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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FOR THE SERIOUS STUDENT
Make no mistake, you are buying more than a book; this is a university COURSE in programming Perl. First, the peeves...
Start with its price--$$$--grrr! No solutions are to be had for the exercises??? The CD is really mickey-mouse. Think about it...this book is written by "Educators" on "computer programming" and the CD is little more than 1st generation...
Published on August 16, 2001 by bruno_k

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book was not written by Perl programmers
A Perl novice picking this book up will be impressed. It's big, the prose is good, and it seems to have a command of the subject.

This is all misleading. The book was written by professional authors who pick up a language as they write a book. Perl isn't like other langauges - the mindset and featureset are completely different. Writing effective Perl means...
Published on January 6, 2005 by Scott D. Walters


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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book was not written by Perl programmers, January 6, 2005
By 
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
A Perl novice picking this book up will be impressed. It's big, the prose is good, and it seems to have a command of the subject.

This is all misleading. The book was written by professional authors who pick up a language as they write a book. Perl isn't like other langauges - the mindset and featureset are completely different. Writing effective Perl means getting a grasp on ideas taken from awk, sed, Lisp, C++, sh, and a dozen other places. This book teaches Perl as if it were another C dielect with a funny syntax. This certainly makes it easy to "leaern Perl", but after reading over 800 pages, you'll actually learn very little Perl. And no wonder - large amounts of this book were cut and paste verbatum from other books Dietel wrote about C++ and Visual Basic! Nothing unique to Perl is discussed, such as Perl's excellent date manipulation fascilities, object serialization, or indeed any module beyond the CGI module (on which a thousand books have been written).

Descriptions of features are vague and half hearted showing lack of a clear understanding. To someone who knows Perl, this book sounds like a homework assignment where someone read about Perl and then wrote about their findings, uncertainties and all.

Throughout the book, code listings basically work (I worked hard on that as a paid technical reviewer - my name is in the credits - and this was no small task) but they too completely miss the style, spirit, and indeed the point of programming Perl. They're riddled with security holes. They don't leverage modules, and Perl's CPAN repository is probably it's greatest strength.

I don't like writing bad reviews. I don't like having failed to have persuaded the authors to address security. I wanted to like this book since it was the first I've worked on. With lots of help from people who truly grasp Perl this book could have been medicore but Dietel's production-line like business model doesn't allow for this. Books need to be written by experts or at least senior members of the community. Rank novices cannot just read other books and repeat back their findings and call it a book. Or perhaps you honestly believe that Dietel has mastered every language on the sun and had plenty of time left over to write an 800 page book about the language they learned last month.

As with any bad review, you should be asking what motivated the bad review. Often it's a frustrated novice. Sometimes it's pure snobbery. Other times it's religion or a burnt employee. I'm not a Perl novice; I've been programming for 21 years now and I've been programming in Perl quite heavily for about 6 of those. I'm a bit of a Perl snob but only because there are so many really excellent books like Programming Perl, Learning Perl, Beginning Perl, CGI Programming with Perl, and scores of others. Dietel treated me very well and paid me fairly (again, I wish I could give an average review). I'm just writing this review to temper the initial impressions of those first learning Perl with a slightly more educated assessment.

If you want one massive book with loads and loads of Perl knowledge, Computer Science & Perl Programming was collectively written by about 20 of the best known Perl hackers who have developed the most important modules, worked on the core, and spoke and written more often than anyone else. And while CS&PP has nearly the same page count, it costs half as much. Besides being more thorough, more insightful, more interesting, and in better style, it's a heck of a lot of fun.

