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Learning Perl [Paperback]

Randal L. Schwartz , Tom Phoenix , brian d foy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Learning Perl Learning Perl 4.5 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

24 July 2005 Learning

Learning Perl, better known as "the Llama book", starts the programmer on the way to mastery. Written by three prominent members of the Perl community who each have several years of experience teaching Perl around the world, this edition has been updated to account for all the recent changes to the language up to Perl 5.8.

Perl is the language for people who want to get work done. It started as a tool for Unix system administrators who needed something powerful for small tasks. Since then, Perl has blossomed into a full-featured programming language used for web programming, database manipulation, XML processing, and system administration--on practically all platforms--while remaining the favorite tool for the small daily tasks it was designed for. You might start using Perl because you need it, but you'll continue to use it because you love it.

Informed by their years of success at teaching Perl as consultants, the authors have re-engineered the Llama to better match the pace and scope appropriate for readers getting started with Perl, while retaining the detailed discussion, thorough examples, and eclectic wit for which the Llama is famous.

The book includes new exercises and solutions so you can practice what you've learned while it's still fresh in your mind. Here are just some of the topics covered:

  • Perl variable types
  • subroutines
  • file operations
  • regular expressions
  • text processing
  • strings and sorting
  • process management
  • using third party modules

If you ask Perl programmers today what book they relied on most when they were learning Perl, you'll find that an overwhelming majority will point to the Llama. With good reason. Other books may teach you to program in Perl, but this book will turn you into a Perl programmer.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 4 edition (24 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596101058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596101053
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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

Book Description

Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to fall in love with. 2 Oct 2005
Having been an Open Source Perl Developer (on Linux) for some 4 years, I still find myself dipping back into this book on a regular basis.
The tutorial at the beginning sets a good standard that many other books could follow. It then moves onto teaching the main points of what make Perl so special, with a hands on approach using examples of runnable code that actually teach you something.
The end tutorial on CGI programming is an excellent way to move up from HTML (that's if you happen to delve into web design from time-to-time).
As a part-time Linux System Administrator, I find Perl essential for automating tasks. This is definatly a book that will help you sleep safely at night.
A good companian to "Programming Perl" AKA The Camel Book.
Martin Sanders (Birmingham, UK).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Introduction 27 Feb 2008
I read the Programming Perl book first and wished I had read Learning Perl beforehand. It is quite simply the best introduction to anyone who wants to learn the language.

Although not as in-depth as Programming Perl, this book gives just the right overview to pick up the basics and write some really nice scripts.

Each chapter is followed by several exercises which force you to remember and use what you have learned in the chapter.

I read this book after a year or so of Perl programming and there were still a few things which this book taught me. It is an excellent companion to my Programming Perl book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction to learning Perl scripting 14 July 2007
I learnt Perl scripting from the third edition of The Llama, and recently had cause to brush up my Perl for a new job, so I thought I'd check out the fourth edition. I'm pleased to say it's still an excellent work. If you want to use Perl as a scripting language, this may be all you need for your entire scripting career. Some basic programming knowledge might be helpful, but even a complete beginner could get something out of this.

The basics are covered well: strings, numbers, control structures, subroutines, arrays and hashes, and most importantly, reading and writing files, and the mighty regular expressions. In fact, I've not read a better treatment of regular expressions anywhere else. Everything is clearly explained and well-written. Basically, this is the gold standard against which all introductory books to a programming language should be judged.

However, this book makes no claim to covering all of Perl. At least the main text of the book doesn't. I don't know what happened with the blurb on the back of the book, but it mentions, among other things: threading, references, objects, modules and package implementation. Technically, these topics are indeed present, but only in that a paragraph each is devoted to them in Appendix B. You will certainly learn nothing of any value about them.

There are some other minor quibbles: you may find the constant Flintstones references tiring after a while. Also potentially wearing are the sometimes inane footnotes, which breaks the flow of the reading experience for little reward. On the other hand, I found them a lot less annoying in this edition, so perhaps I've just mellowed out in the intervening years.
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