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3.1 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on June 7, 2004
This book seems to follow the pattern of most Dummies books I've read...give a good overview of the major considerations of the topic at hand, provide a few examples to help give the reader a feeling of empowerment, and indicate that there is much more to learn.
I came to this book needing to learn perl well enough to write some simple text modification programs for work. While this book does not replace a semester-long university course on the language (which is what I'm used to), it does give the reader enough information to jump in and start writing some simple perl programs...if your comfortable with the OS you're dealing with and if perl is already installed (I'm not sure I really could have accomplished those tasks with only the knowlege from this book).
I guess my take on this book and other Dummies books are like those infamous Cliff Notes from high school...simply reading these books won't make you an expert, but they can give valuable insight and pointers that you might not easily gain on your own. As an additional tool coupled with a little bit of programming experience and the provided perl documentation, Perl for Dummies has helped me get up to speed quickly and complete several important projects...which I don't think I would have been able to do otherwise.
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on April 20, 2001
For those who frown upon Dummies books, you should ease up a bit and give this one some serious thought. Perl for Dummies is strictly for beginners. When I say beginners, I mean people with absolutely no programming experience in any language. I compared this book to Learning Perl and found that Learning Perl is written primarily for seasoned non-Perl programmers who are trying to learn Perl for the first time. If you are like me, with no programming know how, this is a more appropriate beginning. It explains such simplicities as scalars, arrays, adding and removing list elements, conditionals, etc. It even goes (lightly) into CGI and regular expressions. It does so in a language which understands that the reader is a "dummy" when it comes to programming and most importantly, it keeps it simple. Simplicity is the primary teaching strategy when dealing with a topic at the novice level, and Perl for Dummies does this well. The weakness of this book is that it does not do a good job of teaching you how to install Perl from the CD provided. In fact, the instructions provided were downright wrong. I had to ask a Perl programmer how to install and run Perl programs on my Windows 98 system. Another weakness, if you can call it that with a book at this level, is that it lacks program examples which would allow me to see what exactly can Perl do in the real world, such as system administration in a UNIX environment. I recommend this book as the starting point, with Learning Perl and Elements of Programming Perl as your next logical step. After you have mastered these books should you go on the Programming Perl and the Perl Cookbook.
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on January 11, 2002
Having been almost completely stumped by trying to learn Perl using the camel, I was desperate to find something that would make it a bit easier to get started. This book was just what the doctor ordered. True, there were no excercises, but I could dream up my own without much difficulty. I would have given this book the full five stars as a starter for Perl (at least for someone like me who has programming experience; non-Perl, non-C, but still) if it hadn't been for one thing: Doesn't anyone proofread these things? It's bad enough when there are irritating t7pos in the text describing things, but when the little sample code snippets have errors in them, that's really bad.
That said, the book made me realize at the first glance when the code was bad, so it definitely taught me something. And now I feel ready to go back to the camel again.
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on March 14, 2002
This book would get you programming in perl in no-time !
It is amazing how easy this book makes even the more advanced features of Perl. WOW !
Perl is a wonderful and easy programming language for dealing with files, small and medium communication programs, pathches for other software and so on.
This book gives you a great start in that field, and it's fun !
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