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Learning Perl Paperback – 11 Jul 1997

30 customer reviews

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Learning Perl
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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2nd Edition edition (11 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565922840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565922846
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 802,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

When it comes to working a little "behind the scenes" magic for a Web site or putting together a UNIX script which interrogate databases and produce reports based on the information they contain, there are few better languages to do the job than Perl.

Learning Perl draws on the expertise of two of the major supporters of this highly flexible language, Randal Schwatrz and Tom Christiansen, to produce an introductory manual which manages to be concise yet informative throughout.

Weighing in at a mere (for a computer manual) 271 pages it achieves admirably what it sets out to do--teach Perl basics and no more. From the introduction to the different variable types through hash arrays, file access, process management and coding for the World Wide Web, it's a well-paced easy-to-understand book which assumes a rudimentary knowledge of programming but no more.

With its multitude of clear examples which help to hammer home the many points made and set exercises at the end of each chapter, it builds knowledge rather than drowning the reader with information as many other books seem to do.

This is the first in a series of books on the subject from O'Reilly Publishing, the others being Programming Perl, Advanced Perl Programming and the Perl Cookbook and it truly is a great introduction to a language which is enthusiastically supported by developers and Web coders worldwide. Well worth a read.

Book Description

Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dewi Morgan on 7 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
O'Reilly did it again. This one sits on my bookshelf now, almost never referred to. It was handy when learning perl, but since then I have tended to use the more advanced O'Reilly perl books. I finished with this one in a few days.
After all, once you have learned a language, you do not want a tutorial in it, you want a reference.
However, I cannot fault the quality of the book for doing what it says on the front: it teaches you perl, and makes that progress about as much fun as it could be in the progress. Like Programming Perl, I found I could read this book from cover to cover, almost like a good novel (well, OK, not exactly like, but it's a lot less dry than almost any other computing text I have read).
I would not recommend buying just this book if you want to use perl regularly. Buy "Programming Perl" as well, at a minimum, since that is a more complete reference. But if all you want is an easy but thorough tutorial, you will not find a better one than this. It will get you up and running fast, and with a smile on your face.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
Having started reading this book as someone who had the impression that Perl was difficult to understand and hard to code, I am now enlightened and will be using Perl extensively on my web sites. The explanations were clear, concise and injected with humour. It has completed altered my view on Perl and I cannot recommened this book highly enough. Regular expressions are covered briefly but do need a book by themselves (as published by O'Reilly) and a reasonable knowledge of programming is useful to follow some examples.
This book is very nearly the dog's bits. :)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
I came to Perl from Windows, C & Delphi and wanted a quick leg up the learning ladder. This book does just that, but with some caveats. I found it hard to get past the leaden and, to me, very un-funny foreword by Larry Wall. That apart, the book does the job as advertised.
The 1st chapter (A Stroll Through Perl) is tough. It throws in a lot of code without explanation (e.g. use of =~ operator on p.11) and is very Unix-oriented. If you know C, you'll hack it, but this is heavy stuff for a non-programmer wishing to learn. Programming Perl (this book's big brother) is much tougher again. You would need to be an intermediate/advanced C & Unix hacker to go straight into Perl from there. However, if you come to use Perl regularly (and most Windows folk coming here will be using Perl for CGI stuff), you would be well advised to buy both.
The remainder of the book consists of well-paced examples, culminating in a (for me) particularly useful primer on CGI. I have just completed my first fully home-grown large CGI script, and would never have got there without this book (and CGI.pm).
So 4 stars for general content and concept, 1 star lost for dud humour and the whole "Stroll Through Perl" thing which I think increases, rather than flattens the learning curve. Don't be fooled by claims of Perl's natural or intuitive feel. It is only natural and intuitive for "Hello World" programmes. Beyond that, it is natural & intuitive only for those who have been practicing it for years. The rest of us use it like more forgiving version of C.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 July 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have done a reasonable amount of programming: VB, SQL, ASP and know C syntax from university. This book is extremeley clear and concise, well laid out, which makes it a really useful reference and it will make you chuckle. I use it at work frequently. I recommend it without reservation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Newman on 26 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
Prepared for some serious headaches I sat down to learn Perl at last. I'd been putting it off for ages, mainly due to the cryptic looking regular expressions so many Perl programs feature. In the event, my fears were unfounded - the conversational style, and assumption that you are not a total idiot (a la the "do this in 10 minutes type book) suited me fine, though I can see it wouldn't suit everyone. What comes across best perhaps is the "feel" of Perl - something that's hard to teach at the best of times! Its actually a good read too - I've been reading it like a novel on the train to work (which probably says more about me than the book!). If you want to learn Perl effectively, go with this rather than any book making hollow promises.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 May 1998
Format: Paperback
Some comments about the author's "programs of such bad taste" are unfair. Randal's teaching by building a simple program into a more complex program. For clarity, he simply retains the ugly original code and tacks on new features. It's self evident that the program should be re-written, but to do so at that point in the tutorial would be disruptive.
Ten is just the perfect score to accord this classic.
This book delivers on what the others promise: Perl in XX Days. Thanks to this book, I learned enough perl to get by with, not in days, but in several hours. A couple weeks later, I had completed the book, and was able to read what I had thought were complex perl scripts. END
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1998
Format: Paperback
I am junior student in Istanbul University . My major branch stand as PC-Based Computer Engineering so I had to learn something cool gives me the ability to deal with fill-in forms over the Web . I can say it is the most simple book explains the basics of arguments , functions , and CGI programming under Perl . Note: Almostly everything can be done with Java also possible with least code , short time and effort . Notice that Perl Language stand as a Platform independent . Simple , powerful , and strong way to learn it achieved by buying this book .
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