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on August 16, 2001
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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on April 29, 2001
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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on February 25, 2001
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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on September 26, 2001
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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on August 29, 2003
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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on May 23, 2003
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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on June 14, 2003
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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on July 9, 2002
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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on May 23, 2003
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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on February 26, 2001
I own the C++ book by the Deitel's and I have to say I was a bit skepticle when I purchased this book. I was wrong. I am very happy with this book. I have made it through 5 chapters...and I am amazed at the level of detail found in the book that is usually missing from other programming books. They cover everything in this book. From theory/explanations of complex functionality, to the use of strict and all of it's facets, OO prgramming to CGI's using XML. I have peeked ahead in the book, and there is some repitition for me since I have read quite a few perl books, but overall this book rocks. Buy it.
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