In short, Perl: How to Program is just another in-it-for-the-money amaturely written Perl+CGI book with a lot of padding and little insight.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FOR THE SERIOUS STUDENT, August 16, 2001
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
Make no mistake, you are buying more than a book; this is a university COURSE in programming Perl. First, the peeves...
Start with its price--$$$--grrr! No solutions are to be had for the exercises??? The CD is really mickey-mouse. Think about it...this book is written by "Educators" on "computer programming" and the CD is little more than 1st generation "acceptable"?! If anyone could and should do better...?
Right. Now the good points. Super organized...logically arranged, easy to find info as a reference. Each chapter tells you what you will learn, provides terminology to learn, and the obligatory quizzes at the end of the chapter reinforces what you just covered...all the pros of a good university text! The page layout--font, colors, etc., are all utilized with great effectiveness.
The language of the text is closer to a 2nd or 3rd year text. You are definitely not talked down to. I found the language to be in the upper level of my comfort zone. I had to slow down and think. What makes it acceptable as an introductory text is that the authors are very precise and clear with their terminology/definitions. It's all there in black and white but if you didn't catch definition A the way THEY defined it, definition B will bring you back. It can be rather slow moving at times, albeit complete.
To be sure, more information couldn't be supplied in a text this size without a shoehorn. It is as complete and thorough as anyone could hope. The teaching method is to show a morsel of programming which you then learn by dissecting for understanding. The code works. It all works. Unfortunately you aren't given much opportunity to implement what you have learned outside of playing with the illustrated code (since the exercises have no solutions). I only studied up to chapter 15/23 (databases) and picked what I needed from the rest. [I needed to rewrite a program from Perl to another language]
This book is definitely NOT FOR EVERYONE! The bottom line you must accept is that you STUDY it! If you just want to get aquainted with Perl code--perhaps be able to read and understand it, do yourself a favor, try another book--there are scads of em out there. There is nothing casual about this book but if you are willing to put in the time, it will reward you. I believe this book will become a reference book for me as well, without having to buy another.
The authors have written other "programming language" books with the same Formula--I'm currently waiting for the PYTHON release. I only hope it lives up to this one.
Overall an impressive text, but only for the SERIOUS student!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a true all in one resource for Perl programmers, April 29, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
Do you want to write Perl? Interface cgi with databases? Understand regular expressions? Maybe there is some basic question that you KNOW you should KNOW but even after perldoc and RTFM has failed you you were too ashamed to ask someone? After you read this, it won't leave the bag you take with you to work everyday.
This book is clearly the very best Perl reference I have come across.
After reading the famed O'Reilly Perl series (which you should also purchase for additional references), I was still searching for an all encompassing reference book (Basically because if you want hardcover print you will soon tire from lugging around the cookbook and the Llama book). Each function / method / module / package is clearly explained in enough detail to enable you to do something RELEVANT to what 99% of the people out there need to do, and FULLY understand what you are doing. For a bonus, each section has an example script ala the cookbook. If you have ever wanted to truly understand how to implement Perl this book is for you!
I have never written a review before, but this book is really that good.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine book from the Deitel's, February 25, 2001
By 
Dale Federighi (San Mateo, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
I have to say that I was surprised to even find this book on the shelf. Deitel books are always in demand. I am halfway through the 4th chapter....and I am thoroughly impressed. I work as a software engineer, and in my travels have come across and read many different perl books. What I did not have was a book to fill in the blanks on the more obscure details. For example, I know to specify "use strict" in my scripts, but what are the specific reasons for this. From peeking ahead in the book, there are thorough explanations of data structures, and the uses of perl with xml. I can honestly say, whether you are a beginner or a skilled programmer...this book has a lot to offer. Buy it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bet for Novice Programmers, September 26, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
I must agree with the consensus of extremely positive reviews. This book does an excellent job of introducing programming to the complete novice using Perl as a first language. The writing is clear, if a little wordy, but first-timers will appreciate the authors' efforts to clearly and thoroughly TEACH the material rather than just lay it all out on the page with little guidance. The summaries at the end of the chapters are great for quick review, and the exercises are quite challenging (with hints provided when necessary).
Perhaps the greatest asset here is the Live-Code approach, in which code examples are shown in their entirety, including the output the reader should expect upon execution of the program. The authors then go on to dissect each program line by line, making sure that the reader knows exactly what is happening, and why, every step of the way. I found this approach to be more useful than any other I've seen in any programming book.
