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Use Something Different

by Ninthwave (Chaplain)
on Apr 11, 2005 at 18:48 UTC ( #446723=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How do you master Perl?

I worked at an ISP in the states and my first real engagement in Perl was working with the perl programs we used to manage the web hosting accounts. Some people were trying to move up the chain and were writing there own programs to automate their work. I would debug their programming logic. Not knowing perl but having been schooled in programming, I could spot the bug better than they could. I ended up being one of the tech's to help fix customers problems with perl, still never coding anything myself.

I would say the web turned me off perl intially, I liked Miva, and was hoping php would become something, but I would still use C if I needed an application on my web server. After some work with php and hating it and loving it at the same time, I met a young lady and moved to England. I got work in the IT department of a Financial Services company. It was the type of work here that made me fall in love with Perl. Now if I need something on my web page I will most likely do it in perl. If I need anything I will do it in perl. I think what helped me here was the finding flexibility in the language in areas I didn't expect it. I also think working on problems with Win32, threads, ODBC, DBI, cross platform portability issues, made me engage with the language more. I am still a neophyte, most of my programs are writen quickly and are very dirty, though I am cleaning them up more and I am starting to implement practical code reuse.

The whole point of this ramble is for me each step up the perl ladder for me has been faced with a problem and trying to find a solution. Perl can box you into habits and safety zones. If you pop out of those habits and safety zones you might find you gain enough perspective to gain more knowledge.

As an aside why is there a Learning Perl and a Learning Perl for Win32?

"No matter where you go, there you are." BB


Comment on Use Something Different
Re: Use Something Different
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Apr 11, 2005 at 18:50 UTC
    Because Learning Perl takes a Unix slant to things. Win32 is sufficiently different that it makes sense to have both. Specifically, there are a huge number of Win32-specific modules that have little to no analogue in the Unix world.

      Learning Perl is about as non-unixy as we could make it. Any residual unixisms are from Perl itself.

      The stuff that is Windows-specific (or Mac- or Solaris-) is beyond the scope of the book.

      --
      brian d foy <brian@stonehenge.com>

        That makes me wonder why there isn't a Learning Perl for Unix, or something like that.

        Actually, I think it's a good idea to favor non-platform-specific texts, but that makes me want to again question the Win32 version's existence. Shouldn't "we" be teaching Perl, and maybe offering a "next book" that touches on Win32-specific matters and assumes a basic understanding of Perl already, instead of teaching a Win32-specific dialect of Perl?

        print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
        - apotheon
        CopyWrite Chad Perrin

Geckos that won't die (was Re: Use Something Different)
by merlyn (Sage) on Apr 11, 2005 at 19:47 UTC
    As an aside why is there a Learning Perl and a Learning Perl for Win32?
    There really shouldn't be, any more. We worked hard to eliminate the Unix-knowledge bias for the 3rd edition of the Llama. But when I suggested that this signaled the end of the Gecko book, the O'Reilly staff said "why stop printing a book that sells?".

    So, the Gecko continues to sell, but in an ideal world, it'd be gone by now.

    When we teach a "Learning Perl" class, we always use the Llama, regardless of the mix of the students between 100% Unix and 100% Windows. I don't think I've ever even ordered the Gecko for a class.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      Thank you for the hard work, it shows and I have been sending people to the Llama no matter what the platform, I can now do it with a bit more confidence that they won't be stuck.

      "No matter where you go, there you are." BB

      I refer nervous, fearful people who live in the Win world to the Gecko Book. It reassures them to see Win32 in the title. They open it with the expectation that they will have the comforts of their familiar environment. To someone who lives i a world of hierarchical menus this is a big thing.

      Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

      Hmmm. I just noticed that my copy of Learning Perl says "UNIX Programming" at the top of it. I'm guessing the unix bias was weeded out after the second edition of the book. Since I currently don't even have a Windows system of my own, though, this bothers me not one whit.

      print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

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