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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2011
For all the graduate Perl courses that I have taught this has been one of the set texts, if not the core textbook. I did not come from a programming background myself, although I am from the generation that dabbled with BBC Basic.

I find the book easily accessible and very useful. Some of the anecdotes are a little distracting and I find the use of the Flintstones annoys after a while, but it is still an invaluable text that teaches the core parts of the language clearly and concisely. The chapters on variables, arrays and hashes are particularly important for understanding the principles of programming and they are very well written. The chapters on regular expressions are also very good in explaining what can appear like random collections of punctuation.

Where the book falls down is in the later chapters looking at file and directory handling and modules. These are things that need to be introduced but the introduction to modules in particular is very superficial and the chapter on the unix/linux filesystem is overly complex. Given these faults I would still recommend it as the first textbook for learning Perl for both those new to programming and experienced programmers and system administrators that are looking for a scripting language.
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on 5 January 2011
In summary buy this book if you want to learn Perl. Simply put, this is the best book I have ever found to teach you Perl. I first read a version of this book in 1999. It was a good book then, that has matured and gotten even better over time.

This book covers everything that you need to know to get you started with Perl. Perl isn't the easiest language to learn, but this book explains everything as simply as possible. Even the chapter on regular expressions.

This particular edition covers Perl 5.10, which has now been replaced by Perl 5.12 (This book was written 2 years ago). That doesn't really matter as this won't impact on you. Perl 5.12 is mostly a bug fix release, which adds few new features.

One of Perl's strengths is CPAN (Perl's on-line module library). The book does have a chapter dedicated to it, but it only covers a handful of modules. I would have expected the book to cover a few more of the more common ones. This may just be me being a little picky.

The last chapter of this book is really useful. It is called "Beyond the Llama", and gives you all sorts of information about where to go to learn more. This book is just the beginning...

Please note: I did receive a free copy of this book via the O'Reilly Blogger review programme.
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on 26 July 2011
Learning Perl is a typical elementary book. You can find there everything, beginner needs. You will be guided through the basics of Perl, elementary data types, structures and conditional loops. What this book reminds me is good old "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan and Ritchie. Authors of Learning Perl simply go step by step and present language specific constructs to the reader. However, this book is not for everybody. It is neither a reference guide, nor a "Learn by example" kind of book. It's an elementary. You will be though Perl from the very basics and I am pretty sure this is great for people who begin their experience with Perl. What I liked within the book? Well, the "Some Advanced Perl Techniques" chapter - which is unfortunately very short, brought my attention. Another interesting part of the book was devoted to regular expressions, however I missed XML related examples and references. XML is quite important these days and to pass over it is strange thing for me. In general, I'd advise buying it to anyone who wants to learn Perl a consistent way rather than through "found in the Internet" examples. On the other hand, if you are looking for a reference or advanced book on Perl - try finding something else.
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on 23 September 2009
In my opinion this book is great. Its easy and enjoyable to read, its very useful and will teach you how to use the language really well. It isn't huge and overloaded, it gives you what you need to know, in a clear and informative way that is very well explained, with good examples and exactly the right amount of detail. If you need more you can follow it up with Intermediate Perl which covers stuff that is useful in large and complex projects. For every day perl, this is everything you need in an easy to digest form. It is targeted at people with a bit of programming background, though in the introduction they say that it should be possible for someone to learn from scratch. I came at this with no previous experience at the time and found that, if I worked through the examples and exercises, it was easy enough to understand.
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on 10 July 2011
This book is ok for perl beginers. It was able to address some of the most basic and critical topics one needs to know before delving into the crux of more complex codes. But it has failed to address a more pragmatic side of perl by not elaborating with more examples and answers part of the exercise, even though there were not enough examples to inject that confidence you need, If you really want to learn perl, having a copy of this book with perl by example by Ellie quigley are just the basic books you need to start.
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on 19 July 2010
This Perl book provides a good introduction for beginners.

I found that the exercises at the end of each chapter were too easy and straightforward. However, I am a quite experienced programmer in C myself, so this might just be because of my previous experience.

Perl is a useful (if ugly) language which I would recommend to people for data handling and manipulation.

4 of 5 stars not for the content but because the quality of the binding is very average.
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on 26 January 2011
This book was as helpful to me as "A brief history of time" was to physicists. The book explains in clear - yet not over simplified - ways for a grounding in perl.

Perl was my first programming language (so I was lucky I chose such a good book) although founf the book very easy to understand while challenging me. The examples help you to check whether you understand.

Overall a great read...
Buy this book if you wish to learn perl
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on 25 February 2009
I was looking for a quick, exhaustive book about Perl basic features to develop my university project: this book is exactly what I needed, filled by exhamples and useful hints about perl programming.

If you're a novice with perl and you're wondering about the better book to buy, then you'll find it. Then, if you want to master this language, you may consider the camel book, but - first of all - start with this one.
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on 9 February 2009
Good book, well organised with examples and lessons.

Can't compare with others because I haven't read them.

But why did they have to put in the 'funnies'? They aren't funny and they really do irritate after a while, minus one star for this annoying aspect.
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on 17 March 2009
I like it and it has increased my enthusiasm to learn perl even though programming has been traditionally not my strongest point
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