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Beginning Perl, Second Edition: From Novice to Professional (Books for Professionals by Professionals) [Paperback]

James Lee

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Beginning Perl (Expert's Voice in Open Source) Beginning Perl (Expert's Voice in Open Source)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2004 159059391X 978-1590593912 2nd Revised edition
Immensely popular Perl combines the best features of C, key UNIX utilities, and powerful regular expressions. Perl is commonly used for web programming, as well as e-mail and Usenet news filtering. Fast becoming the system administrator's scripting language of choice, Perl is also useful for file and directory manipulation, database access, and a broad range of daily system operator chores. This second edition dispels the image of Perl as a sometimes confusing, obscure language, and instead, promotes Perl as a legible, sensible programming language. Concise and focused, this book reaches out to users of all experience levels, and covers basic to advanced aspects of Perl, Apache modPerl, and Perlscript (for use with Wintel systems). This book also stresses the cross-platform nature of Perl.

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About the Author

James Lee is a hacker and open-source advocate, based in Illinois. He holds a Masters degree from Northwestern University-and he can often be seen rooting for the Wildcats during football season. As founder of Onsight, Lee has worked as a programmer, trainer, manager, writer, and open-source advocate. Lee co-authored the recently published Hacking Linux Exposed, Second Edition, as well as Open Source Web Development with LAMP. He enjoys hacking Perl, and has written many articles on Perl for the Linux Journal. Lee also enjoys developing software for the web, reading, traveling, and most of all-playing with his kids-who are too young to know why Dad's favorite animals are penguins and camels.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Teaching Perl 14 Feb 2007
By F. L. Fabrizio - Published on
I use this book to teach Perl in a university course. I feel it does a very good job at exposing just enough of Perl to make it useful without confusing beginning students. I chose this over O'Reilly's Learning Perl (also a good book) because this book goes into References, Modules and a bit of OO Perl, and also has what I feel is slightly better treatment of shortcuts like $_ as well as lexically-scoped variables with 'my'. O'Reilly has broken these topics across two books (Learning Perl and Intermediate Perl), both fine books but I only want the students to have to buy one book. I feel that Perl is not very useful without references, so that was the major reason for switching to this book for a beginning Perl course. I highly recommend it.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Perl, 2nd Edition 6 Oct 2004
By T. Barr - Published on
Beginning Perl, 2nd edition, by James Lee, et al., is a splendid

introduction to the Perl programming language, version 5.8.3. The flow

of the book is logical, straightforward, and highly readable. Text is

heavily sprinkled with program examples that the reader can easily try

out along the way, as well as exercises at the end of most chapters,

with solutions in the appendix. Chapters are short, clear, and


After a brief discussion of the history of Perl and a listing of

numerous helpful online resources, the book quickly moves on to the

logistics of running a Perl program, followed by descriptions of basic

program elements and control flow. Then it's ahead to more

sophisticated data elements - lists, arrays, and hashes - and finally

functions and subroutines.

After a solid and seemingly effortless explanation of these "basics,"

the book moves to one of the most powerful features in Perl - regular

expressions - and how these can be used to access files and data. From

there, the discussion expands to string processing and references. The

book concludes with discussions of more "advanced" Perl features,

including object-orientation, modules, and use with webservers and


Regardless of topic, the writing style stays crisp, clear, and

example-filled, making this book a highly effective and enjoyable way to

get a jump-start into Perl programming for the novice or a quick

refresher for the expert wanting a Perl 5 update.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perl from basics to objects 12 Oct 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on
This is a very capable introduction to Perl that I think is intended for reasonably experienced programmers. It is not intended to teach Perl as a first computer language, and it does not pander to the reader. The Perl it teaches is strong industry standard Perl that is in line with what could reasonably be considered best practice. That's something in a language that prides itself on having many ways to do one thing.

The book covers the entire topic of Perl from the basics of writing a script, through functions, modules, and into object oriented programming. It also covers vital community information such as the use of CPAN.

If you have not read Programming Perl then I believe you should start there. But if you find that book has too much of a learning curve then I would recommend this book or Learning Perl (O'Reilly.)
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very suitable for newcomers 9 Sep 2004
By W Boudville - Published on
For server side scripting, Perl is now one of the favourite languages. Lee shows how you can quickly and easily grasp the basic syntax and begin programming usefully in it. He stresses in his presentation that no prior knowledge of Perl is needed. Strictly, not even of another programming language. If this describes you, his book should be quite understandable, given just a modicum of maths background.

But having said that, if you've written in any other programming language, then you'll breeze through a lot of the texr. It's just a question of picking up Perl's syntax.

Where things might get slightly hairy are when references are discussed. Like in C or C++, some beginners find this awkward. It's been mentioned by others that in general, in computing, one of the dividing lines in understanding is the topic of references (and pointers). It doesn't seem to be a strong function of how well an author explains it, but more of the student's intrinsic aptitude for the field.

Hopefully, you will find Lee's explanations lucid.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for beginners. Don't look any further 22 Oct 2005
By R. Blanche - Published on
I have several years experience in programming, but I didn't know anything about Perl. I bought this book because of the good reference I read in Amazon, and they weren't wrong. The authors do a great job describing with a very simple and direct language all topics. The book is full of examples, and practically after each paragraph there is some code you can try in your computer. All the code in the book works fine, there are no errors and if you don't want to type it, you can download it from the Apress web site. The explanation of every piece of code is clear, simple and enjoyable, you can't get lost.

I give 4 starts to the book because the chapter where describes how to download the DBI, CGI and other modules, it didn't work for me, and this is the only part of the book I found a little confuse. In order to download all the modules you need, simply follow this rules:

- Type "ppm" in the command line

- Type "install DBI"

- Type "install CGI"

- Type "install DBD-mysql"

- And finally type "quit"

As well you can downloads from the "apachefriend" website the complete installation of Perl, MySql, etc. All these process is very straightforward and you are ready to go.

The second reason why I didn't give 5 stars is because I was expecting an appendix with the references for the most common methods of the CGI module to create HTML tags, but it doesn't have anything, just what is in the chapter and that is not enough.

This is definitely a book for beginners (just like me) and I strongly recommend it. I enjoyed my experience studying with this book, and now I want go further with a more advanced book. I wish the authors could write a second episode of Perl.
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