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Re: Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?

by AppleFritter (Vicar)
on Mar 30, 2017 at 17:55 UTC ( #1186525=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?

Should I go for Learning Perl or Beginning Perl?

Yes. :P

Jokes aside, I would actually recommend neither Learning Perl nor Beginning Perl, though I'm sure that they're both excellent books. The one that introduced me to Perl was the Camel, a.k.a. Programming Perl.

This one'll serve you well both as a textbook and a comprehensive resource for quickly looking things up later. It's not aimed at beginners who're not familiar with no prior exposure whatsoever to programming computers, but it's exhaustive, accessible, and (above all) a pleasure to read.

Even if you decide to buy one of the other two, you'll want to buy the Camel sooner or later. So why not start with that one? You might find you don't even need another one.

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Re^2: Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?
by Laurent_R (Canon) on Mar 30, 2017 at 22:19 UTC
    Although I obviously agree (++) about the Camel book (Programming Perl), a truly excellent book and a "must have" at some point, I beg to disagree with the recommendation. First, the Camel book is a reference book, not really a book for beginners (even though there is a real pedagogical effort in it).

    And then, even if you have the Camel book, it's really good to use several books, written by different authors or at least for different audiences or purposes, because it gives you the chance to see different ways of doing things. Where different good books do things the same way, you probably have a good practice; where they differ, you probably witness a case of TIMTOWTDI. In both case, you learn something useful.

    In the longer run, I would probably recommend half a dozen books or even more.

      It's really a matter of taste, and what kind of person you are, and what your preferred way of learning is. If you have a strong historical way of viewing the world, then you'd start with the pink edition of "Programming Perl" and work on from there. You could also just read all of the vast perl manual pages; let it settle, rumiate; re-read; then start programming (that's purportedly the way Abigail did it) . If you are a cook, get the "Perl Cookbook", fry the recipes (and yourself) and discover the different onions later, as you develope taste.

      There are so many ways to learn, and several might be your own. How can anybody tell for sure which one, to a complete unknown? So every suggestion is to be taken with a grain of salt (and for my taste with a good pinch of chili).

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
        ou could also just read all of the vast perl manual pages; let it settle, rumiate; re-read; then start programming (that's purportedly the way Abigail did it)

        That's also the way I did it, but with lots of testing with snippets along the way. Although way back then there was only 1 perl manpage and it stretched to over 100 pages of 11x14. Simpler times. Possibly the split into the multiple manpages has produced an even steeper initial learning curve which eventually becomes more flat but fewer will be encouraged to reach that gentle upland. I wouldn't encourage learning from the perl manpages today.

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