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Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?

by Anonymous Monk
on Mar 30, 2017 at 13:31 UTC ( #1186493=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:


Please suggest a good book for learning the Perl language. I can purchase one book as of now. Should I go for Learning Perl or Beginning Perl?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?
by haukex (Bishop) on Mar 30, 2017 at 13:38 UTC
Re: Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?
by marto (Cardinal) on Mar 30, 2017 at 13:41 UTC
      Hm, Modern Perl is a very good book (and available for free), but I do not think it is the best choice as a first book for someone really new to Perl.

      In my humble opinion, "ovid"'s Beginning Perl is very good for a real beginner. Learning Perl is also great, just make sure to pick the latest edition. You can't go wrong with either of those two.

Re: Beginning Perl or Learning Perl?
by AppleFritter (Vicar) on Mar 30, 2017 at 17:55 UTC

    Should I go for Learning Perl or Beginning Perl?

    Yes. :P

    Jokes aside, I would actually recommend neither Learning Perl nor Beginning Perl, though I'm sure that they're both excellent books. The one that introduced me to Perl was the Camel, a.k.a. Programming Perl.

    This one'll serve you well both as a textbook and a comprehensive resource for quickly looking things up later. It's not aimed at beginners who're not familiar with no prior exposure whatsoever to programming computers, but it's exhaustive, accessible, and (above all) a pleasure to read.

    Even if you decide to buy one of the other two, you'll want to buy the Camel sooner or later. So why not start with that one? You might find you don't even need another one.

      Although I obviously agree (++) about the Camel book (Programming Perl), a truly excellent book and a "must have" at some point, I beg to disagree with the recommendation. First, the Camel book is a reference book, not really a book for beginners (even though there is a real pedagogical effort in it).

      And then, even if you have the Camel book, it's really good to use several books, written by different authors or at least for different audiences or purposes, because it gives you the chance to see different ways of doing things. Where different good books do things the same way, you probably have a good practice; where they differ, you probably witness a case of TIMTOWTDI. In both case, you learn something useful.

      In the longer run, I would probably recommend half a dozen books or even more.

        It's really a matter of taste, and what kind of person you are, and what your preferred way of learning is. If you have a strong historical way of viewing the world, then you'd start with the pink edition of "Programming Perl" and work on from there. You could also just read all of the vast perl manual pages; let it settle, rumiate; re-read; then start programming (that's purportedly the way Abigail did it) . If you are a cook, get the "Perl Cookbook", fry the recipes (and yourself) and discover the different onions later, as you develope taste.

        There are so many ways to learn, and several might be your own. How can anybody tell for sure which one, to a complete unknown? So every suggestion is to be taken with a grain of salt (and for my taste with a good pinch of chili).

        perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

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