The other day in a class I was teaching Perl for beginners, I was showing how to copy a file using File::Copy. At one point one of the students asked me (and actually this happens in every class) how could he find out the answer to this and similar questions without my help ?
I pointed to various resources, still they seemed not to be satisfied with the answer. So I asked on the Perl Trainers mailing list what others tell their students and asked a similar question on a beginner mailing list.
Here are the pointers I collected so far in two groups but in no particular order within the groups:Local resources:
- Serach the FAQ that comes with Perl: perldoc -q "SOME QUESTION"
Specifically this did not have anything about on how to copy a file. While the FAQ is very good it is also constrained by the time of the good people who maintain it
- Search in perldoc perlfunc
obviously this did not have anything about file copy either and in general if there is no such function in Perl, then this is not useful
- ActivePerl users (at least on Windows) have HTML version of the documentation
- In his post Tad McClellan gave a nice step-by-step approach to solve the problem
- Google groups and the Advanced search of Google Groups
- Regular search using Google
- News groups - comp.lang.perl.misc,comp.lang.perl.modules, and several others (The news server of perl.org)
- Ask on the IRC)
- www.perldoc.com but it is currently down.
- Various mailing lists for beginners
- Find the local Perl Mongers (mailing list, personal contact whatever)
Still, I'd be interested in other ways, monks might use:
When you have a question such as "how to copy a file", what do you do to find a solutions ?
Do you prefer to use local resources or on-line resources ?
If you are coming from another programming languages, how would you look for an answer in that language ?