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Re: Learning Perl as a First (programming) language

by nmerriweather (Friar)
on Aug 03, 2002 at 23:26 UTC ( #187418=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


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

Instead of focusing on which languages to learn, i would suggest looking at approaches to teaching.

I've found Perl to be the hardest language to learn -- not because of the language, but because of books, classes, manuals that were simply unable to convey the principles behind programming

I struggled on and off for a year, not knowing left from right, and just gave up. Then i came across two amazing books -- Flash f/x and Design (coriolos press) and Beginning PHP (wrox) -- both of which had authors that were unable to do what any Perl author had been able to do for me -- convey simple notions of loops, scalars, lists, hashes, etc

After reading those books, i found O'reilley's 'learning perl' semi-decipherable, and the python documentation manageable

The point i'm trying to make, is that the difficulty you'll encounter in learning your first language is going to be entirely on the ideology of programming -- not necessarily the language. So perl could be the best or worst first language -- depending entirely on the teacher.

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[Eily]: It can also be used to force a copy, and remove magic from a variable
[Eily]: there was a post some time ago about variable coming from regex taking more space than the same string defined directly IIRC
[Eily]: and if there's XS, make sure the scalar holds a string representation, that sounds like bad practice though (forcing that on the call side)
[choroba]: You should never pass $1 without double quotes to a sub
[choroba]: or "I should never", at least
[choroba]: that's not the sub's business

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