eager to learn 
Author Message
 eager to learn

Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
the "tech speak"


Fri, 22 Aug 2003 14:25:34 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:

> Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
> knows absolutely nothing about the subject.

If you have done some programming before but are new to Perl, the
stock answer is Randal Schwartz's "Learning Perl". There are a bunch of
Perl books around, but the original is still the greatest.

If you're coming at Perl without any programming experience
whatsoever, then your options are a lot more limited: There's Andrew
Johnson's "Elements of Programming with Perl", (sample chapters:
http://www.manning.com/Johnson/Chapters.html) and my own "Beginning
Perl". (sample chapter: http://www.devshed.com/Books/BeginningPerl/)

--
Mohandas K. Gandhi often changed his mind publicly.  An aide once
asked him how he could so freely contradict this week what he had said
just last week.  The great man replied that it was because this week
he knew better.



Fri, 22 Aug 2003 21:25:27 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:

> Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
> knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
> I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
> the "tech speak"

I started out with "Learning Perl" and "Programming Perl"
2nd edition from O'Reilly. (The Llama and Camel books)

With these two books you get both a tutorial and a reference. The new
edition of the Camel book is much more suited for new programmers than
it's predecessor, and is also more well written than any computer book
I've ever read.

If "Learning Perl" is too advanced for you, you should start warming
up with a web tutorial (there are quite a few of them).

Good luck!
--
Andreas Str?m
University of Oslo



Fri, 22 Aug 2003 22:23:55 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:
> Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
> knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
> I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
> the "tech speak"

As an O'Reilly fan, I'd suggest "Learning Perl" (Randal L. Schwartz, et al)
or "Programming Perl" (Larry Wall, et al).  Go for "Learning..." if you're
looking for "walk thru" style training, but at some point you'll probably
want to get "Programming..." as well as it goes *far* deeper into the
subject.

I also found "Perl Cookbook" (Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington) extremely
helpful as it has lots of real world examples of how to use Perl to solve
specific programming problems.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Simon.
--
WhoAmI     : Simon Lascelles

Web        : http://www.lascelles.org.uk



Fri, 22 Aug 2003 23:26:15 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:



> > Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
> > knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
> > I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
> > the "tech speak"

> As an O'Reilly fan, I'd suggest "Learning Perl" (Randal L. Schwartz, et al)
> or "Programming Perl" (Larry Wall, et al).  Go for "Learning..." if you're
> looking for "walk thru" style training, but at some point you'll probably
> want to get "Programming..." as well as it goes *far* deeper into the
> subject.

> I also found "Perl Cookbook" (Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington) extremely
> helpful as it has lots of real world examples of how to use Perl to solve
> specific programming problems.

> Hope this helps,

> Cheers,

> Simon.
> --
> WhoAmI     : Simon Lascelles

> Web        : http://www.lascelles.org.uk

With all due respect to the last three posts on this topic I would not
recommend any of the O'Reilly perl books. All have good information and
make excellent references, but are not easy or enjoyable reads. I have
purchased and read many perl books (including FE and SE of Programming
Perl and LEarning Perl!) but can only recommend two; Perl By Example (if
you have some shell programming experience and need to do something
'real' in a short time) or The Perl Programmer's Interactive Workbook
(if you want to start from the beginning and are willing to work through
the many thorough excercises).


Mon, 25 Aug 2003 11:04:43 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:

> Perl By Example

I have some notes here that says the 1998 edition is "Perl v4 only" and
I don't seen an edition since then. That doesn't really fill me with
joy.

Unless you mean the horrific "Perl 5 By Example", which narrowly avoided
scarring me for life; see also http://language.perl.com/critiques

Quote:
> The Perl Programmer's Interactive Workbook
> (if you want to start from the beginning and are willing to work through
> the many thorough excercises).

I don't see this on any of the review sites,
http://www.pobox.com/~schwern/reviews/books/perl/
 or anywhere else. Is it very new?

Oh, this is why I wrote http://www.perl.com/pub/2000/06/27/perlbook.html
, isn't it? :)

--

Quote:
> I never thought I'd say this, but you're getting very strange.

Thank God: I thought it was everybody else.
    - J-P Stacey


Mon, 25 Aug 2003 21:49:49 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:




>> > Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
>> > knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
>> > I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
>> > the "tech speak"

[snip, including quoted signature. don't quote signatures]

Quote:
> With all due respect to the last three posts on this topic I would not
> recommend any of the O'Reilly perl books. All have good information and
> make excellent references, but are not easy or enjoyable reads.

I disagree. _Programming_Perl_ and _Perl_Cookbook_ are both very
useful and very easy and somewhat enjoyable to read. Most of the
other O'Reilly Perl books aren't quite as good, but all are useful
to some extent. My third favorite would probably be _Learning_Perl_,
and I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't know at least two other
programming languages as one of the better books with which to learn
Perl, although not really the single best.

