This book provides a fairly brief (268 pages including appendices) guided tour of most of perl's basic features, including hashes, arrays, regular expressions, file manipulation, file handles, process management and even a chapter on CGI programming.
Many, many people (I'm in that group too!) have gotten started with perl using this book, so it absolutely works as a tutorial. The exercises (with detailed solutions) are good and really help you to solidify your knowledge at the end of each chapter.
The book suffers a little because it was originally written for UNIX. There are several UNIX-type solutions and paradigms used. This isn't necessarily bad, rather it may not be the optimal approach when teaching people who work with Win32.
The book could have been improved by more information on the Win32 modules, Windows administration and networking and possibly by the deletion of the DBM chapter.
To summarize briefly: if you are using NT and starting to learn perl, this is the book you need. However, there are some rough edges when it comes to the coverage of Win32-specific parts of perl.
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