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Learning Perl, Fourth Edition Fourth Edition Edition
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Chapter 1. Introduction
This chapter answers basic questions such as how to get and install Perl, how to construct a basic Perl program, and then takes you on a whirlwind tour of Perl.
Chapter 2. Scalar Data
As a general rule, when Perl has just one of something, that's a scalar, which is the topic of this chapter.
Chapter 3. Lists and Arrays
If a scalar is the "singular" in Perl, as described at the beginning of Chapter 2, the "plural" in Perl is represented by lists and arrays. A list is an ordered collection of scalars. An array is a variable that contains a list. In Perl, the two terms are often used as if they're interchangeable. But, to be accurate, the list is the data, and the array is the variable. You learn about these differences through practical code examples in this chapter.
Chapter 4. Subroutines
You've now seen and used some of the built-in system functions, such as chomp, reverse, and print. But, as other languages do, Perl has the ability to make subroutines. The name of a subroutine is another Perl identifier occasionally with an optional ampersand in front. There's a rule about when you can omit the ampersand and when you cannot, and that rule is discussed.
Chapter 5. Input and Output
This chapter covers the 80% of the I/O you'll need for most programs.Read more ›
This books provides a wonderful, quick, easy read for beginners and pros alike. The knowledge of the language coupled with the coverage of core concepts, methodology, practices and practical programmatic thinking was a delight to read/review.
The basics are covered well: strings, numbers, control structures, subroutines, arrays and hashes, and most importantly, reading and writing files, and the mighty regular expressions. In fact, I've not read a better treatment of regular expressions anywhere else. Everything is clearly explained and well-written. Basically, this is the gold standard against which all introductory books to a programming language should be judged.
However, this book makes no claim to covering all of Perl. At least the main text of the book doesn't. I don't know what happened with the blurb on the back of the book, but it mentions, among other things: threading, references, objects, modules and package implementation. Technically, these topics are indeed present, but only in that a paragraph each is devoted to them in Appendix B. You will certainly learn nothing of any value about them.
There are some other minor quibbles: you may find the constant Flintstones references tiring after a while. Also potentially wearing are the sometimes inane footnotes, which breaks the flow of the reading experience for little reward. On the other hand, I found them a lot less annoying in this edition, so perhaps I've just mellowed out in the intervening years.Read more ›
Because of that and the teaching style this book earns the 5 star rating.
Toward the end it hints at some of the other 'required' topics such as references, modules and objects. After you've read this book get a copy of Intermediate Perl to read up on those topics.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is good book for beginners, things are explained in simple language. Its good to start on with Perl with this book.Published 19 months ago by abhijit
This book took the time to explain exactly what I needed to know in order to learn what I needed from Perl. Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by chris cutlip
I certainly enjoyed this item. I would definitely recommend it to any and everyone who is interested in this item!Published on February 18, 2013 by Lynn
How can you program Perl without this book? After years I still use it from time to time when I have a brain fade regarding some common syntax issue.Published on January 30, 2013 by South Texan
I have not really gone through all the book, but it seems very nice for learning PERL from begining. I would recommend it, very good information for the price I paid.Published on August 24, 2011 by Leo :D
I own about two dozen Perl books, including the 2nd and 3rd editions of 'Learning Perl'. I'm now buying the 4th edition of 'Learning Perl', and this review is motivated by the... Read morePublished on April 1, 2010 by C. Carter
To go along with everyone else, this book is great for beginning to learn how to program in PERL. A must for everyone.Published on August 28, 2009 by M. Zavada