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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-paced learning tool. Recommended, 7 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Learning Perl (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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