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I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!

by adamcrussell (Hermit)
on May 19, 2008 at 14:22 UTC ( #687393=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
adamcrussell has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have been away from perl for quite some time. My last few employers openly rejected perl. I am looking to get back into perl mainly because I still think it is fun! Since, say, 2002 there have been many (quite significant!) changes, updates, etc. Since I am mainly doing this for fun one thing I was considering is to simply pay attention to perl6 as it develops. It appears I can download something called pugs to try things out with. Any advice? Has anyone else been away from perl for a long time and came back?

Comment on I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by grinder (Bishop) on May 19, 2008 at 15:01 UTC

    Pugs is dead, or to be optimistic, stalled. The lead developer is no longer actively hacking on the project, and the effort required to apprehend a large Haskell codebase has so far defied some of the best and brightest minds who have time to spend on it. So unless you're an accomplished Haskell programmer, I wouldn't recommend it.

    If you want to get in touch with what's happening in Perl 6, I recommend having a look at Rakudo.

    To get up to speed with Perl in general, I recommend you have a look at use.perl, perlbuzz and Planet Perl. That will give you a feeling for where the community is moving these days.

    • another intruder with the mooring in the heart of the Perl

Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by moritz (Cardinal) on May 19, 2008 at 15:08 UTC
    A look at perlhist reveals that you probably witnessed Perl 5.6.1.

    The hard way to learn the changes it to go through perld570delta, perl571delta, ... and read what changed. The much better approach is to pick a project and implement it in Perl.

    Regarding Perl 6: The spec is quite solid at the moment, but the implementations are not finished. Pugs is the most advanced implementation, bad sadly abandoned. rakudo in the parrot repository is the rising star, but at the moment neither robust nor feature complete (but constantly improving).

    It's certainly a nice language, but I'd still recommend Perl 5 for getting back to programming with Perl.

Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by mirod (Canon) on May 19, 2008 at 15:19 UTC

    Since 2002 the Perl community has changed a lot, mostly towards better development practices.

    A first (and of course incomplete) list of things to have a look at would be:

    • Perl's Best Practices, for the current... best practices in Perl devlopment (and Perl::Critic to see how they can be checked automatically in your code),
    • Devel::Cover to better test your code,
    • Moose for the latest bestest OO system,
    • CPANTS to see what a modern module (and by extension any code) is supposed to look like,
Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by pc88mxer (Vicar) on May 19, 2008 at 15:28 UTC
Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Canon) on May 20, 2008 at 06:14 UTC
Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by lwicks (Pilgrim) on May 20, 2008 at 11:28 UTC
    My two cents worth...

    PerlCritic is great (along with the PBP book mentioned by others). I run it through all my code now and it's dragging up the quality of my code all the time. (Perltidy is also handy to try and ensure the code is in some way standardised)

    You might also want to look at http://www.perlfoundation.org/perl5/index.cgi?recommended_cpan_modules

    Lance

    Kia Kaha, Kia Toa, Kia Manawanui!
    Be Strong, Be Brave, Be perservering!

Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by RyuMaou (Deacon) on May 20, 2008 at 13:39 UTC
    Well, I can't give you the level of advice that the other posters have, since I've always been a low-level/"just for fun" user. I mean, my gig has never really required me to know Perl, even though I've accomplished much only because I could whip together a script that got the job done. (There's a reason Perl has been called the "duct tape of the Internet"!)

    But, I can say this, in regards to being away from Perl for a long time and coming back: The best way, for me, has always been to solve a problem. In fact, that was how I came to learn Perl in the first place. I had a problem to solve and Perl was the the wrench I chose to pound the nail. Seriously, find some small project that you want to accomplish, either at work or for yourself, then, discarding as many of your old ideas about Perl, try to solve it.
    And, of course, keep coming back to PerlMonks! Sometimes, I just learn stuff by reading and voting!

    Good luck!
      I'm in the same boat here, I write perl scripts to take on specific problems, and try to do something new with each script. It's taking some time, however it's been worth it. And you are correct, I use perl because it's fun!

      Plus, checking in on perlmonks and reading and voting has helped too!

      tubaandy
Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by tomfahle (Priest) on May 23, 2008 at 06:33 UTC
Re: I have been away from perl for a long time. Need suggestions for getting back in the game!
by adamcrussell (Hermit) on May 24, 2008 at 23:37 UTC
    Thanks to everyone that has contributed ideas. I am really encouraged and have some good directions to go in!

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