Item Description: Perl for beginners
Review Synopsis: Good for newbies, but beware of the sloppy coding you'll learn from this book.
This book was my first introduction to programming with Perl, which is good and bad (the book, that is). For a beginner, I'd cautiously recommend it. I was writing functional scripts almost immediatly with CGI 101. I learned quite a bit from this book and it got me excited about perl, but it's lacking in major areas.
On the good, it is very accessible and full of code examples. It does a good job describing regex to a complete beginner, has a short but good introduction to DBI and mySQL, and you really could learn enough from this book to make some pretty good CGI sites. I still find myself referring to some of it's chapters, specifically on date/time, cookies, strings, and regex.
On the bad, it taught me bad programming style that I now have to unlearn. She doesn't recommend using " -wT" in your scripts until the end of the book, and doesn't mention "use strict" at all (that I remember). This is especially a problem considering that I want to move a whole bunch of scripts into mod_perl, which is less forgiving with sloppy variables.
I'm sure there are better books for beginners out there (I have the O'Reilly CGI Programming book). However, CGI 101 got me excited very quickly about perl programming, which is a damn good thing. However, the bad programming style has hurt my coding somewhat.