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Learning Perl [Paperback]

Randal L. Schwartz , brian d foy , Tom Phoenix
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 45.99
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Book Description

July 4 2011 1449303587 978-1449303587 Sixth Edition

If you're just getting started with Perl, this is the book you want—whether you're a programmer, system administrator, or web hacker. Nicknamed "the Llama" by two generations of users, this bestseller closely follows the popular introductory Perl course taught by the authors since 1991. This 6th edition covers recent changes to the language up to version 5.14.

Perl is suitable for almost any task on almost any platform, from short fixes to complete web applications. Learning Perl teaches you the basics and shows you how to write programs up to 128 lines long—roughly the size of 90% of the Perl programs in use today. Each chapter includes exercises to help you practice what you've just learned. Other books may teach you to program in Perl, but this book will turn you into a Perl programmer.

Topics include:

  • Perl data and variable types
  • Subroutines
  • File operations
  • Regular expressions
  • String manipulation (including Unicode)
  • Lists and sorting
  • Process management
  • Smart matching
  • Use of third party modules

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Learning Perl + Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting + Intermediate Perl
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Book Description

Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible

About the Author

Randal L. Schwartz is a two-decade veteran of the software industry. He is skilled in software design, system administration, security, technical writing, and training. Randal has coauthored the "must-have" standards: Programming Perl, Learning Perl, Learning Perl for Win32 Systems, and Effective Perl Learning, and is a regular columnist for WebTechniques, PerformanceComputing, SysAdmin, and Linux magazines.

He is also a frequent contributor to the Perl newsgroups, and has moderated comp.lang.perl.announce since its inception. His offbeat humor and technical mastery have reached legendary proportions worldwide (but he probably started some of those legends himself). Randal's desire to give back to the Perl community inspired him to help create and provide initial funding for The Perl Institute. He is also a founding board member of the Perl Mongers (perl.org), the worldwide Perl grassroots advocacy organization. Since 1985, Randal has owned and operated Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. Randal can be reached for comment at merlyn@stonehenge.com or (503) 777-0095, and welcomes questions on Perl and other related topics.

brian d foy is a prolific Perl trainer and writer, and runs The Perl Review to help people use and understand Perl through educational, consulting, code review, and more. He's a frequent speaker at Perl conferences. He's the co-author of Learning Perl, Intermediate Perl, and Effective Perl Programming, and the author of Mastering Perl. He was been an instructor and author for Stonehenge Consulting Services from 1998 to 2009, a Perl user since he was a physics graduate student, and a die-hard Mac user since he first owned a computer. He founded the first Perl user group, the New York Perl Mongers, as well as the Perl advocacy nonprofit Perl Mongers, Inc., which helped form more than 200 Perl user groups across the globe. He maintains the perlfaq portions of the core Perl documentation, several modules on CPAN, and some stand-alone scripts.

Tom Phoenix has been working in the field of education since 1982. After more than thirteen years of dissections, explosions, work with interesting animals, and high-voltage sparks during his work at a science museum, he started teaching Perl classes for Stonehenge Consulting Services, where he's worked since 1996. Since then, he has traveled to many interesting locations, so you might see him soon at a Perl Mongers' meeting. When he has time, he answers questions on Usenet's comp.lang.perl.misc and comp.lang.perl.moderated newsgroups, and contributes to the development and usefulness of Perl. Besides his work with Perl, Perl hackers, and related topics, Tom spends his time on amateur cryptography and speaking Esperanto. His home is in Portland, Oregon.


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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perl is still useful. It is not as popular as it used to be. It is a dead end language in the sense that very few open sourceware is providing Perl connectors. Perl still beats shell and Python for text processing, reporting, and writing large shell scripts. This book will get you ramped up enough to write moderately complex scripts that do not use classes and advanced Perl features like the map function and testing
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great learners book if you have little experience with programming. Lacking difficult examples for those who have done C or C-like programming before. Also not dense enough for more experienced programmers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impress everyone with regular expressions Oct. 30 2013
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I have to admit that before using this book I used "Learning Perl." However, everything that I learned in the first book was in the first chapter of this book. I am very impressed with the layout of this book. Every time I turned a new page I found something else, I had to try. One paragraph in chapter six prime outlines the whole reason for really wanting to use pearl.