Quote:
> I have purchased and read many perl books (including FE and SE of
> Programming Perl and LEarning Perl!) but can only recommend two;
> Perl By Example (if you have some shell programming experience and
> need to do something 'real' in a short time) or The Perl
> Programmer's Interactive Workbook (if you want to start from the
> beginning and are willing to work through the many thorough
> excercises).

`By Example' and `Interactive' to me mean tedious -- similar to
those horrid `In 21 Days' books by Sams. I bought five books to
learn C. One was a 21 days book, one was a `Type and Learn' style,
one was K&R, one was _Mastering_Algorithms_in_C_, and one was
_C/C++_Programmer_Pitfalls_ (or some similar title). Which four
books helped me the most learning that langauge? K&R, _MAiC_, and
another two books, which I didn't even buy for C in particular. One
of those was an old Unix technical manual from AT&T that I was given
by a programming instructor. The other was
_The_Practice_of_Programming_ by Kernighan and Pike. I think the same
can hold true for other languages.

When I learned Perl, I was working at a small ISP (a different small
ISP than the one where I now work). My boss had a program developed
by someone at Livingston to parse a RADIUS detail file and keep track
of per-user info. My boss wanted it to loop over all the detail files
for all 40 or so access concentrators we had, keeping track of per-user
stats for users who might roll over from one box to another as lines
filled, or perhaps roam from town to town using different access
numbers. I was handed _Learning_Perl_ and _Programming_Perl_ because
my boss had heard I had some prior training as a programmer and
enjoyed writing code as a hobby outside of work (albeit mostly on
hobby-related projects). I was handed the books on Monday and given
a Friday deadline to go into production -- with the understanding
that I would help out with telephone tech support if the phones got
hit particularly hard in the meantime.

Somehow I managed to deliver, and the system was in place at that ISP
until Dirtlink bought them out. Since then, 95% of my new code has
been in Perl, with 85% or so of all my new projects being done in Perl
alone. I have bought other Perl books along the way - several, in
fact - but those two and perldoc helped me secure a promotion and a
raise at that company.

Now, I do system administration, programming, and tech support for
dedicated line and colocation customers at another ISP. Perl is one of
my most valuable tools, and perldoc, CPAN, _TPJ_, _Programming_Perl_,
_Perl_Cookbook_, _Mastering_Regular_Expressions_, perl.com, perlmonks,
_The_Practice_of_Programming_, c.l.p.*, and _Linux_Magazine_ (thanks
to Randal) have been my most valuable resources for working with Perl.

Chris

--
Christopher E. Stith
Get real!  This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk. You post
something, we discuss its implications. If the discussion happens to
answer a question you've asked, that's incidental. -- nobull, clp.misc



Tue, 26 Aug 2003 00:38:00 GMT  
 eager to learn

wrote wonderful things about sparkplugs:

Quote:
>Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
>knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
>I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
>the "tech speak"

Since you have no programming background and are fearful of "tech
speak"  Andrew Johnson's "Elements Of Programming with Perl" is the
only choice I know of for you.

(I have not read Simon's book.)

http://www.manning.com/Johnson/index.html

It is conversationally written and will teach you to program WHILE it
teaches you Perl.

Then you'll want Programming Perl, and the Perl Cookbook by ORA.

Good Luck!

--
Member of the Nondeterministic Football League



Tue, 26 Aug 2003 04:29:26 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:

> I have some notes here that says the 1998 edition is "Perl v4 only" and
> I don't seen an edition since then. That doesn't really fill me with
> joy.

> Unless you mean the horrific "Perl 5 By Example", which narrowly avoided
> scarring me for life; see also http://language.perl.com/critiques

> > The Perl Programmer's Interactive Workbook
> > (if you want to start from the beginning and are willing to work through
> > the many thorough excercises).

> I don't see this on any of the review sites,
> http://www.pobox.com/~schwern/reviews/books/perl/
>  or anywhere else. Is it very new?

Perhaps I munged the title of Perl By Example. It definitely covers v5.
This is one still on my wish list. I haven't bought it yet, but borrow
one from a friend frequently. I'll check for more info.

The Perl Programmer's Interactive Workbook is a 1999 book by Vincent
Lowe published by Prentice Hall. I'm reading it now. I am not inclined
to walk through all the excercises (not enough time) but what I've seen
so far I like. The style is light and conversational. What tipped the
scale for me is it had a whole section on POD. As my group (Sys Admins)
uses perl more as a tool I am insisting on decent documentation. POD is
covered only briefly in perldocs. I found few examples on the web. I had
gotten a start at it by trial and terror. When I went to the bookstore
in search of my next perl book I decided a drop dead criterion was some
content on POD. The Interactive workbook had it and in the time it took
me to scan the pod section in the bookstore I learned enough that would
have saved me an hour or more of learning by experiment. Always a good
selling point for me - examples that resemble real world applications.

