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Re: Whats the average time taken to learn Perl?

by tobyink (Abbot)
on Dec 19, 2012 at 01:22 UTC ( #1009479=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Whats the average time taken to learn Perl?

The thing is, you can write Perl in a very C-like manner. (Some people like to play the sport where you write programs which will compile as both valid C and valid Perl!) Writing Perl that way will probably not take you long to pick up...

# Function to add a list of numbers together sub sum { my @numbers = @_; my $sum = 0; for (my $i = 0; $i <= $#numbers; $i++) { $sum += $numbers[$i]; } return $sum; }

But on the other hand, this function might look more foreign to you, but if you had experience writing Haskell or Miranda would seem perfectly obvious:

use List::Util 'reduce'; sub sum { my @numbers = @_; return reduce { $a + $b } @numbers; }

A seasoned Perl programmer will probably have discovered that the following knocks the socks off both of the above performance-wise...

sub sum { my $sum; $sum += $_ for @_; return $sum; }

But once you'd gained familiarity with the core libraries and with CPAN, you'd realise that List::Util (from which we borrowed the reduce keyword earlier) has a sum function available, and it runs about 40 times faster that the first example given above. :-) So you'd just borrow that...

use List::Util 'sum';

So in answer to your question, it might take you a couple of days to start writing C-like code in Perl, but as with any mature programming language, familiarity with the important libraries, and a feel for writing elegant and efficient code take many years to develop.

perl -E'sub Monkey::do{say$_,for@_,do{($monkey=[caller(0)]->[3])=~s{::}{ }and$monkey}}"Monkey say"->Monkey::do'

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