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Re: What is the best way to master perl

by blue_cowdawg (Prior)
on Dec 04, 2012 at 15:32 UTC ( #1007108=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to What is the best way to master perl

      What i am in search of is a practical learn approach to mastering perl

The real question is "What is the best way to learn programming in insert language here."

Hear (or reading) that question reminds me of an old joke:
Son:How do you get to Carnegie Hall, Dad?
Father:Practice son, lots of practice.

To my way of thinking languages are just syntax. Programming discipline is more important to me at least than syntax.

Regardless of the programming language the best way to master it as space_monk points out is to spend lots of time writing code. Learning programming technique independent of the language and applying those techniques to the language at hand requires practice. And lots of it.

I've been writing scripts and web applications in Perl since 1989. During that time period I've also been writing in FORTRAN, C, C++, Rocky Mountain Basic, X86 Assembler, Pascal, MC68xxx assembler, Java, JavaScript and I'm sure I've forgotten some languages. Once you have the basic techniques down you can write any application in any language. Some languages just make it easier to write certain applications. One one hand I'd hate to write a device driver in Perl (it can be done!) and on the other hand I'd hate to have to write a parser in assembly language.

I'm currently writing software to perform temperature regulation of a mash tun during grain mashing to make beer. It's being written in C++ against an Arduino embedded processor. I chose the Arduino because of the built in "sensors" that make my life easier as well as the fact there is a lot of public domain stuff out there to do what I need so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. Sort of analogous to CPAN.

Happy programming!


Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg


Comment on Re: What is the best way to master perl
Re^2: What is the best way to master perl
by bulk88 (Priest) on Dec 04, 2012 at 20:34 UTC
    What is wrong with writing a device driver in Perl other than performance?

      Never said it wasn't possible. But to stretch an analogy I could probably put a screw into a board with some measure of success with a hammer clearly there are better tools designed for the job. I do remember in a McGiver style situation using a hammer and nail to "drill" a pilot hole for a screw, but I'd rather not do that on a normal basis.


      Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
      Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

      You said "other than performance". Those are the magic words that govern the operation of most device drivers.

      Within reason, no-one cares if your Perl program takes a couple of extra seconds to generate that report/parse that text document, but if your device driver is making the rest of the system slow and unusable, noone is gonna be happy

      A Monk aims to give answers to those who have none, and to learn from those who know more.

      A trip down memory lane here:

      Closest I ever came to writing a driver in Perl was a while back when I used to use a EPROM burner that I got for free that didn't have the user software to go with it. I obtained a photocopy-of-a-photocopy-of-a-... you get the idea of the user's manual and it had the command protocol documented in its appendix.

      I wrote a UI of my own using Perl running on top of a pre-cursor to Cygwin on DOS and wrote a XS module to actually talk to the serial port on the burner. The Perl program used the XS module for the low level stuff passing commands and data to the XS module's methods and happily burning on to the EPROMs or dumping them or whatever I needed.

      Don't really use EPROMs any more and I gave the burner away along with the XT that I used to drive it. Getting XS to work was an education to say the least.


      Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
      Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
        ... and that was back when we were making our own EPROMS
            with a broken exacto knife, a pair of waterpump pliers and a band saw!

        ...and going to and from school required a 9-mile walk thru 6-foot (2m) snowdrifts, going uphill both ways!


          :-) but ++blue's memory-lane-byway. XS still isn't for the fainhearted.

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