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Re: A tutorial for Perl to teach Beginners

by KeighleHawk (Scribe)
on Sep 08, 2004 at 15:56 UTC ( #389414=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to A tutorial for Perl to teach Beginners

I think you can tell from the responses you have both hit on a good idea and that you probably have your work cut out for you. Might I suggest you cheat?

By that I mean, rather than try to decide what is good for a tutorial, just go grab a book and write a tutorial to accompany it. This does several things:

  1. It gives you a good starting point as well as a way to focus your efforts
  2. As Brian d Foy said, you can't show them everything at once. So show them a little and let them reference the book in an obvious manner for more information. Let the book and tutorial leverage each other
  3. Maybe your efforts will start a trend for other language texts and not just beginner texts.
  4. Your initial work can be expanded on later to provide more advanced tutorials on the same subjects.

Personally, I've always hated examples in books as they tend to be excissively simplistic or just plain contrived. Then of course, sometimes they just don't work :-) Having running code examples that walk through and explain each and every action showing side effects, etc. would sure be more interesting than a static code snippet that may or may not even run as printed...

Some may consider this dangerously close to copyright infrignement. I don't think it is but won't go any closer than this to that discussion other than to say if the book can be used as a text for a class, this use should also be acceptable.

Obvious suggestions are the O'Reilly books, "Learning Perl" and "Programming Perl". For a slightly more advanced and disjointed tutorial, "Mastering Algorithms with Perl".

  • Comment on Re: A tutorial for Perl to teach Beginners

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Re^2: A tutorial for Perl to teach Beginners
by dba (Monk) on Sep 09, 2004 at 15:39 UTC
    Please start with an introduction to perldoc in your tutorial. For most 'starter' questions answers are immediately available. A must read is regex tutorial.

      I agree this should be right at the top but as has been discussed here before, the docs aren't written for beginners; or non-programmers for that matter. They take a great deal for granted. So assuming they answer beginner questions isn't necessarily a good idea. Even when the answers are there, they are often unintelligible to the neophyte. A beginner seeing things like split /PATTERN/,EXPR,LIMIT is as unenlightened as if she'd seen nothing at all.

      I'm a newbie with perl, but have been hacking assembler since the 6502 so not really a beginner in the sense of 'non-programmer' -- if only i'd found perldoc (and knew how to use it) learning perl would be much simpler. Point to the things that perldoc can tell beginners, and give example code. What IS in perldoc? I still don't know how to find out.
      Another point where i find difficulty is OO --too old to have grown up with OO-- so a simple intro to that would be extremely useful to me at least :-)

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