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Customer Review

518 of 542 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to Perl for Unix hackers only, October 31, 1999
This review is from: Learning Perl, Second Edition (Nutshell Handbooks) (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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2007 11:04:13 AM PDT
brian d foy says:
This review is for the second edition of Learning Perl. The third and subsequent editions removed the unix bias, and should work for any platform including Windows and Mac OS X.

Posted on May 11, 2007 2:51:36 PM PDT
Why is this review still here ? It refers to an edition no longer available and has no relevance to the current Version 4 - which by the way is a WINNER.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2007 3:16:16 PM PST
This problem is endemic on Amazon: reviews of specific editions, with edition-specific comments, often appear on listings for other editions.

Conversely, for some older books that have appeared in multiple editions over the years (such as Leslie Charteris's "Saint" books), you have to post a separate review for each edition even though the content is identical.

I e-mailed Amazon about this several months ago, with no result as yet.

Posted on Jan 7, 2011 12:48:58 AM PST
my pen name says:
this book er good. 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).
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