in reply to Learning Perl as a First (programming) language

Wow -- what a nice topic.

Personally, I think that Perl is very suitable as a first language. Some reasons come to mind:

In fact, the last point was the most important one for me. I got a perl book some years ago, but I started to do real programming only a few months after I got the book -- when I had a real CGI problem to solve. Of course, this is how we get all the insecure guestbooks etc., but hey, everybody starts out some time.

Beginners or not-so-advanced programmers might be freaked out by regular expressions, cryptish code, JAPHs etc. But you can actually learn the concept behing regexes very quickly (although it takes time to understand their limitations thoroughly!), and you can write good software in perl for years without using heavy syntactic sugar once.

Basically, perl allows you to choose the level where you want to be. Some people are comfortable at a more formal level. Others are more adventurous. Perl accomodates both.

All this leads me to the next question -- what would you consider good materials to teach beginners a usable subset of perl?