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Re: Learning Perl as a First (programming) language

by mkmcconn (Chaplain)
on Aug 02, 2002 at 09:24 UTC ( #187028=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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

My first programming "language" was DOS batch files. I stuck with that for a long time, charmed by how much can be done with so little. I looked to Perl when I was called upon to do some "real" programming, a couple of years ago, and then only because I was given a choice to use either Perl or Python. When I chose Perl as my first "real" language, it was the community that I chose, rather than the language per se. I knew that what I really needed was more than just a correct way to talk to a computer.

There are basic concepts that continue to be a struggle for me to grasp, even after over two years of using Perl almost every day. Perhaps I still have DOS customs, habitually looking for the ten-thousandth use of the foreach loop. But, the little bit I learn from any language I dabble in, I bring back to my use of Perl. That is the point I want to expand.

What I have in Perl first of all is a true ecclectic culture; and that is its greatest asset. I know that wasn't the first thing that came to mind, when you asked your question; but, it is the first reason that I would recommend Perl as a "first language". It is very perlish to love and even favor other languages. All around the Monastery, you'll hear Perl spoken with accents of Smalltalk and VB, lisp and bash, C and awk, caml and Delphi, algebra and gymnastics, theology and soup-chefery. These are not foreign accents. They each add to the richness of Perl, and in turn open a programmer-wannabe outward to the bigger world and all the branching diversity of ways that people are working to make the Machine more clever. Perl celebrates the frenetic world-genius that has brought forth all this buzz and chatter, and it is itself a faithful embodiment of that useful noise.

If other languages are like the buildings and the classrooms of a college, Perl is like the University experience, in which patterns of diverse learning begin to converge, where the joy of what you learn from all the lectures is discovered.

Perl is a good learning language because, it's a language that never stops learning.

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[Lady_Aleena]: Module is currently 104 lines but will shirnk to 63. The script using the module is currently 40 lines but will grow to 82, 180 to 146 lines total. (This is after rewrting the data files.)

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