The book also emphasized for me the appropriateness of Perl as a first programming language. While it has its quirks, it also has some great advantages, i.e., the ability to write and run console applications (great for learning), a fast compiler, and the fact that it is loosely typed. Add to all this the glossy color pages, and the included CD (which allows users to install a completely configured distribution of Perl 5.6 from ActiveState, and NuSphere's MySQL), and you have the most comprehensive learning Perl solution on the market. It may be pricey, the it is really worth every penny!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm falling asleep, August 29, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
Because of my school, I own 4 of these hideous beasts. While the books contain a rich assortment of information on their particular subjects, they can be verbose in the extreme. Additionally, they seem to be poorly organized as some other reviewers have mentioned. It is very difficult to pick up these books and stay interested for more than 5 minutes. I've had to purchase other books to actually learn the languages and utilize the Deitel books as references. Some people may find these books to be fine; I suspect we all learn differently. If you enjoy books that get right to the point and with better organization, look elsewhere.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is not just an ordinary programming book!, May 23, 2003
By 
Hossein A. Zar (Japan, kanagawa, sagamihara) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
I am a computer system and network engineer for more than six years in Japan. I should state that I am not an experienced programmer in Perl or any other programming languages but I have some basic and limited knowledge in VB and Java. I have studied many computer text books but frankly saying the Perl How to Program book, is an excellent textbook as well as a handy reference book among the best books that I have studied so far. Not only it is well written but also the structure of the book is sorted and categorized in way that even non-native English spoken individuals can easily get the required understanding of programming language without trapping in ambiguous words and phrases. I have also bought the Learning Perl (Llama) but the Llama textbook is not a good textbook for the beginners who are eager to learn programming language from scratch, and the structure of the Llama for instance; the examples and the explanation of important subjects are insufficient, in addition there are some words and phrases which have been used in the Llama's main texts that I looked up in many English dictionaries and vocabulary sources but I have not found any description for them, the words such as "hoozistatic" and "fizzbin". Therefore I recommend the Perl How to Program to anyone who is eager to learn Perl programming language as well as the techniques of programming of any other programming languages from scratch!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great second (or only) Perl book. Very comprehensive., June 14, 2003
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
This books covers a lot. Probably more than any other Perl book I've read. It's a great reference or to fill in the gaps other Perl books left out. I am not new to Perl and I have probably 20 Perl books--and being the Perl freak I am, I buy any additional books that have anything I can read--and this book is one of the top 4 or 5 most read Perl books. It covers a great deal of aspects, if you only get one or three Perl book(s) in total, this one is highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Author has ADD?, July 9, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
The book over explains the simple and skips the intermediate to go right for the difficult. The topics were all over the place. It was like reading a book written by a child suffering from A.D.D. Myself, as well as 14 of my classmates, deem this book responsible for countless wasted hours of unnecessary studying of basic programming. Our time would have been better spent taking turns kicking each other!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It is not just an ordinary programming book!, May 23, 2003
By 
Hossein A. Zar (Japan, kanagawa, sagamihara) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perl How to Program (Paperback)
I am a computer system and network engineer for more than six years in Japan. I should state that I am not an experienced programmer in Perl or any other programming languages but I have some basic and limited knowledge in VB and Java. I have studied many computer text books but frankly saying the Perl How to Program book, is an excellent textbook as well as a handy reference book among the best books that I have studied so far. Not only it is well written but also the structure of the book is sorted and categorized in way that even non-native English spoken individuals can easily get the required understanding of programming language without trapping in ambiguous words and phrases. I have also bought the Learning Perl (Llama) but the Llama textbook is not a good textbook for the beginners who are eager to learn programming language from scratch, and the structure of the Llama for instance; the examples and the explanation of important subjects are insufficient, in addition there are some words and phrases which have been used in the Llama's main texts that I looked up in many English dictionaries and vocabulary sources but I have not found any description for them, the words such as "hoozistatic" and "fizzbin". Therefore I recommend the Perl How to Program to anyone who is eager to learn Perl programming language as well as the techniques of programming of any other programming languages from scratch!
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Perl How to Program
Perl How to Program by D. C. Mcphie (Paperback - February 4, 2001)
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