However for (wannabe) Perl programmers there are many language-specific areas that it would be useful to include, ie community resources and the like; it would be difficult to expand that to represent appropriate information about every language out there, but leaving the information out would reduce the utility of such a book greatly.
I learned how to type in several programming languages before I learned how to program. I would say that I learned how to program about 2-3 years ago. Since then, I've picked up a couple new languages, including my current interest, Ruby. In 2 weeks, I've been able to program at a very high level in Ruby, solely because I know how to program.
Once someone groks programming, there is no language that cannot be learned and mastered very quickly. The concepts are the tough part - syntax is easy.
My criteria for good software:
- Does it work?
- Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?