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Learning Perl, Second Edition (Nutshell Handbooks) [Paperback]

Tom Christiansen , Randal L. Schwartz
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15, 1998 1565922840 978-1565922846 2
In this update of a bestseller, two leading Perl trainers teach you to use the most universal scripting language in the age of the World Wide Web. With a foreword by Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, this smooth, carefully paced book is the "official" guide for both formal (classroom) and informal learning. It is now current for Perl version 5.004. Learning Perl is a hands-on tutorial designed to get you writing useful Perl scripts as quickly as possible. Exercises (with complete solutions) accompany each chapter. A lengthy new chapter in this edition introduces you to CGI programming, while touching also on the use of library modules, references, and Perl's object-oriented constructs. Perl is a language for easily manipulating text, files, and processes. It comes standard on most UNIX platforms and is available free of charge on all other important operating systems. Perl technical support is informally available -- often within minutes -- from a pool of experts who monitor a USENET newsgroup (comp.lang.perl.misc) with tens of thousands of readers. Contents include: A quick tutorial stroll through Perl basics Systematic, topic-by-topic coverage of Perl's broad capabilities Lots of brief code examples Programming exercises for each topic, with fully worked-out answers How to execute system commands from your Perl program How to manage DBM databases using Perl An introduction to CGI programming for the Web

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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: 9.1 x 7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
516 of 540 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to Perl for Unix hackers only October 31, 1999
By J. Park
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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123 of 127 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy the camel, but read the llama first December 3, 1999
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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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it works for Windows 98 users too! =) August 13, 2000
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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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first step January 17, 2000
By Rak
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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for every one who is programming in Perl December 29, 1999
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Introductory Text
Perl differs from many other languages. For example, it requires data typed variables to use specific symbols, and it also has a very different concept of object-orientation and... Read more
Published on September 18, 2011 by Clifford Oravec
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I needed to have a book that outlined the syntax for the coding of Perl. This was an excellent book to give me the basics of Perl. Read more
Published on December 21, 2008 by Clyde Chiever
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning Perl
Well laid out, easy to follow for a beginner. Serious coders will need a more detailed and in depth book after completing this one.
Published on November 2, 2007 by Lee Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought it to stop the questions
I picked this one up for a friend in an attempt to get him to stop bombarding me with perl questions. It didn't work. He just asked me more.
Published on February 20, 2007 by Jesse Hires
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for those new to programming
While this may be an excellent primer for programmers who are new to Perl (I don't know), it's not the best place to start for those who are entirely new to programming, like me. Read more
Published on May 8, 2002 by Ken Zirkel
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro, Easy Read
This is not one of those bloated computer books that you have to read while hunched over a keyboard, taking notes and meticulously typing out the examples. Read more
Published on January 1, 2002 by Thomas Alison
4.0 out of 5 stars new programmer
I feel this is a good book for a beginner programmer, one that is interested in having good examples, there is even a cgi programming chaper that is very useful. Read more
Published on December 10, 2001 by bc mcdaniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Good start for the language, catch up in a short time.
I read this book as I have no previous experience in script, eventhough I know pretty well c, c++. This book is not down to earth like the 21 days book, but not advance either. Read more
Published on November 29, 2001 by L. Truong
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book when you start programming in Perl
Hi, I'm French and I work as a database administrator for an insurance company in Ireland. I started to use perl one year ago and the first book I bought was that one. Read more
Published on October 17, 2001 by Patrick DAVID
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the line
This is as good as it gets.
The writing style is fun throughout, the chosen examples interesting, organization very well thought out, presentation clear. Read more
Published on October 4, 2001
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