- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Fourth edition (July 24, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596101058
- ISBN-13: 978-0596101053
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 99 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,755,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning Perl, Fourth Edition Fourth Edition
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"This book can be summed up as a solid introduction to Perl v5.8. There's no quick way to learn a language but finding time to work though this book will put you in good stead. Anyone past the basics of the language would be better off splashing out on "Perl Cookbook " or "Learning Perl". - Greg Matthews, news@UK, September 2005
Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible
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Those gripes aside this is a fantastic way to learn Perl. The first script I wrote after finishing the book was over 500 lines and automated a painful task I had to do every day at work.
This book did not disappoint. It's been excellent. It takes a very practical approach to educating the reader on the mechanics of Perl, focusing on cumulative knowledge as the chapters move along. The text is reasonably engaging, and the material moves at a good pace - not too fast and not too slow. The exercises at the end of the chapters help reinforce the material, and even includes estimates of how long the programming should take. It clearly articulates differences between Perl versions without droning on incessantly about tiny nuances. It is riddled with footnotes for more advanced users to help them understand more and more exceptions to basic rules, as they are initially taught by the text.
To be clear, this book isn't a book that teaches how to program. If you're looking for something that covers procedural logic, this is not the book for you. However, I would suspect that even someone without a deep computer background, but just a strong willingness to learn, would find this book beneficial.
If you ARE a programmer, you might find it a bit novice, and the pace a little slow - maybe not though, maybe you should just absorb the material faster and fly through the chapters. It's hard for me to say.
It was exactly what I was looking for, and after some more practice, I believe I may be moving on to Intermediate Perl.
As for actual content it is complete, has several advances topics and is worded nicely. It doesn't measure up to some of the other O'Reilly books in some spots. Most notably it doesn't hilight how to install Perl (I normally have the stuff installed beforehand, I just noticed it wasn't there this time around).
I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Perl, its clear, and it uses a realatively recent version of Perl as compared with its competitors and has some fallow-up books by the same publisher, should you want to further your learning.
This book is an amazingly quick read for someone with existing programming experience. That's not to say it's not comprehensive or small. It's both comprehensive and full-sized. You will be able to do 90%+ of most programming tasks with just this book (and a little research of your own, in the places the book directs you to).
I am looking forward to the next 2 books in series!