in reply to Learning Perl

I guess I should start by saying that I'm not all that satisfied with any of the three popular computer books that I've bought. Learning Perl is one of those three.

Among the things that could be improved is the section on numeric operators, p. 22, where it says "In addition, there are other numeric operators, which we'll introduce as we need them." Even the index only lists p. 22 under operators, numeric. Page 32 contains a more complete listing of operators. This is one of the many notes I made in the index.

Similarly, p. 117 says "There are many other option modifiers available. We'll cover those as we get to them..." A few documentation references are given, but not perlre.

Among the other additions and notes I made in the index are:

"Modifiers--see option modifiers on p. 116-117,"
"Order of Operations p. 31-33"
"Conditionals..." (several references)
"See 'single quotes' & 'double quotes'" (under quoting)

I mainly use the index, but I also made a note in the contents--under chapter 9. Using Regular Expressions, I wrote "see p.239," where there is more regex information (chapter 17).

I made numerous notes in the Symbols section of the index, such as listing page 240 next to the question mark, so I'll be referred to the non-greedy quantifier. The only page the book refers me to for the question mark is 101, which is about the "preceding item is optional" use of the question mark. Other notes were made for the vertical bar (see pipe, p.303), and the range operator (see p. 43).

There are other notes scattered through the book. I have no better beginner's Perl book to recommend, but Learning Perl needs some work.

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Re: Re: Learning Perl
by Aighearach (Initiate) on Nov 24, 2003 at 18:40 UTC

    If those are your most significant complaints, I'd consider that be a ringing endorsement of the book!

    As far as indexing... I highly recommend against using this book that way. For that sort of usage, you should look to the Camel. Learning Perl is intended to be a general langauge tutorial for beginners, and not a langauge reference. Once you are far enough to be needing to look up specific things, you should be moving past the training wheels book.

    Snazzy tagline here
Re^2: Learning Perl
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 20, 2006 at 13:35 UTC
    Learning Perl is, quite simply, a bad book.

    It is definitely too obscure for non-programmers, but fails professionals miserably as well.

    A single example is enough to condemn the wretched text: with any other standard introductory language text (to Python, C, Java, Lisp - whatever) a programmer will finish the book knowing how to write a function that can add or multiply two arrays. With the Llama book, he not only won't know how to perform this trivial task, but won't know that he doesn't know - because the entire subject of references has been elided, including even a warning as to when they might be necessary.

    In other words, this is a great book to read if you want to end up being an unwittingly dangerous Perl coder.

    By comparison, the Sam Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours book covers references beautifully, as well as many other key topics RS neglects or messes up, and it is probably usable as introduction to programming for someone who has never programmed in any language before.

    Bad Llama - bad!

    jdporter added p tags