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Learning Perl, Second Edition (Nutshell Handbooks) 2nd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 178 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1565922846
ISBN-10: 1565922840
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible

From the Publisher

This second edition of Learning Perl, designed for those who seek a rapid working knowledge of Perl and sporting a new foreword by Perl author Larry Wall, fully covers the world of Perl, version 5. In this new edition, program examples and exercise answers have been radically updated to reflect typical usage under Perl 5, and numerous details have been added or modified. In addition, you'll find new sections introducing Perl references and CGI programming. Perl is a high-level, multipurpose language. It is used in diverse system administration tasks, while also playing an endless variety of roles in other areas. These range from data reduction and report generation to distributed computing and assorted auxiliary roles in software development. Perl has even encroached upon the territory of C and other programming languages. Learning Perl, written by a leading Perl instructor, provides a systematic, step-by-step, tutorial approach to learning the language. There are numerous short code examples punctuating a relaxed, informal, and precise tour of all the main features of the language. In addition, each chapter contains exercise problems, together with their solutions. Anyone who works through the book will be capable of programming with a broad and productive range of Perl features. For a comprehensive and detailed guide to advanced programming with Perl, read O'Reilly's companion book, Programming Perl.

Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 2 edition (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565922840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565922846
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,014,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are 2 sets of reviewers rating this book. The first set, who compose the majority of reviewers, are experienced Unix programmers who have used sed, awk, grep and the various Unix shells. For those Unix hackers, this book is a great intro to Perl because it covers the basics of the language quickly and efficiently without belaboring the obvious (or I should say, the obvious to experienced Unix users).
The second set of reviewers (of which I am one), who have just about universally panned this book, are Windows or Mac users who had no clue what sed, awk and grep were and then attempted to tackle Perl with this book. For those people, this book is a big mistake.
When I was searching for a beginning Perl book, I flipped through the llama book and got confused not only by the first chapter, but with several of the succeeding chapters as well. I learned Perl with Laura LeMay's "Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days" which is a much gentler intro to Perl and also covers Perl in Windows and the Mac. Now that I have some Perl and Linux experience, I went back to the bookstore and started flipping through the llama again, and this time I thought, "Hey this book is really good."
Learn from my Jekyll and Hyde experience with the llama: if you are trying to learn Perl and you have previous Unix experience, buy the book. If you don't have previous Unix experence, get something else.
I hope this explanation clears up why some people gave this book rave reviews while others ripped it.
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Format: Paperback
I came to this book knowing next to nothing about Perl, and with a few misconceptions to boot (that Perl's syntax is 'write-only', it's primarily a CGI tool, etc.), and now I am not sure that epiphany would cover it. In 12 years of learning and using programming languages, I don't think I have come across anything so enchanting.
One of the best parts of the book: the authors. Add Schwartz & Christiansen to Elliotte Rusty Harold, Petzold, and a very few others who are truly effective technical writers. Classic O'Reilly easygoing style, never condescending, and eerily consistent in presenting just the right amount of information on the given topic.
Every programmer (even non-Perl ones) should read 'Programming Perl' by Larry Wall. But to learn Perl, and take the first step down a long and magical road, buy this book.
I had a few nits, but by the time I finished the book, I had forgotten most of them. As close to 5 stars as I will ever give for a technical book.
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Format: Paperback
Before I buy this book, I was reading the reviews in this site and I was particularly concerned about the requirement of an UNIX-based OS. Since my only workstation is a PC running Windows, I was very uncertain about buying this book, despite the great review.
Now, listen up.
-I only know the basics of C++ programming;
-I do not know anything about UNIX OS;
-I create websites using HTML and JavaScripts;
-This book help me understand enough about Perl to write my own CGI scripts and run them on the Internet!!! (I've got 3 forums running now and several voting sections!)
If you are a pure Windows user, like myself, but would like to learn the basics of Perl, get this book, period!
Now the cons: As mentioned with so many reviews, this book is very brief. Although I was stuck in chapter for 1 week (!!!), I "fly" through the rest of the chapters in 2-3 days! The biggest problem I find is the lack of adequate explanation for each operators, regular expressions, etc. When writing my own CGI, I have to continuously look for alternative sources of Perl references to clear up my queries and help me to understand a few particular properties of Perl.
For example, I have to use the s///; and the tr///; many times in my scripts, but without extensive understanding of all their properties, I find it "crippling" to my work.
Enough said. For an introduction to Perl, I would give this book 5 stars. If you hunger for much more information, like myself, get this book first, before trying out the lastest Programming Perl (3rd Edition).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent way to ramp up on Perl quickly. It takes you through the in's and out's of Perl at a wonderful pace and covers most of what you need to know. This is the book to get if you're new to Perl and need to learn it quickly. The 200 or so pages are readable in less than a week.
However, there are a few important things to note. This is not a standalone book. You will need to get the Programming in Perl book as well to serve as a reference guide. Also, this book assumes basic Unix knowledge. If you have no exposure to Unix, a couple of things (very minor though) might be a bit baffling. If you've played with Unix, then this book is a breeze.
I managed to ramp myself up on Perl and start writing some sweet scripts within a week. I also bought the Programming in Perl book and now I turn to that book for the more heavy duty stuff.
The long and short of it: this is the best beginners book around for Perl.
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Format: Paperback
This book is perfect for what the title says: Learning Perl. I own this book, the Programming Perl book, and the Advanced Perl book. All three are great for different things. If you've never written a line of Perl before this is the book to get. It will show you how to do most things related to Perl, and will even get you started in CGI and Database access. The authors often point toward valuable web resources like CPAN. In addition, the book is fun to read- not drab and dull like other programming books (this seems to be an O'Reilly thing, and maybe why I buy so many of their books). I've written a lot of Perl code over the last year or so and I still often refer to this book for little things that I forget (like syntax for certain things, etc). This book sees the most use out of the three Perl books I own (although Programming Perl is pretty worn too).
Definately a must-have for anyone serious about programming in Perl. Especially if you write in a lot of languages like I do and don't have the brain capacity to memorize every nuance of every language. This book is easy to find information in.
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