|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
I am interested in learning Perl. I have been a light Perl user for a long while but it's finally proving itself very useful for my day job (which consists of being a network admin and sys admin for systems which support/monitor the network).
Background: I, many long years ago, bought Programming Perl (Wall et al) 2nd Edition (published in 1996)! I never really did much with it other than flip though it reading a little here and there. In the mean time I have learned other programming languages like C and some Java and worked on one moderate sized (for me) Perl projects and tweaked other's Perl code when needed. I have a basic understanding of Perl. How should I get a solid understanding of Perl to assist in my job? Should I:
1) Read through the 2nd edition of Programming Perl and update my Perl through experience?
2) Read through the 2nd edition then update myself using another book or online tutorial/guide?
3) Purchase the newly released 4th edition of Programming Perl to have the most up-to-date knowledge?
4) Dispense with the dead-tree books and just learn online and on my own through experience?
5) Something not considered above?
My intermediate term goal is to become skilled enough in Perl to quickly create useful scripts to crawl through a network containing hundreds of devices and extract data from those devices. This data will likely be put into a database to be accessed via web interfaces, analyzed to create reports, and trigger alerts. There is no particular time limit; I just want to become more skilled. Given my background, goals, and resources what do you suggest?