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Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours

by matze77 (Friar)
on Dec 20, 2008 at 16:30 UTC ( #731783=bookreview: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Order Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours

Item Description: Perl Book containing 24 lessons

Review Synopsis: A Good book for Beginners

Writing about: Third Edition , Language: English.
I was a little reluctant cause i dont like this unrealistic approach in book titles like "being a guru in 2 hours".

Surely you will probably need more than 24 hours to work through the book (without sleeping calculated) at least if you dont think you are a genius (but then you will probably learned all solely from manpages).

I noticed that around 2-3 hours are needed for a chapter depending on the complexity.

I like the book cause it has many coding examples which introduce new things btw that might be useful in that context e.g.: in reviewing the if statement rand is introduced.

The structure is good it is not too technical it reads fluently.

At the end of each chapter is a workshop section which contains some questions and tasks to control the learned.

Compared to the Update: Camel Llama Book it was more useful at the first steps for me cause it has more a "practical, howto" character. The Llama book explains it all well but i miss some useful code snipets there that go beyond the surface.
Personal Background: I am a beginner and got almost no programming experience (i did a little simple bash programming but never heard of scalars arrays e.g. before)

I must admit that i only read 6 8 chapters so far, but this already really helped me alot (i maybe adjust this with more learned)... critic:

A drawback is that often i wanted to know more get more detailed code examples (This is the same with the Learning Perl Book from Oreilly) it is clearly a beginner book.but there is e.g. in the file lesson you learn how to open a file and how to close it and how to print a line of the file but not how to change content of a file and write it. I am someone who should must nsee some practical examples how to use a language like perl cause there are so many possibilities i dont sometimes know how to put it all together...

I strongly recommend this book for beginners and dont think the money wasted. But for real more detailed projects you will need other books, more knowledge than this book could provide ...

What i like about the book:
The Tipp: Take a Project you learn fastet if you got a goal which you work for ... (as your own webserver with cgi e.g.)
The code segments are well explained, like line 12 does this and maybe not that what you expected cause of ... What i dont like:
I wished more details as already mentioned, many times i caught myself thinking ah interesting, i want to read more, then i turn the pages and ups, the chapter is over. This book could have been really good without these flaws ...
My Opinion: If you get this book 2nd hand | cheap and your new to Perl it is worth the try ...
btw: I like the camel Llama book too, ofc.

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Re: Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours
by ww (Archbishop) on Dec 20, 2008 at 16:50 UTC
    Counter Review:

    This may not apply to the edition you're reviewing, but the then-current edition of about 5-8 years ago was shot full of errors-not-corrected -- even in the on-line Errata -- and, as I subsequently learned here, was likewise shot full of examples that could have been culled from a (hypothetical) "Worst Practices" text.

    Ultimately, I consigned the book to the local recycler (despite the fact that that act that offends my long-held notion that words-on-paper are nearly sacred) lest I or anyone else be led down its garden paths.

    Turns out I was wrong to do so, as had I archived it, I could have cited some of the more egregious content, here.

      I found no errors so far, i did test most of the sample code by myself and all ran without errors, i have seen this on some reviews too (complaining about many errors).
      But since amazon "moves" reviews from early editions to the latest edition one could only guess depending on the age of the review ...
      If there are any significant amount of errors later in the book i will change my review and mention ...

      Thanks in Advance MH
Re: Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours
by tirwhan (Abbot) on Dec 20, 2008 at 18:36 UTC

    I have nothing to say on the Sams book (having not read it) except that, without fail, I found any "teach yourself x in 24 hours" book that I have looked at to be full of mistakes and misleading flashy examples. Invariably things would be done in an "easy" and hacky way. Extrapolating from that I can only surmise (again, I've not read or even looked at this one), that quite probably learning from this book will end up with you writing the kind of Perl code that has been getting a deservedly bad reputation over the last years.

    Compared to the Camel Book

    This I do have something to say about. When you're a beginner, the Camel book is probably(*) not the right book to start with, you should rather pick up the Llama, which is expressly designed to teach a beginner Perl in easy steps with lots of examples to learn by. The latest edition just came out half a year ago, so it's pretty up-to-date on how and how not to write Perl. The Camel can then be used to understand why certain things work the way they do and become a real "guru" (though much the same can be done by reading the perldocs).

    (*)Unless you are one of those unfortunate people who (like me) need to understand how stuff works from the inside before being able to use them in any useful way. For me, reading the Camel alongside, and sometimes ahead of, the Llama was the way to go. YMMV.

    All dogma is stupid.

      Oops. I confused the Camel book and LLama book i only got the Llama book so far, but i find SAMs (a little) more useful by now, but i am glad i got both books.
      Since i got only one book from the "Teach yourself" row i could say nothing about it, but i think one could not generally say that a series of books is bad, that depends on the author ... (as i could not say that i find all the books from oreilly useful, some excellent books are from oreilly but not all are really top ...). I fully agree with you that i could sometimes imagine not what to do with all the functions of a language (even if i remember them) so it is good for me to see code in a book that uses it in a good realistic example

Re: Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours
by zentara (Archbishop) on Dec 20, 2008 at 16:49 UTC
    It sure is cheap enough.... < $4. It's probably better than Perl for Dummies (for Perl 5.6).

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are
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