Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days (Sams Teach Yourself)

TEACH YOURSELF PERL IN 21 DAYS was the first book I bought on the Perl scripting language. While it has no claims above being an introduction to the material, it has got quite a lot of information packed into its 720 pages. I had no background in Perl at all (though I already knew several other CS languages and scripts), but with this book I had no trouble picking it up. I was able to learn a fair amount of knowledge in a short amount of time. The layout of the book is quite helpful and organized; people with no background in Computer Science can start from the beginning with no trouble, while those readers who already know most of the fundamentals can skip ahead to the later chapters.

This book will teach you almost everything you will need to know as a beginning Perl programmer. It starts with the basics (the ever-present "Hello World" example, operators, variables) and slowly moves to more in-depth topics (such as hashing, lists, strings, loops and subroutines) until finally getting to the harder stuff (file I/O, CGI scripting and references). TEACH YOURSELF PERL IN 21 DAYS won't give you everything that you will ever need to know, but it will definitely fill in almost all of the blanks that you need to know most of the time.

As a book for beginners, this book should have everything you're looking for. It also makes a fairly good reference guide once you've managed to establish yourself as a Perl programmer. I'd advise buying a second, more advanced book, once you're ready to move onto more sophisticated topics. But as an introduction, this book will cover practically everything you will need to know. Recommended.

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