Perl By Example (if I do have the title write) has exactly that. Lots of
examples that easily relate to real world problem solving. Why I think
this book is a standout is the examples are full scripts, not just
snippets pointing out concepts. I could look at some of these and say,
"yeah that's just like the problem I have to solve. A little change here
and here..." I also like the context of the longer examples. It can
really help things click for me.

I will admit I'm a tough audience, asking a lot of any book on perl. I'm
still a total rookie and I'm sure I couldn't hold a candle to most of
the participants in this forum. Just throwing in my two cents worth.
Thanks to evryone for not flaming me over attacking the giants of the
perl world.



Tue, 26 Aug 2003 09:54:47 GMT  
 eager to learn
We write and present Perl training courses; we have a library of some 40
Perl books here at our training centre, including all three that Simon
mentions.  Why have so many books on our shelves?  Because different
books suit different trainees - and it's much better to find what's
appropriate with us that to order the wrong book and get frustrated.

I can confirm - it is VITAL that you pick a book that doesn't
assume programming knowledge if you have none ... we run separate courses
for those with and without a programming background as their needs are
so different.

If you have not programmed before in any language, then (IMHO) you'll
probably get on best with Simon's or Andrew's book - we do have other
books on our shelf that *claim* to be for these newcomers, but the
author seems to have forgotten that fact somewhere during the writing
of the book.

If you *have* programmed before, I would suggest "Perl - The Programmer's
Companion" by Nigel Chapman (pub Wiley), but there is a lot more choice
including Randal's "Learning Perl".

There's details of these books (inc. ISBN Nos.) and others in our library at:
        http://www.wellho.net/resources/library.html

Graham
--
Graham Ellis, Well House Consultants
Melksham, Wiltshire, UK

Quote:


> > Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
> > knows absolutely nothing about the subject.

> If you have done some programming before but are new to Perl, the
> stock answer is Randal Schwartz's "Learning Perl". There are a bunch of
> Perl books around, but the original is still the greatest.

> If you're coming at Perl without any programming experience
> whatsoever, then your options are a lot more limited: There's Andrew
> Johnson's "Elements of Programming with Perl", (sample chapters:
> http://www.manning.com/Johnson/Chapters.html) and my own "Beginning
> Perl". (sample chapter: http://www.devshed.com/Books/BeginningPerl/)

> --
> Mohandas K. Gandhi often changed his mind publicly.  An aide once
> asked him how he could so freely contradict this week what he had said
> just last week.  The great man replied that it was because this week
> he knew better.



Wed, 27 Aug 2003 03:07:07 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:


> > Unless you mean the horrific "Perl 5 By Example", which narrowly avoided
> > scarring me for life; see also http://language.perl.com/critiques

> Perl By Example (if I do have the title write) has exactly that. Lots of
> examples that easily relate to real world problem solving. Why I think
> this book is a standout is the examples are full scripts, not just
> snippets pointing out concepts. I could look at some of these and say,
> "yeah that's just like the problem I have to solve. A little change here
> and here..." I also like the context of the longer examples. It can
> really help things click for me.

This was the "Perl By Example" by Ellie Quigley published by Prentice
Hall in 1998. Outstanding book, with the best perl example code in any
book I've seen. IMHO Prentice Hall publishes the best computer books.
yes it does cover Perl 5 and in fact has it on the included CD.


Fri, 29 Aug 2003 07:05:19 GMT  
 eager to learn

Quote:

> Hi can someone suggests a good book on perl programming for someone who
> knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
> I am eager to learn but I want to start at the basics as I get lost in all
> the "tech speak"

A good book for the new student  is  "Perl from the ground up" by
Michale McMilllan from osborn books. I used it along with
the O'reilly books to teach myself Perl. The  book assumes you have no
programming experience and introduces you to  concepts and syntax step
by step. It does not provide any real world programming examples but it
will get you started.

A great resource for learning Perl that I used extensively while
teaching myself Perl was O'Reilly's "Perl CD Bookshelf" a set of 6 Perl
books hyper linked together in html format. It was a real help to be
able to  "click" on a term  I didn't fully understand and be transported
to a example or  explanation in  the other text.

I've not been programming in Perl long , but been around programming
for 20 years . I try and learn a new language as though I've never
programed before. I've found that the learning curve decreases with the
amount of time you spend coding in any given language.

Greg
--
                     Master Sun:
        "Invincibility is in oneself,vulnerability
                is in the opponent."
             The Art of War - Sun Tzu



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