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Elements of Programming with Perl [Paperback]

Andrew Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Nov 1999 1884777805 978-1884777806
Many neophyte programmers now begin their careers by learning the metalanguage Perl. But the books currently available on Perl assume their readers already understand the basics of writing and designing programs-when in fact they often do not. Elements of Programming with Perlteaches programming right along with the particulars of Perl syntax as well as good style and structure and maintainability of the code. This book is also designed for the many webmasters who use Perl without a training in basic programming concepts and will help them create robust and reusable software. Advanced concepts such as modular programming, abstract datastructures, and object-oriented programming are covered once the basics have been thoroughly worked through. This book is rich in graphical illustrations of the concepts covered.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Manning (12 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884777805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884777806
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,625,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for beginers 17 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought elements as well as 'Learning Perl' but found 'Elements of Programming assumed far less of the reader. The level of handholding is just right, and if you do the execises at the end of each chapter you'll be amazed at what you've learnt. The online author is there to help out with any problems and I've found him to give detailed and helpful explainations on his Perl forum. If you are serious about learning Perl (even as a first language) buy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Perl for Non-Programmers 9 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Unitl now the there have been two types of books that taught Perl. On one hand there were 'Learning Perl' and 'Perl: The Programmers Companion', both of which assumed that you were an experienced programmer wanting to learn a new language. On the other hand wre books like 'Perl for Dummies' which were a complete waste of paper.
This book is different. It doesn't assume that you have any programming knowledge at all. It teaches you programming whilst teaching you Perl. And it does it very well. If you're a non-programmer and you want to learn Perl - this is the book you need,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you already own Learning Perl this wont bring much knowledge to you. I may say it's either this one or Learning Perl not both. This book explans everything in dept and then takes you there to a highlevel of Perl Programming making sure you don't miss a single thing. Though if you having a hard time figuring out perl both books might not be such a bad idea after all. Chosing this one over Learning Perl might be a question about taste not the quality about the books contest.
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Format:Paperback
This is a great book for people who want to learn Perl, and people who want to learn programming (with Perl, obviously). I had no programming experience prior reading this, and I find the way it teaches programming intuitive. It presents interesting problems, and provide solutions that are enlightening for a person learning how to program. Most of the problems in the book are interesting, making you want to solve them (unlike other programming books, which drags you through painfully).

This book is a gem. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be inprint anymore (if not, I don't know how to explain the ridiculously high price for a new book). Anyone interested in Perl or programming should get this. Maybe find one in a library (that's what I did) or get a used one.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Introductory Book on the Market 6 Jan 2000
By B. Digger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
'Elements of Programming with Perl' by Andrew Johnson is simply the best introductory Perl book on the market. It is patient in pace and rich in content. Concepts are introduced and explained in error free code. Diagrams are effectively utilized to reinforce understanding.
Having read Larry Wall's 'Programming Perl' and Tom Christiansen's 'Learning Perl' I was already acquainted with the basic constructs of the language. However as Perl is my first programming language I lacked the skills necessary to write effective reusable programs. 'Elements of Programming with Perl' early on presented the process of program design, and reinforced good design practice through well-organized code examples presented throughout all of the topical chapters.
Each chapter builds on & reinforces topics presented in previous chapters. I often found myself reading about a function I had been introduced to elsewhere, and upon following the book's example code finally discovering it's practical potency. As an example, prior to reading this book I had been capable of sorting lists of hostnames by domain only by inefficiently using a regular expression to copy the domain & pre-pend it to the beginning of the hostname. Then using the default 'sort' function followed by a loop to discard the pre-pended domain. Now I can tailor the sort function to serve my needs efficiently replacing that tangle of code with just three lines.
The book is well written with few wasted words and unlike most other authors this one understands & makes an effort to teach users of Active State Perl on Windows platforms as well as those using MacPerl. There are no sections or examples exclusive to Unix.
It is refreshing to work through and use examples that are not devoted to system administrative tasks. The chapter on module use demonstrates fetching web pages through code that retrieves stock quote and trade volume information and then graphically charts the data. How much more practical & timely can an example be?
The author makes himself available online, responds to questions, patiently reviews code and politely makes suggestions.
My tool bag now full, my understanding thorough I highly recommend this book.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a book it's good. As a tutorial, it's the best! 13 July 2000
By Gary M. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Let me explain ...
I have no programming background other than the fact that I've picked up and tried reading several books on the subject of programming in Perl. (I do know HTML and I am a website developer. I just thought I would tell you this so you would realize where I might be coming from.)
I have purchased most of the books on the market that relate to getting started as a new programmer using Perl. Everything from 'Learn Perl in 24 Hours' .. to the Camel books (which are great for refenece purposes), etc. And if you've tried them, and felt frustrated, let me explain what made this book different for me.
