Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome learning book and reference - easy and fun to read, September 26, 2005
This review is from: Programming Perl (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
Programming Perl is an awesome book. It is very thorogh in it's coverage of the language. Programming Perl not only explains the what, the how, but also the why. Most books explain/list the what and perhaps the how, but when a book explains the why, it gives you a deeper understanding, and more of a thorough understanding of how to apply the concepts effectively.

Programming Perl is very easy to read and understand, and is quite humorous and enjoyable to boot. Larry Wall is also a trained linguist, and a son of pastor, thus he brings his linguist/philosophical/spiritual background into both the design of Perl and the prose of this book. His goal is to make Perl very useful, very intuitive and comparable to natural language, flexible, and encouraging of the programmer's creativity. These points are lost on some users/programmers, as they are used to rigid rules, sometimes arcane syntax, and having everything laid out in a rigid, linear fashion. Perl allows one to be as rigid as one wants to be, but allows one to be as free form as needed to get the job done and bring out ones creativity. The book Programming Perl is perfect in it's conversational style and humor in conveying this concept.

Also, if one has some programming experience, learning Perl from this book will work out great. If one is very new to programming, perhaps Biginning Perl or Learning Perl will be better.

And I have noticed that those giving this book bad reviews are people mostly expecting a very simple tutorial, in a traditional dry, simple style. When this expectation is not met, they rip the book. That is unfortunate. Also, I think some people just don't like the conversational style and humor - they want to just cut to the chase. That's great for basic references or simple tutorials. But, while Programming Perl has those things, it offers much, much more than those things. Programming Perl offers in-depth detail, understanding, and knowledge. And it is an awesome read as well.

Programming Perl is one of the best, most enjoyable programming books I've ever read - the K&R book and Stroustrup's book rank up there as well. Just like the K&R book is the ultimate on C, and the Stroustrup book is the ultimate on C++, Programming Perl is the ultimate on Perl. And each book reflects the individual languages and their creators design goals, philosophy, and style.

If you are doing serious Perl programming, or if you are simply curious, or if you like it as a hobby, or if you are doing occasion small Perl scripts, or if you are interested in programming in general, Programming Perl is the Perl book to get.

One last note: To those who think Perl is bad or doesn't scale for real world enterprise class applications, think again. Amazon itself is a huge Perl implementation. Much of the interface and application logic you are using here is generated with Perl code. Great stuff.
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