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Learning Perl

by Joes (Acolyte)
on Jul 10, 2001 at 03:45 UTC ( #95204=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Joes has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Two questions: 1. What is the best text for learning Perl. I am looking for one with lots of exercises and samples of scripts. I have done lots of Fortran and Basic and a bit of Pascal years ago 2. What address do I input into my WinHTTrack to download your tutorial? I starts at this address and follows all the links down to lower levels? Thanks, Joe,

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Learning Perl
by the_slycer (Chaplain) on Jul 10, 2001 at 03:57 UTC
    In my opinion, the hands down best book for learning perl is Learning Perl. This has the requirements that you are asking for (samples and excersises).

    I'm not sure what you mean by the address portion of your question. Though perhaps what you are looking for is The Tutorials Section?
      Ditto. Learning Perl by Randal Schwartz. And the great thing is that Randal sometimes hangs out here on this forum using the name 'Merlyn'. So if you don't understand something ask a question and the author of the book itself just might answer you.

      I have found Merlyn's chapter on formats is more complete and easier to understand than the way the other Perl canonical text (Programming Perl, aka Camel) presents the info. He also has a complete chapter on, which every new Perl programmer ought to know about.

      The above remarks refer to the second edition of Learning Perl. A third edition is in the process of coming out.
Re: Learning Perl
by legLess (Hermit) on Jul 10, 2001 at 06:05 UTC
    Learning Perl, as others have said, is indeed quite good. If you've got bucks to spare, the O'Reilly Perl CD Bookshelf is also very nice. It's a bound copy of Perl in a Nutshell, plus several other books (including the venerable and indispensable Programming Perl) on CD. It's stiff at $80, but well worth it.

    For #2, it looks like WinHTTrack is an offline browser which slurps a site, or portion thereof, to your hard drive. If by "your tutorial" you mean a set of pages on PerlMonks, then you may be out of luck. This whole site's database-driven, and I don't think they keep static copies of the pages anywhere.
    man with no legs, inc.

      Thanks for this informative response, and it explains why I could not download the Monastery site Tutorials
      Much appreciated,
      Townsville, Australia
Re: Learning Perl
by cleen (Pilgrim) on Jul 10, 2001 at 05:03 UTC
    an opinion on question 1: Total immersion. The best way that I learn is to pick a project in which I _KNOW_ I cannot do at that point and time, somthing way above my head, and work at it till its finished.

    and to question 2, I have no clue what winhttrack even is =)
Re: Learning Perl
by earthboundmisfit (Chaplain) on Jul 10, 2001 at 14:26 UTC
    Books have their place and those already recommended are certainly the best you can come by.

    But for me, learning Perl in any meaningful way involved a lot of experimentation and just doing it.

    Perl, like life, is something that needs to be experienced, not just studied. Don't be afraid to reinvent the wheel (at least while learning). Most of all, have fun! Find problems you enjoy solving and open yourself fully to the idea that there are many paths to the same destination. Savor the journey. Ask questions.

    Happy coding.

      Thanks for this response. I fully agree with the hands-on approach, but I find that a little knowledge is first necessary. I enjoy doing the exercises which show the tricks involved in Perl, particularly when they reinforce the lessons.
      Part of the beauty of Perl appears to be the clever ways in which it does complex tasks.
      My best wishes
      Joe, Townsville, Australia
Re: Learning Perl
by TGI (Parson) on Jul 10, 2001 at 04:53 UTC

    Being ever-partial to dead trees, I recommend checking out The books I use.

    TGI xp whores by refering to his own node and says moo

Re: Learning Perl
by arhuman (Vicar) on Jul 11, 2001 at 12:52 UTC
    It may sound strange, but I usually recommend programming perl as Perl first book
    for people who already has some programming experience.

    Even if at first sight it looks more like a reference book than a learning book,
    there's all you need to learn plus some neccessary things to really understand Perl.
    Furthermore some people (I'm one of them) really like 'dense' books with a lot of informations
    even if it makes it (a little bit) harder to read...

    Don't be scare by its reputation, the 'Perl Bible' may be the best start for you...

    "Only Bad Coders Code Badly In Perl" (OBC2BIP)
Re: Learning Perl
by slojuggler (Beadle) on Jul 11, 2001 at 12:26 UTC
    I find the following two books also helpful: Perl Developer's Guide (Peschko) Perl 5 Interactive Course (hard to find, Orwant) I hope that helps you...
Re: Learning Perl
by ralfthewise (Sexton) on Jul 10, 2001 at 18:08 UTC
    I really learned a lot from Perl Power by Schilli. Published by Addison Wesley.

    Faster, faster, faster....till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death -Daniel Keys Moran

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