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SAMS Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours

by Plato (Friar)
on Jun 03, 2003 at 09:18 UTC ( #262603=bookreview: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Order SAMS Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours

Item Description: 24 proven one-hour lessons

Review Synopsis: Good introductory text for non-programmers

Author: Clinto Pierce.
Publisher: SAMS
Availability: Barnesandnoble
Price: $29.99

Six months ago, when I decided to try and learn Perl (with not much programming experience) I purchased Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours. It was a great introduction for an idiot like me. I found it very easy going, and the explanations were great. Since then I've puchased the Camel book, Professional Perl Development, and Data Munging with Perl. Now, six months later, I find I have no real need for SAMS TYPI24H. However, I have fond memories and it was very useful to me when I started out, I've kept it very clean, and I'm gonna pass it on to a good friend of mine who has expressed an interest in Perl (a compliment to any book in my opinion). It might have taken more than 24 hours for me to get through it, but it was worthwhile all the same.
(But to be completely honest, if I was to do it all again, I would start with purchasing Learning Perl, then Programming Perl, and my third purchase would be Data Munging with Perl, in that order!)


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Re: SAMS Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours
by woolfy (Chaplain) on Oct 06, 2003 at 16:42 UTC
    I've got the Dutch translation (Perl5 in 24 uur - Kit voor beginners, published by Academic Service in The Netherlands) between my other Perl books for years now. I'm reading it now, together with Learning Perl, Programming Perl, Beginning with Perl and Picking Up Perl (I like it when things get explained in more than one way, with different examples).

    I think the English version is an excellent book. It handles a lot of parts of Perl, it is serious enough, it gets to the point quickly, it leaves out several difficult things in the beginning and gets to them later on carefully and the explanation is often the best and mot patient I've seen sofar.

    But the Dutch translators often made a mess of it, too often. Sometimes things are translated that shouldn't be, like references ("verwijzingen") or regular expressions ("vaste uitdrukkingen"). Too often variable names are translated in Dutch in the text and are forgotten in the example text box (Employee = Werknemer, File = Bestand, Sticks = Stokken, Stones = Stenen).

    Really annoying is when it is not clear whether the writer made a stupid mistake, or whether it was the printer or the translator. Parentheses, braces, brackets, commas, semicolons, percent signs: often forgotten, or too many of them, or the wrong type. Or a % or @ instead of a $, or the other way around. Different variable names in the examples than the one in the explanatory texts. Results from examples are the results from the English examples (like the length of a string) and not of the Dutch translated example. And so on and so on.

    This book is starting to have more red and blue pencil comments in it than black print.

    Anyway, with the other books next to this one, it helps me a lot in learning Perl. Trying to find the right translation helps as well... (but that was not intended by the publisher, I hope).

      I sincerely hope not. :) The US-English edition list of errors is quite short even after 50,000+ eyes have looked at it.

      I had no hand in the translation at all, FWIW. It's my understanding that the translation rights are purchased overseas and done in a completely separate environment from the original publishing (IANA Publisher). The foreign translation people have sent me some editions after the fact as a courtesy (Dutch, Chinese, Italian). The Russian and French versions I had to track down myself.

        Well, in case you make a new edition and they need someone to proofread the new Dutch translation, you can drop my name... I'm wondering whether the translators know any Perl themselves or whether they let the book proofread by any Perl programmer.
Re: SAMS Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 20, 2006 at 13:41 UTC
    If you had started with Learning Perl instead of this book, you'd been cheated of basic information like knowing what references are, or even why you need to know them. Want to read an entire book on Perl and not know how to pass two arrays to a function, or even that you don't know how to do this? Thought not. Yes, the Llama book is supposed to be a classic, but the truth is that it is lazily written and misses out even mentioing the existence of many key topics - typically the ones that are trickier to explain.
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