Learning Perl, Third Edition
||Author: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix|
List Price: $34.95
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates (15 July, 2001)
Sales Rank: 1,047
Average Customer Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 2 out of 5
Overrated because there are no competing books
I've think I've owned every edition of this book and each time I return it after unsuccessfully trying to get anything useful out of it. Lately I've wanted to really get scripting under my hands to expand my skills as a sysadmin. So I bought this book again (erroneously thinking I'd not tried hard enough the first 2-3 times I used this book to try and learn Perl). While I'm no developer, I'm no stranger to the concepts of coding. I wouldn't exactly call myself a beginner. Nevertheless, this book seems bent on confusing the reader by introducing concept after concept with absolutely no hands on application of the material covered. How exactly are you going to remember all the ways you can list the contents of an arrray without some practical examples?
Reading this book this time (and hopefully for the last time), I keep getting the feeling that these authors wrote the book to appease Perl gurus, not to help people who are new to Perl and who are not senior developers in other programming languages. The constant bombardment of superfluous footnotes also serves to distract the frustrated Perl student from learning the language in any useful fashion. And what gives with the first exercise in the book (!) being about finding the circumference of a circle and the square root of such-and-such? Sadly I never took those math courses, does that mean I can't learn Perl? Or does it just mean that the authors assume all who read this book are math wizzes with years of programming experience?
I noticed another reviewer said that this book is not a reference. I do agree him that a book about learning Perl shouldn't be a reference. But I have to say that this book reads like a reference book....too many concepts thrown in the Perl student's lap without showing him/her at least a couple ways in which the concept(s) might be used.
My opinion is the book is probably good for advanced programmers who want a quick-and-dirty overview of Perl. But to be truly useful (and to live up to the name "learning perl" not "learning perl for math geeks and programming gurus") the book should be bigger, allowing for useful examples that the less-experienced student can run that teach how to actually use these concepts.
Rating: 5 out of 5
This is _the_ book with which to learn Perl.
There's a reason why this book has a nickname, like the Camel: just like Perl, and just like every true UNIX utility, it's small and it does one thing well. That one thing is teach Perl. Beginners and experienced programmers alike have found _Learning Perl_ to be simply the best book with which to learn this pathlogically eclectic language. And the reasons why _Learning Perl_ have become so popular are obvious upon inspection of the authors' personalities. Laced with humor and a general light-hearted attitude, this book lends a gentle aura to the process of learning one of the most rewarding computer languages available. Contrary to some opinions, the subject isn't dry -- unless you approach it with all of the enthusiasm and spirit of a piece of granite. Indeed, the beauty and freedom of Perl is made readily apparent herein. On the subject of this book not making a good reference: since when is a tutorial a reference? When you forget the capital of Colorado or how many provinces there are in Canada, do you go to a school to help you remember? No, you go to a library (or, if you've learned anything from this book, your Perl interface to a local DICT server). The same holds true for _Learning Perl_. It never set out to be a reference, so judging it as one just isn't fair. Besides -- if you need a reference, you have both the Perl electronic documentation (freely available both on the web and on any machine with Perl properly installed) and at least one book that covers the subject: _Programming Perl_, the title that I and many others have affectionately deemed "the Camel" (a suitably pathologically eclectic name for the definitive reference for a wonderfully pathologically eclectic language and philosophy).
Rating: 4 out of 5
Good introduction to Perl
My group at work has been writing a number of scripts in Perl for our most recent project. So I wanted to familiarize myself with reading their code, as well as write some of my own. I found this book easy and fun to read, and it helped me get familiar with basic Perl features.
I recommend this book to others who also would like to get a quick and easy introduction to writing Perl code.
· Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
· Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
· CGI Programming with Perl
· Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
· Perl Pocket Reference, 4th Edition