"Perl doesn't just glue together other computer languages. It also glues together command line interpreters, operating systems, processes, machines, devices, networks, databases, institutions, cultures, web pages, GUIs, peers, servers, and clients, not to mention people like system administrators, users, and of course, hackers, both not be in nice. In fact pearl is rather competitive about cooperative."
This book is well designed to get you off the Ground and hit the deck running. You will not be left standing there like a sitting duck. I doubt that I can give it enough stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Perl June 27 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
especially for someone who's been programming for a while. It is a read-through book rather than a reference work, which is good because Perl is different enough that it's easy to miss how it differs from the standard languages like Java, C, etc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Update to "the" beginners text for Perl July 3 2011
By John Brady - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Learning Perl, 6th Edition is an update to the classic beginner's text for the Perl language. Perl version 5.14 features are introduced, although older versions of Perl will suffice for most of the content.

The book is intended to introduce the basic elements of Perl in a tutorial fashion. It does not teach programming, and essentially provides the reader with enough language tools to create short Perl scripts. Most examples are straightforward and easily absorbed, although they are somewhat artificial (Flintstones characters aren't usually the subjects of Perl scripts).

Each chapter ends with exercises, which are really essential for the beginner to complete - this is where you actually use the language elements and learn to incorporate them into a larger program.

Users who do best working through a single example and building it into a working program may not enjoy this book, due to it's "bottom-up" approach to Perl. Without prior Perl experience, you will finish the book having a strong grasp of the building blocks used by the language ( variables, loops, etc .), but will need further reading to round out your education and produce more complex programs. That is not a negative reflection on the book or it's context, just a recognition that the approach used is not for everyone.

Overall, excellent work from a highly respected and experienced team of Perl trainers, well worth the time invested by the reader.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Perl, even for non-programmers. Jan. 13 2012
By Justin B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a computer professional, but not a programmer. I took a C++ course in college, 10 years ago, and in the last couple years I have taken up Bash scripting. I figured I could probably do more if I learned a real language, instead of just playing with Bash.

This book did not disappoint. It's been excellent. It takes a very practical approach to educating the reader on the mechanics of Perl, focusing on cumulative knowledge as the chapters move along. The text is reasonably engaging, and the material moves at a good pace - not too fast and not too slow. The exercises at the end of the chapters help reinforce the material, and even includes estimates of how long the programming should take. It clearly articulates differences between Perl versions without droning on incessantly about tiny nuances. It is riddled with footnotes for more advanced users to help them understand more and more exceptions to basic rules, as they are initially taught by the text.

To be clear, this book isn't a book that teaches how to program. If you're looking for something that covers procedural logic, this is not the book for you. However, I would suspect that even someone without a deep computer background, but just a strong willingness to learn, would find this book beneficial.

If you ARE a programmer, you might find it a bit novice, and the pace a little slow - maybe not though, maybe you should just absorb the material faster and fly through the chapters. It's hard for me to say.

It was exactly what I was looking for, and after some more practice, I believe I may be moving on to Intermediate Perl.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite programming book of all time May 28 2012
By maheritc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I initially bought this 1st edition book in 1997 and read every page on my bus ride to work. This is the only programming book I have read every page of and thoroughly enjoyed reading. I do have the other O'Reilly Perl books ( Programming Perl, Perl Cookbook, Regular Expressions ) and enjoy them but they are just too heavy to lug around and so they get left at home while I love to carry my lightweight Learning Perl book for a quick 15 min read at bus stop or coffee shop. This book makes Learning Perl a breeze and I highly recommend it. Buying the 6th edition will be my 3rd purchase of this book. This is the only tech book I have purchased multiple times due to getting the updates and due to book getting worn out by myself carrying it around.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners Feb. 7 2013
By Matthew L Stoll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The authors caution that their intended audience are folks with programming experience who are new to perl. I had essentially no programming background, yet found the book for the most part to be a clear and consise introduction to the basic features of perl (scalars, arrays, subroutines, regular expressions, hashes, etc.) The exercises at the end of the chapters, along with their detailed explanations, clarified the concepts in the chapter. I strongly recommend this book to anyone new to perl.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, very comprehensive Feb. 12 2014
By Sunny Sailor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have programmed in Python and a little bit in C and I think this book is great - and so is perl. I already knew a little bit about perl from reading a Wikipedia article and looking at the perldoc documentation, but Learning Perl taught my some very useful things that I would have never found alone (splicing, nongreedy regexes, just to name a few).
perl has amazing support for I/O, and the book helped me understand regexes and file I/O. I found both perl and this book to be good for other things, too. I wrote a logging program that wrote logs with timestamps, for example. Other things I used this book and perl for included a calculator, a text-to-HTML conversion program, and a password cracker.
Learning Perl helped me uncover some bugs in my programs, taught me many new things, and was also just a fun read. The only thing I would add would be more about OOP (Object Oriented Programming).
I found the TOC (Table of Contents) to be very well done and the e-book version had links to the proper sections. I could find anything quite quickly with the excellent TOC.
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