- Paperback: 700 pages
- Publisher: Wrox Press; 1st edition (May 25, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1861003145
- ISBN-13: 978-1861003140
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #924,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beginning Perl (Programmer to Programmer) 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
The book promotes the use of Perl as a programming language, encouraging the creation of legible and sensible programs so as to dispel the image of Perl as a confusing and obscure language. In other words: Don't worry, whatever your current experience level in the world of Perl, this book has something for you. It covers both basic and advanced aspects of Perl, Apache modPerl and Perlscript for use with Wintel systems and stresses the cross-platform nature of Perl, with extensive examples and techniques.
About the Author
Simon Cozens is a freelance programmer who has extensive commercial experience developing in Perl for Oracle, amongst other clients.
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Top Customer Reviews
Update 04-24-08: I will likely be dusting this book off and bring it in to work. The notes I wrote in it make it invaluable to me. There is a new version too. UltraEdit is a great text editor and only costs $50 for the latest and greatest text version of the program.
I spent a year with the book and went through almost every chapter in detail. I typed in nearly every chapter, wrote notes in the book, etc.
It's not perfect and falls a little short occasionally in the area of being pro-active. By this I mean there are some areas where the author could have emphasized things a bit more.
Also, he makes it seem like learning PERL is a breeze. I found it a lot of work after spending 2000 hrs with the book. I can can code pretty well and consider myself an intermediate non-professional. This language is an outstanding way to learning advanced programming techniques common to all languages. It is also something I will use as I move from windows 2k/xp to Mac OS X Tiger - which has perl built in and is accessible through the Terminal.app window.
Bottom line: if you have a need to manipulate text based data files or even excel - since there are many plugins for Perl or want to do Web cgi scripts this is a great book although it does not focus on web applications but primarily on the building blocks of text manipulation and general programming fundamentals, loops, statements, troubleshooting, etc you cannot go wrong with this book. Also, don't be fooled by its size. It is the right size instead of a giant telephone book that you will never read like most programming books. Also, much more helpful for learning than the Perl in a nutshell classic O'reilly book.
"how could the other writers not include this essential information?" This an essential Perl reference for the beginner or experienced user. I just wish this had been my first Perl rather than my fifteenth.
Unfortunately, it doesn't cover the Perl debugger in any depth. Despite the fact that coverage is a bit old, it is quite adequate to get started and be very comfortable with the language. I wish it was available on Kindle.
It is suitable for one semester course in Perl. Version covered is Perl 5.8 not 5.10. Some issues covered such as dereferencing of arguments in subroutines are rarely covered even in intermediate books. This is definitely much better and cheaper book then Learning Perl (ignore the lemmings effect in Amazon reviews of this pretty weak book).
The strong point of the book is the set of examples (you can download them) which illustrates basic material of each chapter. Running them is a must for studying Perl with this book.
Examples are often overcomplicated (like most Perl books authors Simon Cozen tries to impress reader with his knowledge of intricacies of Perl and often loses the sense of proportion; but he is not as bad as Randal Schwartz who is a pathological "overcomplicator" ;-). Still they are very helpful in understanding the language. A very useful exercise that I successfully tried with my students is the simplification of examples provided.
The book is the best for programmers moving from other languages then to "plain vanilla" beginners. It might be also useful for Unix system administrators who know Unix shell reasonably well.
The range of topics covered is really impressive:
Chapter 1: First Steps In Perl
Chapter 2: Working with Simple Values
Chapter 3: Lists and Hashes
Chapter 4: Loops and Decisions
Chapter 5: Regular Expressions
Chapter 6: Files and Data
Chapter 7: References
Chapter 8: Subroutines
Chapter 9: Running and Debugging Perl
Chapter 10: Modules
Chapter 11: Object-Oriented Perl
Chapter 12: Introduction to CGI
Chapter 13: Perl and Databases
Chapter 14: The World of Perl
Appendix A: Regular Expressions
Appendix B: Special Variables
Appendix C: Function Reference
Appendix D: The Perl Standard Modules
Appendix E: Command Line Reference
Appendix F: The ASCII Character Set
Appendix G: Licenses
Appendix H: Solutions to Exercises
Appendix J: Support, Errata and P2P.Wrox.Com
Simon Cozens definitely knows the language well and it shows.
The book coveres a lot of intermediate topics like references, databases, OO concepts, CGI, etc.
Lists and hashes are explained well although the author often abuses lists and uses them where they do not belong. Both lists and hashes are introduced early in the book.
Regular expressions are explained OK. I like the approach the author takes in writing a small program which demonstrates various concepts.
The book covers both DBM databases and SQL databases. MySQL is used to demonstrate how PERL interacts with an SQL database. Most Linux distributions have MySQL installed by default, the book also contains useful information about installation and basic configuration, that helps to make MySQL up and running.
DBM, which are simple key-value pair databases are covered in more detail. The author demonstrates complex data storage using DBM files. Normally DBM can only store a single value for any key.
As for SQL only fairly simple SQL commands are covered, but then it is an introductory books and it's naive to expect full SQL coverage.
In CGI chapter the author introduces CGI environment variables and HTTP commands such as GET and POST first. Then he switches to the CGI.pm module which is standard module in Perl but unfortunately introduces a lot of overcomplexity in the topic. CGI security issues are also mentioned.
Basic networking is covered in chapter 14. The Net::FTP module is covered in chapter 11 ( Object-Oriented Perl ) which makes this chapter simultaneously an extension of networking chapter.
The set of examples from the book greatly enhances the value of the book. It is mostly error free and immediately usable. Also each chapter has exercises with the answers. That makes the book more suitable for the classroom.
All-in-all this is a solid introduction to Perl which is attractive not only due to the price.