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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(2 star)show all reviews
on December 12, 2002
I own the 2nd Edition of this book. I am surprised by the number of good reviews I see here. Unless the 3rd edition is vastly improved, I cannot see how this book can be so highly regarded.
I have many years of programming experience, yet I find this book difficult to read. In fact this book will actually impede someone from learning Perl! Many computer subjects are harder, yet it is easier to learn those than to learn Perl from this book. The book is poorly organized. The author talks about this and that, rather than keeping focus, giving clear outlines and demonstrating with good examples in a methodical way. Too much detail is given in disoriented fashion before a reader gets to become familiar with a topic. At times something is mentioned that is not covered until much later.
There's no question the author is knowledgeable, but my time is valuable; it's just not worth it to have to read a sentence 3 times before comprehending it. A good book makes a difficult subject easy. A lousy book makes an easy subject seem hard. As a teaching tool this book doesn't cut it. Maybe this is why O'Reilly decided to publish another book on Perl.
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on April 21, 2002
Here's a quick summary of my opinion: I think the third edition is a TERRIBLE book for people who already know how to program, and want to come up to speed on Perl. And if your not familiar with unix systems, you SURE should look elsewhere, cuz you'll get no help from this book.
In the intro to the third edition, the authors note that they've added "more tutorial information for non-programmers."
Well, let me tell you: Between all this new tutorial information (comparing Perl to English) and the author's "funny" comments in parentheses, it's hard to follow the substance of this book.
I've been programming for years. I can apprecaite a funny programming book - as long as it's well written. Humor in a such a book can help to keep the reader engaged in a dry topic. But THIS book!? Man! Every other paragraph has three "funny" interjections. It gets tiring.
MUCH worse is the "tutorial information" for those who might be new to programming. The book reads like somebody went through the text, interjecting explanations anywhere they thought a programming neophyte might not understand something. It's really hard for an experienced developer to read past this stuff.
Taken all together, you get good material interspersed with too many pseudo-jokes and too much useless quasi-turtorial information. It's hard to follow. It's hard to dig out anything useful.
Another really enormous failing of this book is its near total assumption that readers have unix backgrounds. Oh, there are some condescending references to non-unix platforms ("welcome to OUR world" is one). But many things are explained as being "similar to shell scripting". So, while the authors assumes that the reader might not know what an array is (arrgh) they assume you know what DBM is, or what name globbing is, or whatever. This book is VERY unhelpful to Windows programmers.
To hear other people talk about this book, you'd think it was handed down to the development community on Mt. Sinai etched on stone tablets. Well, that MAY have been true of the second edition. But this edition... Yuck! Absolutely HIDEOUS.
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on June 14, 2003
I guess I just prefer a book better from someone who DIDN'T invent the language. That is, a book from another perspective seems to point out the idiosyncracies of a language, etc. The only chapter of this book that I use is the 200 page one on Functions which, as its name implies, lists every Perl function and a basic couple of paragraphs about using that function. I've used Perl for years, but only resort to O'Reilly when I'm desperate. I expected a lot more from a book that is so well know.
While not nerely as comprehensive, I prefer the book Cross-Platform Perl. I guess it's more of a tutorial (probably similary to O'Reilly Learning Perl).
Only get this book if you're looking for a reference and already know perl. If you're looking for a book that will both teach you the language and serve as a reference after that, I'd avoid this one.
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on February 1, 2002
If you want to look through murky waters to find a pearl then look no further.
Like other reviewers I don't understand the concept of dilluding the content with wordless verbiage. A great book for me contains the following: tell me the important parts about the subject matter, give me concrete examples, show me some cool stuff, and please do it as quick as possible. I somehow think that the author had his mind on something else when he put this book together, longer/thicker doesn't make a better book.
Don't get me wrong there is plenty of usefull information hidden within the passages.
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on November 16, 2002
I agree whole heartily with Jo Totland's September 29, 2002 review, and would add the following.
If you can stay in the book every day, consistently, until you get through the book, it's not too bad (although, the flow is lacking). However, if you get four or five chapters into the book, put it down for a week and try to come back to it, forget it.
It has also not been a very good reference for me.
If you're working with PERL full time, you should probably have it. If you use PERL occasionally, you might want to borrow it first to see if it fits your style.
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I'm not all that enamored with this book. I have many years of programming experience in various languages, and even with that background this book is difficult to follow. The author keeps making idiotic comparisons between "natural, spoken language" and PERL syntax. To me that just takes up space and isn't useful at all. Then when he discusses important concepts which differ from other languages (e.g. the way PERL handles variables), I find his explanations difficult to follow.
Surely there must be better books than this!
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on March 28, 2003
Hello Everyone,
I dont have any good comments to make about this book. I read this book and at the end couldn't summarize what I learnt. It only left me with confusion and questions. The language seems cryptic and sentences are convolved. I guess this is the book for Perl experts and not for someone who truly wants to learn the language. And I bet, its gonna create some confusions in an expert mind as well. To summarize, dont waste your money.
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on August 5, 2002
You get the impression that Larry Wall thinks he's one clever author. But his writing style get tedious really quickly and is mostly a waste of paper. Well, I do like the regular expression section, but other than that, I would say skip this book. I recommend the Learning Perl along with the Perl Cookbook.
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on July 12, 2001
I bought this book, and believe me, it's a waste of money!!! I thought the book was great, but it has no sense at all. It has a total of 0 examples, it's about 1,000 pages and each command is learned separately, which has no sense at all. You cannot learn from this book, i assure you guys!!!.
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on May 21, 2001
This book is good neither for learning nor for reference while Learning Perl 2nd edition was well suitable for both. Too many words, too little sense which, on top of that, is well hidden. Unless you want to support authors financially, don't buy it.
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