dealing with an area of Perl that you have not previously explored, this is a good time to do so. Feel free to ask for pointers to documentation. It's probably a better idea to start with perldoc perl (or http://perldoc.com/) and/or Google.

When you have finished reading and still do not know how to solve your problem, feel free to ask in EFnet's #perlhelp or at PerlMonks.

No, I just have this problem that needs to be solved.

If it is a problem with software that you did not write yourself, contact the author of that software for support. If that software is not perl or a CPAN module, you will have a hard time when asking the Perl community for help.

If the author of the software is unavailable and/or you don't want to spend time learning anything, you should hire a programmer. Find a qualified Perl programmer at http://jobs.perl.org/ or recruit someone in a Perl IRC channel (not allowed everywhere). Expect to pay anywhere from US$ 20/hour to over US$ 200/hour depending on the knowledge and experience of the perl coder you're hiring. For internet deals, a down payment is usually required.

Alternatively, ask your questions on Google Answers.

In any event, don't expect friendly people if you ask questions but refuse to learn.