First of all, this book is not written 'perfectly' clear. But then ... I haven't found one that is. But, what makes this book special is the offer and accessibility of the AUTHOR to each of the readers who purchase the book. The author, Andrew Johnson, is everything you could want in a teacher and coach.
With that being said, ... learning to program is not easy. (So, expect to work hard, read a lot, and practice writing code.) And, if you had your preference, you'd probably rather be in a classroom where you could ask questions of your teacher everytime you didn't understand something that was going on.
THAT IS WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK (or should I say TUTORIAL SYSTEM for learning Perl) THE BEST!
Andrew Johnson acts like your teacher and personal coach. He does an excellent job of laying out the information in the book ... as if you were in a classroom. Then, as you read through each chapter ... you will (and let me repeat ... YOU WILL) have questions.
I must say, I go to his online forum often, where I can ask anything I want (relating to the book) that I have a question on. And the answers I get back from him are not quick 'tidbits'. His answers are extremely helpful and written in plain english. JUST LIKE A GOOD TEACHER SHOULD BE!
I can't recommend the book ... AND HIS ASSISTANCE enough! It is absolutely the 'BEST' manner in which to learn PROGRAMMING WITH PERL - from the ground level up!
For about $35 ... you get the book and a TEACHER/COACH to ask questions of. What more could you want?
I am already on chapter 5 and getting more out of this book than all the others I read combined.
Good luck,
Gary M. Gordon Certified Web Developer webmaster@garymgordon.com
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to "understand" Perl, this is for you. 16 Jun 2002
By "cnar77" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I recently got a job at a telecoms company because of my experience with linux. I have no experience whatsoever in programming and they knew that and I was encouraged to learn Perl.
I bought this book after reading many reviews on it both good and bad. It was the bad reviews that told me this was the perfect book for a beginner. I like to think of myself as a person who likes to understand why I do things rather than just doing something because thats how it has always been done. This book did that for me.
Precise explanations of Perl style, syntax and regular expressions more experienced programmers take for granted were a welcome sight. Even though there isn't really a right or wrong way in perl this book teaches you the right way to do things along with the full explanations I required to understand why I was doing something one way and not the other.
The exercises following the chapters are challenging but not daunting. They allow you to use the knowledge you've learned in the previous chapters, even if at first it seems impossible, but to quote the author, "Programming is a matter of practice."
I recommend this to all who are new to programming in general and wish to make Perl their first language. Now all I need is a book on C programming that does the same this one is doing for me.
Yes, I have not read this book completely, yet I have done 3 useful scripts for work and I'm amazing myself. Perl is making my life and my co-workers' much easier.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 27 Jan 2000
By PHO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am pleased to recommend this book. As another reviewer wrote, I have also read Learning Perl and looked through Programming Perl, but while I was able to learn a fair amount from them, I kept feeling a bit lost when it came to things like how exactly do I use regexes and the types of data structures etc. I took a programming course in Pascal and Fortran too long ago (21 years), I think. At any rate, this book helped me feel a lot more confident with Perl - how to use CPAN, the abundant Perl documentation etc. I don't think that it would be the best book for a first-time programmer without an instructor, but if you have the stamina and perserverance to learn on your own, then this book is a must. Further, the book reads well. In addition, all errata in the first edition can be found at the publishers website, and are generally minor corrections.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book will take to you to a new level of competence 13 Jun 2000
By Anthony Boyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Four or five other reviewers said this book "fills the gaps" between the O'Reilly books (Learning Perl & Programming Perl). I agree, but I had no idea what that meant until I bought the book. So here is what that means in practical terms. If you're like me, you know enough Perl to get the job done. You learned what you needed. But there may be things you never picked up, and this book will give you a lot of that.
Never learned about modules? Or worse, do you just put "use CGI" in your code without knowing what it means or how you could expand on it? Chapters 14 and 16 explain about modules, how to get them from CPAN, how to create your own, etc. Have you always thought the perlfaq was too obscure and massive to use easily? The faqgrep tool on page 49 will demystify it. Have you been looping through your arrays, trying to find matches with a regex (or worse, a string comparison)? That always seemed okay to me. But using the grep and chaining functions for arrays (in chapter 12) is more clever, and reduces loops to "that old brute-force method I once used" in some cases.
The bottom line is this book is very meat-and-potatoes practical. It will make your everyday work with Perl better, because you'll understand a lot of things that no one explained to all of us self-taught Perl programmers. And you may finally feel like someone clued you in to some of the better Perl tricks and concepts.
This isn't getting 5 stars from me for only two reasons. First, the index is missing a lot of stuff that I know is there, so I end up leafing back through the pages looking for a familiar spot. And second, there isn't any discussion of the Perl DBI -- not that I need it, but I was hoping there would be some insight and tips for that, since all the other stuff was so good.
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