Beginning Perl Paperback – Sep 1 2004
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About the Author
James Lee is a hacker and open-source advocate, based in Illinois. He holds a Masters degree from Northwestern University—and he can often be seen rooting for the Wildcats during football season. As founder of Onsight, Lee has worked as a programmer, trainer, manager, writer, and open-source advocate. Lee co-authored the recently published Hacking Linux Exposed, Second Edition, as well as Open Source Web Development with LAMP. He enjoys hacking Perl, and has written many articles on Perl for the Linux Journal. Lee also enjoys developing software for the web, reading, traveling, and most of all—playing with his kids—who are too young to know why Dad’s favorite animals are penguins and camels.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
introduction to the Perl programming language, version 5.8.3. The flow
of the book is logical, straightforward, and highly readable. Text is
heavily sprinkled with program examples that the reader can easily try
out along the way, as well as exercises at the end of most chapters,
with solutions in the appendix. Chapters are short, clear, and
After a brief discussion of the history of Perl and a listing of
numerous helpful online resources, the book quickly moves on to the
logistics of running a Perl program, followed by descriptions of basic
program elements and control flow. Then it's ahead to more
sophisticated data elements - lists, arrays, and hashes - and finally
functions and subroutines.
After a solid and seemingly effortless explanation of these "basics,"
the book moves to one of the most powerful features in Perl - regular
expressions - and how these can be used to access files and data. From
there, the discussion expands to string processing and references. The
book concludes with discussions of more "advanced" Perl features,
including object-orientation, modules, and use with webservers and
Regardless of topic, the writing style stays crisp, clear, and
example-filled, making this book a highly effective and enjoyable way to
get a jump-start into Perl programming for the novice or a quick
refresher for the expert wanting a Perl 5 update.
The book covers the entire topic of Perl from the basics of writing a script, through functions, modules, and into object oriented programming. It also covers vital community information such as the use of CPAN.
If you have not read Programming Perl then I believe you should start there. But if you find that book has too much of a learning curve then I would recommend this book or Learning Perl (O'Reilly.)
But having said that, if you've written in any other programming language, then you'll breeze through a lot of the texr. It's just a question of picking up Perl's syntax.
Where things might get slightly hairy are when references are discussed. Like in C or C++, some beginners find this awkward. It's been mentioned by others that in general, in computing, one of the dividing lines in understanding is the topic of references (and pointers). It doesn't seem to be a strong function of how well an author explains it, but more of the student's intrinsic aptitude for the field.
Hopefully, you will find Lee's explanations lucid.
I give 4 starts to the book because the chapter where describes how to download the DBI, CGI and other modules, it didn't work for me, and this is the only part of the book I found a little confuse. In order to download all the modules you need, simply follow this rules:
- Type "ppm" in the command line
- Type "install DBI"
- Type "install CGI"
- Type "install DBD-mysql"
- And finally type "quit"
As well you can downloads from the "apachefriend" website the complete installation of Perl, MySql, etc. All these process is very straightforward and you are ready to go.
The second reason why I didn't give 5 stars is because I was expecting an appendix with the references for the most common methods of the CGI module to create HTML tags, but it doesn't have anything, just what is in the chapter and that is not enough.
This is definitely a book for beginners (just like me) and I strongly recommend it. I enjoyed my experience studying with this book, and now I want go further with a more advanced book. I wish the authors could write a second episode of Perl.
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