in reply to Beginner Recommendations

Not too recently I decided to learn Perl myself. I was already quite familiar with C, JavaScript, QBASIC, HTML, and x86 assembly. So, I wanted to jump into Perl quickly. I searched for free online courses. I found one called Teach Yourself Perl in 21 days. Sounds great. I wonder if there's a better one. So, I searched for Learn Perl in Hours, and I found this: Learn Perl in 2 Hrs 30 minutes. I clicked on that one! I read everything as fast as I could. I installed Strawberry Perl on my computer. I wrote example programs. I took notes. I learned as fast as I could, trying to understand the essence of it as quickly as possible. I also found these:

Perl 5 by Example

Getting Started With Perl

Practical Perl Programming

Robert's Perl Tutorial

The volume of free courses and manuals is absolutely mind boggling! There is so much valuable information out there!

I did not look on YouTube, because I wanted to go at my own pace. I wanted to learn fast. If you are watching a YouTube video, you are limited to the pace of the teacher. I usually don't understand their words, because English is my second language. Reading is a lot easier for me. Also, on YouTube, whenever they write an example program, the resolution is so bad that I cannot tell what they are writing or they change the screen so quickly there's not enough time to copy the program. I don't like to pause and rewind all the time. So, I think, YouTube videos aren't the best way to learn a programming language. Of course, some people like them, and that's okay. Use whatever works best for you!

So, anyway, I started to write little programs to see if I can do this and that. Then I didn't understand something and wanted to ask a question. That's when I found PerlMonks! These people here immediately answered my questions and were very friendly. I thought this is the best language! I am really glad I picked this one. So, I haven't been disappointed.

After awhile, I found TinyPerl 5.8 which is a very small compact version of Perl for Windows, and I decided to install that one. Strawberry Perl is like a monster compared to TinyPerl. I like small better. And TinyPerl is good enough for me. So, I have been using that ever since. It's perfectly suited for my needs. I don't use Perl for business. I use it for hobby programming. I write stuff for myself to speed up my everyday life and my work and for fun, of course. I like solving puzzles and thinking about difficult problems, and programming is also a sort of creative outlet for me.

"After some Googling I find that most of the suggested books are from 2010-2017 which leads me to believe the books are either old or Perl itself hasn't been updated in a long time."

Well, Perl is old, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Imagine what would happen if the "American Association of Language Experts" decided to update the English grammar every year or so. It would drive people nuts. A piece of paper you write today might not pass the spellcheck and grammar check 3 years from now, because today language rules would be considered outdated by then. What makes a language valuable is its stability and popularity. The same thing is true about Perl. I think, the fact that it is old is a good thing! It also means that the internet is full of information about it. If you want to do something in Perl, chances are it's been done before. So, you can either just use someone else's code OR you can study someone else's code and write a better code.

A language also becomes more valuable the more people use it. For example, the English language is used by people in Canada, the USA, England, and Australia. And you can go to a lot of other countries and find people who speak English fluently. So, it has a very wide use. And Perl is similar, because Perl will run on Linux, MacOS, and Windows which are like the three main continents in the computer world. Perl is very well established on all three. Learning Perl is like learning the English language. Not many people speak Hungarian, which is my native language, but as soon as I learned English, it opened the doors for me so I can communicate with almost anyone anywhere. Perl is a gateway to all computer systems. There are languages like JavaScript which limit you to one specific platform or they severely limit what you can and cannot do. If you only speak Hungarian, sure you can visit any country you want, but chances are nobody will understand you, and you won't understand anything they say to you. JavaScript is like that. Sure, you can run JavaScript on any computer device, but you can't read and write files and you can't do a million other things, because you're stuck within the confines of a browser.

A word about language revisions. If you follow news about JavaScript, they are constantly adding new features to it. Unfortunately, these features aren't really essential. I mean there isn't anything new that you couldn't do before. The cool new features just exist to make programming enthusiasts excited, but the disadvantage is that the interpreter is becoming more and more complex. Everybody wants to add new bells and whistles to the language, and nobody seems to care that it comes at a price. It's causing the interpreter to become bloated and slow. I hope that Perl doesn't go that way.